Next week, as South Australians celebrate National Reconciliation Week, friends from indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds will meet for their weekly dance class.
The Otherway Guys and Gals dancing group is a collaboration between ACH Group’s Social Links program and the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry at Stepney.
The class began in 2012 when ACH Group’s Aboriginal Wyatt Holiday customers joined a Social Links dance group at Burnside.
Social Links Coordinator Tash Burczyk says by the time the six-week program ended and the venue was no longer available, strong friendships had formed.
“It has been so successful, not just in terms of dancing, but in terms of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous customers,” she says.
The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry at Stepney offered its Otherway Centre at Stepney as a venue, and the group meets there every Wednesday.
Otherway Centre Coordinator June Romeo says the class is more popular than ever.
“They are all so close, there’s a lovely bond there, so we’re pleased that a way was found to keep it going,” she says. “We went and did a demonstration at the Aboriginal Elders Village this year which was great – everyone loved it.”
Marsha Hind, who came to Adelaide from Scotland 47 years ago, is happy to be part of the group.
“I have my music on at home all day long and I dance all day long,” she says. “I love dancing and I love the company.”
Dance instructor Margaret Plew says beginner level line dancing is low impact which is suitable for people who are recovering from injury or illness.
“We try to keep it at a speed and pace that suits everybody,” she says. “You don’t need a partner, but you’re still having fun and socialising.”
WHAT: Otherway Guys and Gals Dance Group
WHEN: Wednesdays, 1pm to 2.30pm
WHERE: Otherway Centre, Stepney