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Dance through the Divide

May 18, 2017 12:54 pmby

Over the last few weeks Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre (SHNC) has been hosting an exciting dance pilot program with Seet Dance and Mums 4 Refugees

Refugee and asylum seeker children are joining forces with Aussie kids learning Hip Hop dance moves from Sydney’s most skilled street dancers. The pilot program supported by SHNC is already proving to be a success with smiles abounding from the kids involved. 

“Dance through the Divide is a pilot project to bring children together through dance,” said Sara Lubowitz, vice chairperson of the SHNC. “Children, wherever they come from and whatever life events they have been through previously, can relate to each other through dance”. Sara is also a member of Mums 4 Refugees, an organization who have been consultants for the project on a volunteer basis. 

The nine kids are already developing friendships with each other as well as honing their skills at Popping, with internationally known street dancer Jack Wardana, aka Poppin’ Jack. The next teacher on the schedule is Adam Warburton who is an amazing dancer specialising in House. The street dance teachers were introduced to the idea of working with refugee children by Catherine Cassimatis. 

“The first lesson started slow, all the kids were shy. But it only took 10 minutes into the lesson for the kids to start interacting with the teacher and each other”, said Sara. “And by the second lesson the noise level had increased with laughter and joy…We hope that this will be the beginning of a project that can be broadened across Sydney and hopefully beyond”.

The Dance through the Divide program is being overseen by choreographer Charemaine Seet, the founder of Seet Dance contemporary dance school. “Dance is the universal language. Kids big and small, from all over the world can recognize Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalk”. It’s the perfect way for people from completely different circumstances and backgrounds to find common ground”, said Charemaine. 

SHNC thanks Michael Crewdson from SEET Dance for writing this news post.