The Northern Dance Network (NDN) has been supporting and advocating for dance for over 20 years. The beginnings of the network occurred in the late 1980s when a group of professional dancers and supporters of dance met to discuss issues related to dance. In November 1991, members of this group attended the Northern Regional Dance Forum to prepare for the seminal Flock House gathering, organized by QEII Arts Council, at Easter 1992. As a result of this meeting, DANZ became, in November 1993, the national body supporting dance in New Zealand.
However, NDN, one of four regional networks, continued to support dance in the northern region. In April 1993 NDN published the first edition of DanceNet, a newsletter edited by Briar Wilson and Sonja Bright. Over the next five years, five more editions of DanceNet were published.
In December 1998 NDN was officially incorporated as a society with Sonja Bright as President. Many projects and events were undertaken including Celebration of Performing Arts, the dance component of Parnell Festival of Roses, Chance to Dance days and in 2000 and 2001, the Auckland Dance Festival. This festival was so successful it was decided to form a separate Trust and was rebranded Tempo Dance Festival.
In late 2004 NDN affiliated with DANZ and redefined its mission which became “All kinds of dance for all kinds of people”. After an approach from dance educators frustrated at the lack of non-competitive opportunities for a maturing youth sector NDN established the Auckland Youth Dance Festival – later branded YouDance. The first of these was held in 2012 and was an instant success with participants from secondary schools and community youth dance companies. There have now been six wonderful YouDance events and these will continue www.youdance.co.nz
NDN is once again expanding its activities reaching out to the growing baby boomer generation by supporting SeniorsDANCE www.seniorsdance.nz and looking to establish a curated show of 65+ community dancers. Also in the planning stages is another Chance to Dance as part of NZ Dance Week 2018.
Performers on the dance stage at the Parnell Rose Festival.