NAISDA Dance College has just celebrated the opening of Nhangara Barayi—a dancing ground linked to learning, community and storytelling.

The opening took place on Darkinjung country last Thursday at NAISDA’s Kariong campus on the NSW Central Coast.

NAISDA Dance College male Developing Artists perform at the launch of Nhangara Barayi – Photo by Lisa Haymes.

NAISDA’s chief executive Kim Walker said the college has been embedded on Darkinjung Land for over ten years.

“The words Nhangara Barayi have been respectfully gifted to NAISDA from the Darkinjung language.”

“They are a proud declaration of NAISDA’s connection and belonging to our creative home here on Darkinjung Country.”

“[Nhangara Barayi] is a place where our young people will come together to learn, share and celebrate the richness of our cultures through the powerful voice of dance, language and song,” said Mr Walker.

NAISDA’s Developing Artists and students from Darkinjung Barker College were the first community group invited to perform, in collaboration with Gavi Duncan from Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council.

NAISDA Dance College male Developing Artists perform at the launch of Nhangara Barayi – Photo by Lisa Haymes.

There will also performances and workshops at the space throughout NAIDOC week, but for those without tickets—it’s too late!

All performances are fully-booked, testament to NAISDA’s growing regional presence.

Mr Walker is confident Nhangara Barayi will further increase community engagement.

“It will inform the model for future gatherings, helping build ownership as a place of Aboriginal celebration and community congregation.”