Dance has been a form of storytelling in Aboriginal culture since time began; today such gathering and storytelling is just as important.

Saltwater Freshwater’s dance projects bring together young people and dancers from across the region to revitalise this tradition in a contemporary and culturally appropriate way, often blending modern styles such as hip hop and street dance with traditional choreography.

As a result of our dance camps and other mentoring projects since 2012, Saltwater Freshwater now has a committed dance group that has come together to perform at a number of local festivals and events on the Mid North Coast, with new dance moves being created and passed down to younger generations. Teaching culturally appropriate dance to our young people not only strengthens their identity, it opens up the possibility for culturally-based employment and career pathways. Our dancers have been accepted into the national Birrang dance program in Sydney, and Saltwater Freshwater regularly engages group members to teach high school students at our dance and culture camps.

“I reckon dancing can get you places and can get you out of trouble. You learn more about your culture from dancing and what your culture is about. You show your emotions and you feel it, you just put all of your heart into it. You will get somewhere in life with dancing.”

Narina Ferguson, peer mentor

“I’m very impressed. I hope they keep dancing on our land here, it’s lovely. Seeing my family out dancing, I’m feeling very strong and very proud.”

Russell Saunders, Birpai Elder

What do people say?

“I reckon dancing can get you places and can get you out of trouble. You learn more about your culture from dancing and what your culture is about. You show your emotions and you feel it, you just put all of your heart into it. You will get somewhere in life with dancing.”

Narina Ferguson, peer mentor

“I’m very impressed. I hope they keep dancing on our land here, it’s lovely. Seeing my family out dancing, I’m feeling very strong and very proud.”

Russell Saunders, Birpai Elder