Dance Rites is Australia’s national Indigenous dance competition. Registration is open to all Aboriginal communities and performers of all levels of experience.

17 Nov 2015 - 4:37 PM  UPDATED 17 Nov 2015 - 4:45 PM

What is Dance Rites?

Dance Rites 2015 is the inaugral dance competition at the Sydney Opera House that encourages dance groups from across the nation to come together and share their traditional culture, while competing for a $15,000 prize.

Winners will also have the opportunity to perform at Homeground 2016. The runner up will receive a prize of $5,000.

The competition is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who have or would like to develop a dance group.

Each group will present a welcome and farewell dance, one of which must include a chant in local language.

The third dance, a ‘wildcard’ can be anything of the group’s choosing. Are you the next Chooky Dancers?

What's the purpose of the competition?

The competition aims to revitalise Indigenous cultural leadership and practices – including language, dance, traditional instruments and skin markings – by creating a contemporary and competitive forum for performance by communities.

Dance Rites celebrates the continued cultural dance practices of Australia’s first peoples.

Why compete in Dance Rites?

Dance Rites is an opportunity to reclaim songlines, dance and other traditional practices.

You can connect with elders in your community and Continue intergenerational exchange of story and ceremony.

Dance Rites will be fun, easy to join and a great way to get your community together.

Why is Dance Rites important?

The Dance Rites competition is inspired by Pow Wow Circuit in North America and Canada, and by the Kapa Haka in New Zealand.

Teaching and learning traditional practices is the best way to reclaim songlines, celebrate and enjoy culture.

How to register

Registrations for Dance Rites 2015 have now closed. For information about competing in the 2016 Dance Rites, email

For more information, download the info sheet & registration form.

*Payment must be received by the close of registration date on 14th September 2015 in order to secure your place in the competition. To discuss alternative payment options please contact Dance Rites.

Project Patron

The Opera House acknowledges the generous support of the Creative Music Fund, Project Patron of Dance Rites, and also the generosity of Sydney Opera House donors who support Dance Rites.

Dance Rites also acknowledges the support of Arts Northern Rivers.

For more information on Homeground, visit the Homeground page online.