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Australian Aishwaryas

Australian Aishwaryas is an interview project that gives some of Western Australia’s most experienced dance teachers a platform tell their stories. Representing cultures and styles of all kinds, from African Samba to flow arts, these dancers have different origins but share the same passion.

The title of this project refers to renowned Bollywood dancer Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Each of the dance teachers and leaders interviewed share discipline, skill, and perseverance. Despite their style, age, or gender, their contributions to the dance world deserve all the fame of the beloved dance icon, Aishwarya.

Thank you to our storytellers, Jen Nie Chong, Yamina Hofer, Nikki Irwin, Todd Annetts, Fiona Kranz, Sukhi Krishnan.

These stories were collected by Centre for Stories intern, Emily Siggs.

Sukhi Krishnan is the Artistic Director and head teacher at classical Indian dance school Saraswathi Mahavidhyalaya in Perth. She speaks to us about telling stories through dance, discipline, and spirituality.
Jen Nie Chong is a Chinese dance teacher at the Chung Wah Association in Northbridge, which will be celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. She describes the unique origins of the six main dance styles, props, Lion dancing, and how for many people, dance is a part of daily life.
Todd has been teaching ballroom dancing to kids for thirty years now. He speaks about getting more men to dance, teaching reluctant students, and the Wiggles.
Nikki Irwin teaches students from all walks of life. She speaks about her disability class, how politics has influenced bellydancing costumes and how our setbacks can sometimes be our greatest blessings.
Yamina Hofer is a fusion dancer who travels the world and mixes all the styles she learns, from ballet to flamenco to African samba. She speaks to us about Cape Verde, using dance to transcend her emotions and how she accidentally ended up performing at the Rio carnival.
Fiona is a fire spinner and flow artist. Starting her journey as a ballet dancer, she is now an emerging teacher. She speaks to us about growing through pain, learning new things and the danger and beauty of what she does.
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