The annual Australian Dance Awards (ADAs) recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to dance. The Awards are usually presented in an evening of performance that showcases some of the best Australian dance from the previous year, with a focus on artists from the host state or territory.

The ADAs are non-commercial events that rely on the generosity and goodwill of the committee and the dance sector.

The event aims to

  • publicly honour and reward those who have, through their achievements, raised the standards of dance in Australia
  • raise the profile and prestige of dance and acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society
  • present a diverse performance program in support of the awards ceremony, representing excellence in the pinnacle of both innovative and established dance

Dance awards background

Initiated in 1986 by Keith Bain OAM, the dance community in NSW gathered each year at the Dancers’ Picnic to celebrate International Dance Day (29 April). In 1997, Ausdance NSW with support from the City of Sydney and The Australian Ballet, presented the inaugural Australian Dance Awards at the Sydney Opera House. Over time, the ADAs have evolved into the industry’s ‘night of nights.’

2008 marked the beginning of a new era, with the Awards celebration held in Melbourne and produced by Ausdance Victoria for three consecutive years, thanks to the generosity of the Joan and Peter Clemenger Trust and The Australian Ballet.

Since 2010 the ADAs have been open to tender each year by the Ausdance state branches, with Ausdance QLD hosting the event in 2011, Ausdance WA in 2012 and Ausdance ACT in 2013. With a truly national focus, the ADAs are promoting the art form, raising the profile of Australian artists and providing a focal point for the celebration of excellence.

The Australia Dance Awards are made possible by Ausdance with the support of these partners and sponsors.