National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association

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The National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College was established in 1975 to train Indigenous Australians in dance.[1]

It is based in Gosford's Mount Penang Gardens on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Graduates have worked in arts management, dance, music, theatre and film, both at the elite and community level. The Bangarra Dance Theatre developed from NAISDA.

NAISDA is funded as an arts education "Centre of Excellence" by the Australian Government and is also supported by the New South Wales Government. NAISDA is a registered training organisation and offers Certificates II, III and IV and a Diploma in Careers in Dance. It is a member of the "Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence".[2]

NAISDA was the subject of an ABC TV documentary From Dreamtime to Dance broadcast in 2002.[1] [3]

Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (1976 to 1998)[edit]

The first contemporary indigenous Australian dance company was the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT).[4] This company formed out of the Professional Development arm of NAISDA and was responsible for most performance requests of the organisation. AIDT toured nationally and internationally becoming known as Australia's most toured dance company for two years.[citation needed]

When Indigenous community members decided that an Indigenous person should take over the reins of the organisation, the then Executive Officer, Carole Johnson decided to form a professional dance company outside NAISDA. AIDT remained a part of the NAISDA under the Artistic Direction of Raymond D. Blanco.

AIDT disbanded following the departure of Blanco in 1998. Johnson's company went on to become Bangarra Dance Theatre.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Castaldi, André (2002-07-02). "ABC TV Documentaries: Dreamtime to Dance". ABC TV Documentaries: Dreamtime to Dance. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  2. ^ Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008-09-15). "Arts training bodies". Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Patricia (2002). "Dreamtime to Dance: Study Guide" (PDF). Australian Screen Education Online (29): 11. ISSN 1443-1629. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  4. ^ National Library of Australia (2008-07-31). "Australia Dancing - Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (1976 - )" (text). Retrieved 2008-10-03. 

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