Celebrating First Nations Dance at Sydney Opera House | Dance Rites 2018

Dance Rites is important to me because we get to showcase what we
have on a larger scale. To put us on the map or to represent
what our old people have taught us. It’s all about giving back to our old people. By having the patience for 250 years – it’s getting emotional now for me – 250 years ago someone landed here. We weren’t allowed to talk. We weren’t allowed to sing we weren’t
allowed to do anything like that, like Aunty Rhoda Roberts said. But now we’re here and we’re doing it
and we’re representing it. So we’re giving back to them old people,
who kept that knowledge in their belly for a very long long time. It’s now given back to us, teaching us
to be staunch and bring it out as well. Dance Rites is really important I think
because although it’s set up as a competition it doesn’t at all feel competitive. It feels like everyone who’s doing
our dance across the country are coming together and we’re
connecting and we’re celebrating what we love to do, which is
to dance and revitalise our dances and our songs and our language. And share them with these beautiful people who are the next generation. Dance Rites was a perfect
opportunity and a platform for us to celebrate, revive
and maintain our language, in our community and
on a national platform. We brought a gift. We brought
feathers and some ochre. We make sure we follow those
protocols so the young ones are actually watching that and
experiencing the whole event but they’re seeing those
cultural protocols in action. Our young fullas some of
which only four or five years ago had never even been to Sydney. To give them the
opportunity to broaden their horizons is just phenomenal,
it’s really awesome. It’s really exciting for all of us
to be here dancing alongside so many great other dance groups. Why is Dance Rites important to me? Because not only does it show the
people that live here that aren’t Indigenous, and also
to Indigenous people, that we all have culture. Even though you think
you don’t, you do. And that’s why Dance Rites
is really important. To show people from
another place, overseas, that we as Aboriginal people
still have our culture. It always was and always
will be our land, our mother.

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