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Young Movers on Track

IN 2002, TRACKS Dance launched its Youth Dance Leadership Program, giving youth-aged participants the chance to learn important skills with the view to provide career and leadership pathways. Last offered in 2007, the program’s recently been relaunched, and rolls out throughout 2024.

By Tierney Seccull

Supported by the Tracks creative team, under the enthusiastic leadership of Dance Animateur Steph Spillett, four participants have the opportunity to develop their artistic practice, gain experience in navigating the industry as an independent artist, and take on leadership roles within an organisation.

“It’s based off three key elements – creative mentorship, job readiness, and community connection,” Spillett says.

“It’s pretty much filling the gap, I find, for young artists to find their creative practice, as well as getting them prepared to work as independent artists in the industry, then also being a young voice and advocate for their art within the community.”

Over the course of the year, the young emerging artists – Sophia Hodges, Jules Gabor, Maddy Levebvre and Rama Wisuda – meet regularly. They explore movement in their own dance styles, share ideas and provide feedback, arming them with the skills to lead the next gen of movers into the future. Spillett says it’s important young people are given such opportunities.

“I always feel like dance and music is a way for young people to voice what is really going down for them,” they say.

“It’s very easy for the broader community to shut down these voices because they are young – they might use the phrase ‘they’ll know when they’re older’ but they’re feeling things that they’re feeling now, and they need support to sort of hone that in and turn it into a positive.

“I think music and dance in general provides that outlet for young people to be taken seriously. It’s definitely important."

With performances dotted throughout the year, including a spot at Seabreeze Festival and shows at Darwin Fringe Festival, the general public gets the chance to see what the 2024 cohort has been working on. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more news from the Youth Dance Leadership Program as this next gen of leaders dance up a storm in 2024.


Photo: Jules Gabor, Sophia Hodges, Rama Wisuda & Maddy Lefebvre. By Duane Preston.

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