If there's one thing I would say is important for keeping a positive mind and living life, it would be joy. And if there's one thing I could chose that brings me joy, it would be dancing. There are many health benefits associated with dancing: improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased aerobic fitness, improved muscle tone and strength, weight management, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, better coordination, agility and flexibility. On top of these though, there’s positive mental benefits dance can contribute to our minds. Happiness, laughter, togetherness, and yes… JOY. 

Common People Dance Project are an all inclusive dance company based in Brisbane, holding regular classes spreading joy through dance. I speak with it’s co-founder Neridah Waters about the inspiration behind Common People Dance Project, their community dance classes and spectacular Rock Eisteddfod. 

 

 

Firstly, can you please tell the Boom Community a little about yourself? 

My name is Neridah Waters. I'm a choreographer, performer and theatre maker. I've toured my shows to arts festivals both nationally and internationally. I slowed down on touring when I had my boy and then started a fun, ironic Rock Eisteddfod in South East Queensland, for people of all ages and all abilities, called Common People Dance Eisteddfod. 

What is Common People Dance Project? 

Common People Dance Project is the name of my business, which I started with my friend Fez Fa'anana back in 2009. We began running flashmobs and big dance projects together at arts festivals around Australia and overseas. Fez got very busy with his burlesque company Briefs Factory International so I run the company in Brisbane. I run regular dance classes in Brisbane and dance workshops or performance projects at events, weddings and festivals around the country and overseas. Common People Dance Project welcomes people of all ages and all abilities with no previous dance experience necessary. In the past we’ve attracted whole families, ex-professional dancers, people that that have never danced before, pregnant women, seniors, people with disabilities, non english speaking students, a security guard and his dog and really anyone who just wants to learn fun dance choreography with a group of people and not feel self conscious. We draw on a variety of dance styles, teaching choreographic moves to the best songs ever.

What inspired you to start this group? 

What inspired me to start up the Common People Dance Eisteddfod was to give everyone the joy and thrill of being on stage, under lights, in a fabulous sequinned costume, dancing in synchronicity with a group of people to a banging 80's/90's song. 

Does it bring you lots of joy seeing people from all ages and walks of life coming together and dancing? 

After all the shows I've been in and touring them about, my favourite thing to do is to bring people together and help them escape into a magical world of dance and be the facilitator of a really good time. Seeing people happy and receiving so much feedback from people about how this project and the classes have made them feel happy and feel like they have a community that they belong too, brings me so much joy. 

 

 

At what age did you start dancing and was there someone or something that encouraged you to? 

I started taking dance classes at 5 years old. I read a book about a girl doing ballet classes and being in her end of year concert on stage. THis inspired me to take classes. But my brother and I along with the kids in the street use to hold neighbourhood concerts every year with dancing, jokes, magic acts, a play etc. So I've always loved bringing the local community together to tell stories and put on a show. 

You’re coming to the Sunshine Coast as part of the Horizon Festival, and bringing your Rock Eisteddfod Dance Classes (which I’m very excited to be doing!!) What’s the concept behind these classes and can anyone take part? 

26 years ago, I auditioned for my school rock eisteddfod and got rejected. To this day I carry the bitterness in my polyester puffed sleeves. So I decided to make my own rock eisteddfod team, but with adults (...and kids if they want to join in....and babies in carriers). The team was very popular in Brisbane so I made another team and then another 2 teams, so there were 4 across Brisbane. I then built my own competition for the 4 teams and held it at Brisbane Festival and now this year it has grown to the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. The teams are made up of people of all ages and all abilities, so absolutely anyone is welcome to take part in this fun dance project. The teams can cheat, they can bribe the judges and they can sabotage the other teams all for the chance to win a giant craptastic trophy made out of reverse garbage gold. The competition part is completely ironic. It's really a giant joyful and hilarious community dance project.  

I heard there’s going to be a ‘Rock Eisteddfod’ battle on the horizon… Who will be taking place in this battle and where/when is it if people would like to come watch? 

Yes, we are holding the Eisteddfod at the Horizon Festival this year. There will be a battle between two Sunshine Coast Teams and the Brisbane All-Stars. It is going to be held in the Wonderland Spiegeltent in Maroochydore on the 4th of September. 

Any ‘must see’ shows you’d recommend our Sunny Coast community to go see at Horizon Fest? 

I would highly recommend seeing my friend Fez Fa'anana's show Club Briefs which will also be in the Wonderland Spiegeltent as part of the Horizon Festival 

 

 

Do you have any other projects in the making that you’d like to tell us about? 

Yes I do. I'm in a show called 'Boyle and Waters in LEOTARD' It is going to be on in December at Metro Arts in Brisbane. You can find out more and buy your tickets HERE!

Lastly, what does it mean to you to live a big beautiful life? 

I feel so lucky to have found something that I absolutely love doing and also know that it has such a great benefit to others too. To have found what I'm good at and can contribute to society, makes me feel like I'm living a big and beautiful life. 

🌺 🌼 🌺 🌼 🌺 🌼 🌺 🌼

Find out more about Common People Dance Project on their WEBSITE : and follow INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Neridah wears our colourful striped lurex Manhattan Fleetwood Top with the Spearmint Tully Pants and their contrasting boysenberry belt.

 

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