By Madison C, Gracie C, and Krislyn D


Australia is located between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Australia is both its own country and continent.

The HISTORY of Australia

The first records of European mariners sailing into 'Australian' waters occurs around 1606, and includes their observations of the land known as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutchman, Willem Janszoon.

Between 1606 and 1770, an estimated 54 European ships from a range of nations made contact. Many of these were merchant ships from the Dutch East Indies Company and included the ships of Abel Tasman. Tasman charted parts of the north, west and south coasts of Australia which was then known as New Holland.

Australian Dance History

Indigenous Australians included dance in many of their culture. The Europeans of Australia reflect the natives style in their own works. During the gold rushes, ballet and other forms of theater became popular. Russian Ballet affected their own. The Australian Ballet school was was established in 1964 and contemporary dance companies sprang to life. The Australian governments also helped fund these arts.

Types of Dance

Dance can provide a rich performing experience. Creating imagination, and skill of choreographers, dancers, designers, composers, and musicians.

  • Classical Ballet- is a conventional dance revealing the emotions through poetry or dance drama. This form is portrayed by poise, dignity and precision of movement. Classical Ballet was also originated in the Italian Renaissance courts.

  • Ballroom Dancing- formal social dancing in couples, popular as a recreation and also as a competitive activity. This form of dance developed from old European folk dances.

  • Bush Dancing- Bush Dance is a style of dance from Australia, particularly where the music is provided by a bush band. The dancers are mainly based on the traditional folk dances. Bush Dances in general have less emphasis on complex foot work and more about people being in the right places and dress codes are relaxed.

  • Aboriginal Australians also have traditional dances where they paint there selves from head to toe and dance in a group with sticks moving to the beat

Important Dancers and choreographers

  • Frances Rings is an Indigenous Australian dancer, choreographer and television presenter. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia and is a descendant of the Kokatha people. She is a member of the Dance Board of the Australia Council.
  • Kelley Abbey is an Australian actress, choreographer, singer and dancer. She has been a leading performer and choreographer in TV, film and musical theatre for more than 20 years.
  • Craig Revel Horwood is an Australian-British dancer, choreographer and theatre director in the United Kingdom.

Influence on american dance

Australian dance has mane influences including the traditions and history of the dance form, as well as the different cultures and trends in society.