Presented by Ausdance Victoria, in partnership with Youth Dance Australia, international and National Youth dance companies will participate in a five-day exchange, creativity, performance and training in Melbourne. The week will culminate with public performances across two nights, showcasing the skill, innovation and creativity of the youth dancers.

Artistic Director: Alice Lee Holland
Associate AD: Adam Wheeler

Driven by Youth Dance Australia (YDA) in partnership with Ausdance Victoria

AYDF – International Festival (7 – 12 July 2019)

International and National Youth dance companies will participate in five days of exchange, creativity, performance and training in Melbourne. 

The festival will feature professional development, creative workshops, taster sessions and performances.

Youth dance companies attending AYDF are invited to propose a newly created ten-minute work for presentation at AYDF for an International Youth Dance Showcase.

Applications open: Friday 20 July 2018
Applications close: Monday 20 August 2018
Notification: Monday 10 September 2018

AYDF will also include a specific program for professional artists and arts leaders to look at ways to innovate and build the capacity of the youth dance sector, nationally and internationally – a facilitated Think Tank – a two-day program for artistic and administrative arts leaders to look at ways to develop practice, innovation, connection and sustainability.

International Exchange (30 June – 6 July 2019)

Australian youth dance organisations will host an International youth dance ensemble in their home town for one week prior to AYDF.

This incredible cultural and choreographic collaboration will focus on sharing/exchanging ideas and choreographic practices, culminating in a short performance outcome to be showcased at AYDF in Melbourne.

This exchange program forges a foundation for future exchanges and collaboration with companies and leaders in youth dance, as well as bringing young people together, providing a deep global connection.

EOIs Open: Monday 10 August 2018
EOIs Close: Monday 24 September 2018
Notification: Friday 19 October 2018


Are you an Australian youth dance company interested in the exchange residency program as a host? Or an international youth dance company keen on collaborating with an Australian youth dance company? Get in touch with Sasha Leong (Project Manager/Producer AYDF2019).


Stay in the loop on updates and announcement of limited Earlybird registrations:

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The Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF) is the nation’s first dance-specific festival for youth.

In 1996, Ausdance National identified a major gap in the networking of youth dance practitioners and young artists. Many young people were already expressing themselves through dance in unique and creative ways. However, in a country this size, there was virtually no contact with their peers with similar interests in other cities and towns. By initiating a youth dance festival, Ausdance also hoped to address some of the social issues faced by young people isolated by distance, population, regional and racial tensions. Creative art is a common support and channel of expression for young people; dance being one of the mediums. Through AYDF, we aim to provide young people a forum for healthy exchange and to begin their professional development.

AYDF aims to:

  • Empower and engage young people through creative arts/dance
  • Encourage participation and learning, and to provide young people skill-up opportunities to be the next generation of creators
  • Enable young people to network and form relationships with their future colleagues
  • Connect young people with their peers and provide them the opportunity to create with the same generation of people who  share similar interests
  • Allow young people to be mentored by a network of industry leaders in a supportive, non-competitive environment, to be the  next generation of leaders
  • Continue shining a light on the vibrant and diverse youth dance sector in Australia


Previous Australian Youth Dance Festivals

Ausdance National devised and produced the first four festivals held in Darwin, NT (1997), Townsville, QLD (1999), and Armidale, NSW (2001 and 2004).
In 2006, Ausdance Victoria hosted the festival in Horsham, VIC
In 2009, Ausdance WA presented the festival in Mandurah, WA. 
In 2012, Ausdance NSW hosted the festival in Gosford, NSW.
In 2014, Ausdance SA presented the festival in Renmark, SA.
In 2017, Ausdance Vic hosted the festival for the first time in a major city, Melbourne VIC.

Read about previous AYDFs here



Are you a young professional or graduate looking for a professional development opportunity? Or do you have a passion for dance and would like to be involved in AYDF2019? Ausdance Victoria will be seeking individuals for the following:

We will be releasing more information about both positions next year, so stay tuned or follow us on social media.