The Australian Dance Festival proudly launched "Resonate" in 2019 in order to share the Australian Dance Festival experience with primary and high school students.  We chose the name "Resonate" (def'n: To evoke a feeling of shared emotion or belief with someone) in recognition of the power of dance to inspire, teach and empower individuals to grow in their self-belief and own innate potential.

We wish thank the schools who participated in the inaugural 2019 Resonate program.   


 The joy and energy which the students brought to the workshops was incredible.  We witnessed students coming into the workshops feeling intimidated and shy, to coming out of their shells and having their courage to show what they had learned cheered on by their peers.  Our instructors were thrilled to have so many eager students hungry to learn and be inspired.  We were stunned by the quality of the performances brought to the Australian Dance Festival stage by the school groups.  We cannot wait to do it all over again in 2020.

Our COVID-19 Safety Plan


Best Overall Performance
Nepean Creative & Performing Arts High School

Best Use of Props & Scenery
Oxford Falls Grammar School

Best Choreography
Glenwood High School

Best Concept
Ormeau Woods State High School

Most Cooperative
Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College



  • RESONATE  is an exciting opportunity for school students to perform on Australia’s largest dance platform – the Australian Dance Festival

  • Students must be from year 3 to year 12

  • Each performance must be between 3 – 5 minutes

  • Each performance team must have a minimum of 20 students.

  • There is no cap on maximum numbers as long as the performance adheres to the time limit, and the choreography takes into consideration the size of the stage (16.8 meters wide x 9 meters deep)

  • Performances will take place on  Thursday 23rd September at the Quay Centre in Sydney Olympic Park

  • Tickets to the performance will be available for sale to family and friends ($40 per ticket)

  • Guidance and support will be provided to schools who participate

  • RESONATE anticipates each performance will be unique, bringing dance and high quality performance to one arena.


  • To provide school students with a hands on challenge that will engage their skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity

  • To give our youth a voice – their performance will be seen by a live audience of 3,000+ as well as broadcast on the Australian Dance Festival YouTube Channel

  • To provide the experience of being part of a great performance that they can feel proud of, and remember in years to come

  • To provide opportunities to learn about leadership, team work, and how to express ideas and see them come to life

  • To give school students exposure to Australia’s best in dance, and inspiring them to continue to integrate dance and all it’s benefits (physical movement and coordination, mental engagement, self-confidence, team work etc) into their lives.

  • To provide professional development and community to Dance Teachers working in Primary & High schools, so that they can access  best practice, a support network, and relevant training to excel in their vocation.


Respect | Integrity | Enrichment | Opportunity

We RESPECT that our children have something important to say, and ideas to share

INTEGRITY – that we mean what we say and we say what we mean. Our words and actions have values

ENRICHMENT of your current performing arts program to bring clarity and depth to your students’ performance

OPPORTUNITY to develop and experience pride and passion by being part of an amazing team performance



  • If your school has a passionate Performing Arts team and you have some movers and shakers in your student cohort, your school needs to be involved.  

  • You will be supported the whole way via one-on-one phone / skype coaching

  • If you don’t have the skill set to be able to pull this off we have a large pool of choreographers who will create it all for you from commencement to completion.


  1. Complete the Online Application Form.  If you have any difficulties accessing this form, please email:  or call 0434 239 059.

  2. Wait for your registration acceptance from the ADF RESONATE team 

  3. Once you have been accepted you will receive your Next Steps Booklet.


Students who participate in RESONATE will experience:

  • Workshops with some of Australia's best choreographers (Faculty will be confirmed in early 2020).  More Info

  • Opportunity to perform on the Australian Dance Festival stage with 2,500 audience capacity

  • Opportunity to  speak to dance industry leaders about the pathways in dance while waiting for their tech rehearsals on Thursday 19th September. 

  • Encouragement, fulfilment and enrichment through the creative process that RESONATE enables


Teachers who participate in RESONATE will experience:

  • Personal Mentoring by one Australia’s most experienced curators of school dance performance.

  • Your Mentoring sessions will cover how to:

    • Elicit the best ideas from their students

    • Storyboard their ideas

    • Develop concept to choreography

    • Source the right music for their item  

    • Turn their vision into a reality.                  

    • Develop creative ideas for costuming and props

    • Develop stage management for students

  • The opportunity to create high quality work that is appreciated for, showcased in, and judged on the industry standard.​

  • Professional Development Day (Friday 25th September) hosted in the Teachers VIP Room at the Australian Dance Festival.



  • RESONATE will be hosted at the Quay Centre at Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday 23rd September, 2021.

  • This is for you and your students to put your best foot forward and to put your school on the map for performing arts.



  • Each item must not be shorter than 4 minutes or longer than 5 minutes.

  • All props and scenery must only be hand held and operated by the performers on stage.  

  • All items will have a short time to pre-set and bump off the stage.

  • The RESONATE Judging panel will be made up of 3 key dance industry personalities to be announced prior to the event.


