Maningrida Dance Troupe girls know what it means to set your sights on a dream and go for it. The team of five Arnhem Land dancers do their own choreography, design their costumes and practice most days. But before their dreams of competing in a national competition could come true they needed something else. That’s where CBT was proud to offer support and sponsor the travel arrangements for the talented team.
Home for the Under 12’s Hip Hop team is Maningrida, a small community 500km east of Darwin. Punching well above their home town’s population, the girls won the opportunity to enter the Evolution Dance Competition on the Gold Coast. All their hard work and effort would be rewarded with their biggest dance adventure yet!
A small charter plane flew them to Darwin, where they boarded a Qantas flight bound for Brisbane. The girls had never been on a big plane before and never been that high in the sky. You can imagine the buzz. The Qantas crew joined in the fun by letting them try both in-flight meals and loading them up with chocolates to take on their trip.
Next stop was Surfers Paradise. A whole new world of theme park rides, dining out, shopping and swimming in the hotel pool where the highlights. There were lots of photos and phone calls to share their excitement with families back home.
When it was time to compete in the Evolution Dance Competition, the girls quickly shook off their nerves to present an amazing Hip Hop performance. They won an impressive second place and enjoyed a special masterclass with Evolution judge Turanga Merito. That wasn’t just a lesson in dance, but a profound moment for the girls to hear how Turanga grew up in a small community with limited opportunities and still realised his dreams.
On the long journey home to Maningrida, the troupe returned with a sense of accomplishment and reflected on their amazing time. Their proud families were so pleased they got to take part in an eye-opening and life-changing experience. The girls are still saying how much they miss the Gold Coast!
Simon and Miriam from CBT and Dart Johnson from BMD were in the audience for the performance. They could see how hard the team had worked on their routine. It was an honour for CBT to be part of their amazing adventure and to support BMD’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Look out for the names Sethalia Olsen, Qynesha Olsen, Francine Stewart, Tivisha Bading and Virgiline Pascoe – there’s sure to be more exciting moves in the future from these impressive young dancers!