A group of people in activewear stand together smiling.

The classes encourage positive partnerships, body acceptance and social and community connection.

11 July 2015

Stellar Step UP! Step Together is a new program of dance and movement classes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The program is the result of a partnership between:

  • local community group, The Stellar Company
  • Canberra First Nations dance group, Project Dust.

The program received funding from the ACT Government's Healthy Canberra Grants program. It aims to improve health education, intergenerational support, and connection to Country and culture.

The classes encourage positive partnerships, body acceptance and social and community connection. There will be 280 classes over the next year, divided into seven series. Each class is led by an experienced teacher.

"Stellar Step UP! is proving to be a deeply powerful and empowering program,” Liz Lea, Artistic Director of The Stellar Company said.

This program helps address some of the barriers First Nations people face to live a healthy life. It is led by First Nations people to maintain connection to Country, culture and community.

“As a proud Darug woman, I have a strong interest in Aboriginal contemporary dance, language, and history,” Emma Laverty, founder of Project Dust, said.

“This ACT Health grant is helping to remove barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to spaces they don't normally have access to and is getting them active and involved in the community.”

The Stellar Company also offers classes for multicultural and LGBTIQ+ young people and those with physical or intellectual disability.

“The Stellar Company is thrilled to be offering classes across five ACT suburbs for people of all abilities, backgrounds and identities,” Liz said.

“Alongside Project Dust, we are proud to be partnering with a range of local dance and fitness businesses for the Stellar Step UP! Program, including Dance4Fitness, Mudra and Moves, and Subsdance.”

The Yerrabi Yurwang Child and Family Aboriginal Corporation also received funding from the Healthy Canberra Grants program for its Yawarj Mara, Strong Pathways program. The program brings together Aboriginal young people from across the ACT. It engages people in culture and increases empowerment and wellbeing through:

  • song
  • dance
  • sports
  • mentoring
  • skills
  • health education.

Find out more about the Stellar Step UP! program.


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