One of Canberra’s leading dance and social inclusion institutions, Kulture Break, has hit the dance floor with its ninth annual event.
Dance Nation is a school’s program that concludes with a showcase spectacular held every year to celebrate the representation of various cultures and promote inclusion, self-expression and resilience across schools in the ACT and NSW.
This year’s event was held at the National Convention Centre.
Kulture Break operations manager Georgia Cooper said Dance Nation is a 13-week fun, interactive and collaborative program with students.
“This year’s theme was ‘Unite’, which our CEO Francis Owusu thought was best-fitting as we wanted to bring people together after COVID impacted so many lives,” Georgia said.
“We had 10 schools and 15 groups involved, and we had 450 primary and high school students participate.
“It was one of our biggest events so far, which was so exciting, especially right after COVID. Now more than ever, our community needs to feel united and connected.”
Dance Nation’s youngest group were Year 3 students and the oldest were from Year 10.
Performers came from Theodore Primary, Kaleen Primary School, Wanniassa School, Richardson Primary School, Charles Weston School, Charles Canberra School, Evelyn Scott School, Namadgi School, Lanyon High School and Gold Creek High School.
“Our goal is to transform lives with every move,” Georgia said.
“We are so thankful for our partners’ support this year. Many of our partners, including Ray White, sponsored multiple schools so the children could experience Dance Nation for the first time. The impact it has on families is incredible.
“Dance Nation is so special. It allows multiple students and teachers of the community to express themselves and be who they truly are, have that social interaction at school and be a part of something really amazing. It opens the doors for kids to go and be a part of something incredible and make new friends along the way.”
The Kulture Break operations manager said 1200 tickets were sold for the dance concert.
“Typically, Kulture Break would have a larger amount of schools involved, so post-COVID, to have more students and more groups despite fewer schools attending was such an incredible blessing,” Georgia said.
She noted how empowering it was to watch kids get up on stage and perform.
“To watch their confidence grow in such a short timeframe is incredible,” she said.
“When they’re on stage, they’re smiling as their parents are sitting in the audience watching them and clapping.”
In future, Kulture Break hopes to see previous Dance Nations Schools return for their 10-year anniversary in 2023.
“It will allow more kids to have the opportunity to express themselves however they want to in a safe and nurturing environment,” Georgia said.
“Our CEO Francis always says, ‘You don’t become somebody, you are somebody’, and that’s a core value for us and the Dance Nation Program.
“Our partners’ support helps us make a real difference to many young lives. If there are any other people out there in the community who want to make a big impact in our community, then this is a great way to do that.”
If you’re interested in partnering with Kulture Break, visit their website.
“I want to thank our volunteers. We’ve had volunteers as young as 11 and as old as 65 help us,” Georgia said.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and partners. We’re so grateful.”