At the conclusion of the performance day the following awards will be presented by our judges:

  • Best Concept

  • Most effective choreography

  • Most creative use of props and scenery

  • Best overall performance

  • Most co-operative school



  • All communication will be delivered to you via email well before the event allowing you the opportunity to communicate with your students and families and for you to be super organised.

  • On the day, your students will participate in our RESONATE dance workshops, giving them a taste of the Australian Dance Festival and access to Australia’s most sought after industry professionals.  The workshops will prepare the students for an opening and closing ceremony for RESONATE.

  • You as dance teachers and specialists are also invited to participate in or observe these workshops should you desire.



Chosen schools are scheduled into our rehearsals on Thursday 23 September, 2021 at the Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park.

Upon arrival you will be:

  • Greeted by a friendly Australian Dance Festival RESONATE marshal

  • Escorted to your dressing room

  • Provided with clear instructions about the next steps for the day

During the day. Your students will:

  • 9am:  Arrive at Quaycentre

  • 9.30am - 10am: Complete a safety induction

  • 10am - 4pm:  Students in Dance Workshops

  • 12.30pm - 4pm:  Tech Rehearsals (10 mins per school).  Schools not in rehearsal will be able to participate in the workshops

  • Student will have the opportunity to  speak to dance industry leaders about the pathways in dance while waiting for their tech rehearsal ​

  • From 6pm: Start preparations for their performance

  • Doors Open at 6.30pm for a 7pm show time

  • Shows scheduled to finish by 9.30pm

On the night of the performance:

  • Prepare their hair, make up and costumes for their item

  • A marshal will escort them to the stage to pre-set

  • Perform on the Australian Dance Festival stage

  • If space and time permit, sit in the audience to watch other schools perform

Friday 25 September, Professional Development Day for Dance Teachers @ The Genea Netball Centre, Sydney Olympic Park

  • Professional Development Workshops will run from 10am - 4pm.  Topics from last year included:

    • Taking Dance From Zero To Hero at Your School.  Strategies for effectively advocating for Dance in Primary & High S​chools

    • Best Practice in Engaging Students to Create Award Winning Showpieces

    • The Whys & Hows of Delivering National Qualifications in Dance to your school students (Hint: There are funding benefits!)

  • You will also be able to access the dance workshops for students (as a spectator),  the evening show, and the expo on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.


You will receive a confirmation email that will give you all of the information you need to get started.


You will begin to receive all the information you will need to have a successful and easy RESONATE experience.


In April/ May you will receive the clear brief to give you the guidelines to start creating your item.


Entry fee $500 inc. GST. which includes the following:

For Teachers

  • Worksheets to guide you through the process

  • 1 x30 minute mentoring sessions (via phone/ skype) with our Resonate Mentor

  • The first session will be scheduled when you first sign up

  • 2 x Teachers Passes to the Australian Dance Festival valued at $180 each  (Total value:  $360)

For Students:

  • 4 x Workshops with some of Australia's Best Choreographers

  • Students will have the opportunity to  speak to dance industry leaders about the pathways in dance while waiting for their Tech Rehearsals

For The School:

  • 2 x Free Tickets to Resonate (valued at $80) for your heads of school



  • Students and supervising staff members will not be required to pay for any tickets or entry fees to the Australian Dance Festival

  • Transport costs to and from the Festival will have to be covered by the students / schools

  • If students / staff wish to participate in the Festival on Friday 25th – Sunday 27th September, then please refer to the information on Group Bookings on our website

  • Family, friends and other staff members who wish to spectate on Thursday 24th September will have to pay a ticket fee of $40 per person . The show start time will be 7pm. Shows will end at approximately 9.30pm.


Should you wish to speak to one of our friendly RESONATE team members, please do not hesitate to contact us at  or call 1300 132 152.


Sarah Boulter.jpg

Sarah Boulter,

2019 Resonate Judge

Resonate 2019 surpassed all my expectations.

It was a wonderful celebration of talent, creativity & entertainment.

I believe Resonate 2019 has certainly raised the bar for any comparable competitions.


Gabrielle Robinson,

2019 Resonate Mentor

In 2019, over 21 items were presented at the first Resonate event. More than 300 students participated in the workshops, rehearsals and performance process with anticipation and heightened energy.

Throughout the year I walked through the conceptual steps with the under-confident schools and students, and during the event my heart exploded with pride and joy as I watched how the teachers had stretched themselves and their students.

In the workshop series all dancers encouraged each other in such a positive environment,it was a truly uplifting experience and  highly emotional experience for me, witnessing the personal growth of both students and teachers during the process. 

The standard of choreography and skill level of these in school dance students was out of this world. This event is a true representation of the brilliant work that in school dance teachers are producing.


Lauren Thompson,

Dance Choreographer at Oxford Falls Grammar School

We just wanted to say a massive thank you to the organisers of Resonate for the Australian Dance Festival. Our students had a lot of fun learning from a range of choreographers and being amongst such a variety of schools. It was a fabulous opportunity for them to be exposed to industry professionals and we will definitely be entering next year!