Celebrate the world of dance at Victorian Dance Festival 2017
A true celebration of the wonderful world of dance, the 2017 edition of the Victorian Dance Festival (VDF) will be held at the iconic Melbourne Town Hall from 17 to 19 March. With a deep desire to unite the dance community, this is one dance event you'll want to clear your calendar for.
Founded in 2012 by Director and former dance teacher, Kate Meade, the festival’s ethos is ‘Community. Not Competition’ and is built on a foundation of unity and inclusiveness. One of the largest dance events in Australia, VDF is an all-inclusive, all-ages festival that actively engages the wider community with the art of dance.
“I think what makes the Victorian Dance Festival so special is that it has never been about one or two people,” says Founder and Director, Kate Meade. “It has always been about the entire community. Whilst Melbourne is hosting the event, it's supported by dancers from all over the country… and I think the community loves to come together to celebrate what they love [dance].”
Making its way to Melbourne for the first time since the festival’s inaugural event five years ago, this year’s VDF promises attendees a weekend of celebration, innovation and opportunity. Empowering dancers to explore and develop their dance repertoire through workshops, master classes, events and exhibitions, this year will see key appearances by Lucinda Dunn, Paul Malek, Yvette Lee, James Barry, Lauren Seymour and many other leaders in the Australian Dance Industry.
Meade is careful when selecting instructors for VDF, ensuring that those that do host are the perfect fit for the event.
“It’s about what’s best for the dancers and the Australian Dance Community,” says Meade. “We are very selective when it comes to choosing the right instructors for VDF. Their values must match the values of the festival: Collaboration and Community.”
2017 will also see the return of So You Think You Can Dance super star, Kathryn McCormick who will be assisted by ever-popular youngster, Tate McRae.
“We are certainly delighted to have Kathryn returning from the U.S.A. this year,” shares Meade. “Tate will also be attending and I think we almost broke the Internet when that was announced. You could feel the excitement at home, miles away from the dancers!”
Celebrating our dance teachers
With a burning ambition to create a sense of community within the Australian Dance Industry, the first day of the event is solely dedicated to studio teachers: the very foundation of the industry and the first point of contact most have with dance. A full day of seminars and professional development workshops awaits teachers, with networking opportunities providing a chance to connect and share.
“We’ve had such a fabulous time in the last six months hitting the road and visiting studios around Victoria,” says Meade. “It’s been an honour to go into their studios and get to know the teachers and their students. We are sharing their stories and hopefully connecting them with the wider community.”
Kate is incredibly conscious of our dance teachers and is sure to celebrate and thank them for passing on their own passion and love of dance with their young students. “None of us would be where we are without our incredible teachers," she muses and this is a value she is sure to honour each year at VDF.
Come dance with us
As a major sponsor of this year’s festival, alongside long-term partner, Dance Informa, we’re honoured to be part of such an inspiring event, motivating young dancers to see, participate and enjoy. Our very own 2016 Australian Model Search Winner, Ella McMillan will be at the event as the VDF 2017 Ambassador, sharing her own love of dance with the public.
“I feel so lucky to have this opportunity and can’t wait to be involved,” says Ella. “I’m looking forward to many things. Seeing so many dance friends I’ve met over the years and being able to make new ones.”
Ella cites “being able to learn from some of the country’s best teachers and dancers” as the biggest lesson she’s hoping to get out of this year’s event. Lessons that will, no doubt, push her to keep working hard on her own dance journey.
Getting behind festivals like VDF is at the heart of what we do at Energetiks, supporting and connecting our wonderful community through our passion for dance.
“Energetiks is incredibly excited to partner with the Victorian Dance Festival to bring you the 2017 Energetiks Victorian Dance Festival,” says Elysia Mangier, Marketing Manager at Energetiks. “VDF is a not-to-be-missed event that offers our wonderful community not only the opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, but share an experience, meet new friends and create irreplaceable memories.”
As VDF gets closer and the excitement becomes palpable for the festival’s founder, Meade is conscious of finding the time to “simply take it all in.”
“I love watching people arrive and then seeing them on the dance floor,” she says. “I get to witness people coming alive and soaking in every moment. The Victorian Dance Festival wouldn't be what it is without the entire Australian Dance Community. It is the people's festival.”