The AFL Cape York House students were greeted with a guard of honour on Monday after a weekend in Sydney competing in DanceRites, Australia’s national First Nations dance competition.
The competition served as the culmination of the 2023 AFL Cape York House Cultural Program, wherein students have the opportunity to explore and connect with their heritage through dance and other cultural experiences.
AFL Cape York House Cultural Support Officer Bernard Singleton said the competition was an opportunity for the young people to go out with a bang at the end of the school year before many of them head home for the school holidays.
“DanceRites came right after the end of the footy season and right before they all start flying home to community, so a lot of moving parts were required to make this happen,” he said.
“We’ve had amazing support from the AFL Cape York Foundation and we have a great team in the office, but ultimately it was up to the boys and girls to perform and put the icing on the cake.
“Both the Aboriginal Dance Team and Torres Strait Islander Dance Team performed amazingly well.”
Over two days, DanceRites lit up the Sydney Opera House Forecourt as 26 performance groups from around the nation competed for the top spot.
The AFL Cape York House dance teams showcased their traditional dances, with the Aboriginal Dance Team placing second overall and the Torres Strait Islander Dance Team placing in the top eight.