Ballarat dancers Narelle Tolliday, Jaime Sergeant-Crowe, as well as Maya Tolliday are taking their dance goes to Nepal as part of cultural exchange via local aid agency Aussie Action Abroad.
It’s another kind of aid than the agency usually offers. For the past 20 years, they have been making a difference in Nepal with learning, community, and health and construction projects but on his last visit, there Aussie Action Abroad director Graeme Kent was asked if he knew somebody who could teach some western dance to local women.
He knew just who to call on, as his daughter Narelle Tolliday runs Curtain Call Dance Studio and her daughter Maya have been keen to join one of her grandfather’s trips to Nepal.
“Narelle hasn’t been able to arrive at Nepal so far because of running the dance school, but she’s finally in a position to and we had a direct demand to learn some dance fitness and dance moves,” Mr. Kent stated.
The trio will run workshops for 20 young people over two days in Kathmandu with a concentrate on dance moves, dancing for exercise and how to structure a dance class.
It is wished those young people will in turn train others and take dance for exercise programs into the cities and more remote towns of the nation.
They will then travel with Aussie Action Abroad to more remote parts of Nepal and spend five days in a school helping to paint, decorate and make education aids for the classrooms that have few resources.
In the evening they will learn traditional Nepalese dances from regional groups.
“They can then introduce some of those moves to the classes here, so it’s a lot a cultural exchange,” Mr. Kent said.
He stated dance might seem a strange aid action, but the program tied into schemes that focus on girls’ inclusion in sport, activity, and education and provided a healthy outlet to deal with psychological problems.