History of BlakDance

BlakDance is the industry body for contemporary Indigenous dance that creates dynamic opportunities for our mob. It began with Creating Pathways, a National Indigenous Dance Forum held 27 to 30 October 2005 at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. Creating Pathways was funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and the Dance Board of the Australia Council and was organised by Ausdance National.

Creating Pathways had three main aims to: Reconnect; Re-energise; Identify what there is by profiling people through case studies and discussion. Some of the main issues, which emerged, had three essential elements or themes: Culture; Skills Development; Professional networking.

As a result of a recommendation of the Creating Pathways forum, the position of National Indigenous Dance Coordinator was established. Funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board as a strategic initiative partnership with Ausdance National, the National Indigenous Dance Coordinator undertook a 12-month pilot project called Treading the Pathways.

During the 12-month pilot period February 2007-February 2008, Treading the Pathways was hosted by Ausdance Queensland at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane. Treading the Pathways was then successful with its application to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board for two more years of funding, from February 2008-February 2010.

In July 2009 Treading the Pathways was invited to apply for Key Organisation status and was notified of its success in November 2009. Treading the Pathways then transitioned from strategic initiative to Key Organisation in September 2010.

In August 2014 Merindah Donnelly came on board as Executive Producer and after productive and excited board meeting in November, BlakDance is in a phase of transformational renewal.