Toormina High School student to dance for Bangarra Dance Theatre

Leandra Avuri-Williams has been selected to dance for Bangarra Dance Theatre

A TOORMINA High School student has been selected to dance with Bangarra Dance Theatre, a prestigious Indigenous dance company.

Leandra Avuri-Williams was accepted into a small group chosen from across NSW to dance with Bangarra in the Schools Spectacular at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

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The sixteen-year-old is over the moon as it’s been her dream to perform with the Sydney-based dance company, which has been running for 32 years.

Leandra’s mother is from Gumbaynggirr country and her father is Wiradjuri.

She has remained close to her culture since she was a young girl and started traditional dance early, along with studying ballet.

Leandra saw the Aboriginal dance groups while singing at a previous Schools Spectacular; realising the power of the moment, she dreamt of being involved.

Having tried for several years for an opportunity to dance with the prestigious company, Leandra never gave up.

She was selected in the last school term after catching the eye of Bangarra choreographers while taking part in workshops in Grafton.

Leandra will now travel back and forth from Sydney for a few months later this year for rehearsals.

She will juggle the responsibilities of elite dance training and her schoolwork, and said her school had been very supportive.

“As long as I am on top of my school work, I can still dance,” said Leandra, who is also passionate about art, singing and language.

Having gained her Certificate Three in Gumbaynggirr language, Leandra is now able to educate others about her culture, mentoring students at her school.

With the young dancer on a path to performing success, she is not forgetting her roots, or those who have supported her on the way.

“My mum Sandra told me no matter what I go through, she’s always proud of the accomplishments I’ve made.

“She’s my number one supporter and I love her for that,” Leandra said.


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