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Dancing For The Common People

Story: Brooke Jacobson
Published On : Oct 25, 2023
Dancing For The Common People
If you remember the halcyon days of the Rock Eisteddfod in the 80s and 90s, a winning group of dancers in the 4017 are your kind of people.

The Northside Side group recently took out top honours in the Common People Dance Eisteddfod as part of the Brisbane Festival.

It’s the second time the team has won in the five-year history of the event.

Group founder, Neridah Waters, said the idea came from wanting everyone – no matter their level of experience – to enjoy being on stage.

“I was a theatre-based performer, and when I had my son, who is now seven, I stopped touring with performances and we moved to Sandgate,” she said.

“I wanted other people to be able to experience that adrenaline of being on stage, being in costume, but without necessarily having any experience in that area.

“There was an element of being able to let loose as well, and just embrace having fun. And it was really inspired by that 80s and 90s Rock Eisteddfod kind of vibe.”

Nashville mum Tamara Hutson is one of the group’s most enthusiastic members.

“What I love about this whole thing is that it’s very body positive, it’s very diverse, we have kids aged three or four, all the way up to our oldest dancer is 87,” she said.

“It’s a good stress relief, and Neridah’s comic timing is just spot on.”

The Northside Side’s performance for the Eisteddfod was a hilarious and moving story of the rise and fall of the Toombul Shopping Centre.

“We had giant credit cards symbolising the 80s with the song Material Girl, and then we had O Fortuna for when the floods came – and there have been many at Toombul – and we finished with Love You Brisbane,” Neridah said.

“We made them laugh, and we made them cry as well!”

Tamara added the audience loved the storytelling aspect of the performance.

“I was really convinced that Westside were going to beat us this year, they’re better dancers, but I think ours had a story and it took you somewhere – honestly people were laughing and crying in the audience,” she said.

If you’re interested in joining the fun, The Common People Dance Project runs classes and workshops throughout the year, as well as taking part in events like the Brisbane Festival.

For more information head to their website: www.commonpeopledanceprojec...