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They’ve got the moves

Dance troupe members Dui Cameron, Casey Macneil, Cat McIntyre and Ajanta Willert. image: Lou O’Brien


They’ve got the moves

Sunshine Coast dancers are heading down to the state capital to compete in a colourful – and not at all serious – dance competition as part of the Brisbane Festival.

Move over Madonna, Cher and Cyndi Lauper. There’s a post-millennium group of Sunshine Coast girls who just wanna have fun. By day, this group of women are navigating business plans, career moves and family relationships, but by night, well, they’re getting physical – with the Common People Dance Project.

These ladies get a kick out of far-out hair, big lipstick and fluoro leotards, and they’re about to shake their 1980s booty with a nostalgic, comedic dance-off routine on the South Bank Piazza at this month’s Brisbane Festival.

It’s their second chance to dance on stage after COVID put a halt to their performance at the Sunshine Coast’s annual Horizon Festival.

Dance troupe member and Sunshine Coast businesswoman Casey Macneil says she loves the tongue-in-cheek style, and the dance-off routine energises her competitive spirit.

Dance troupe creator Neridah Waters, an actor and international performance artist, says the weekly practise night is the one night of the week you get to be ridiculous – and that’s okay. “You’re 19 again and at a nightclub,” she laughs.

Ms Waters began the Common People Dance Project about three years ago in Brisbane. The underpinning ethos of this sparkling, brave and bold dance style is inclusiveness and fun.

“Everyone can dance,” Ms Waters says. “I take my hat off to the beautiful, elite dancers – but every move is the right move here.”

Additionally, a sad life event also fuelled the dance troupe’s creation.

“I missed out on getting into Rock Eisteddfod at school,” Ms Waters confesses.

The dance project has proved so successful, it has expanded from one small group to groups in the north, south, east and west side of Brisbane together with the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

Each of these troupes will be competing against each other in The Common People Dance Eisteddfod at the festival and their chances of success will be enhanced by the quality of bribes they tempt the judges with and how they use their wits to sabotage other teams.

Their efforts will be rewarded with a magnificent trophy carefully manufactured from much-loved recycled trophies.

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