So many of us are missing being able to head out to a live performance—but none more than the performers themselves.
25 September 2020

Maddie Paluch is a graduate from NAISDA Dance College—Australia's premier Indigenous training college, which is one of the 8 national elite training organisations in the performing arts, supported by the Office for the Arts.

Until the COVID-19 shutdown, Maddie was working hard under the Russell Page Graduate Program—Professional Development Scholarship. This included 10 weeks with the Sydney Dance Company's Pre-Professional Year and an upcoming Internship with Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Like so many Australians, the shutdown has had an impact on Maddie.

'I have at times felt extremely drained and unmotivated, being in a time where the Arts industry has literally stopped and not knowing when that world will return or what it looks like when it does,' Maddie said.

'I have taken this time as an opportunity to focus on things I love, like spending more time with family, reading and building my knowledge around my family's history.'

The Wiradjuri woman, from Western Sydney, started dancing at 3 years of age.

'Almost everything I do is influenced by my passion for dance. It has shaped me as a person and it's what I turn to in any situation. It makes me feel free and connected to my culture.'

Maddie is keen to continue to develop her skills and work with inspiring people: '…almost every person I have come across has taught me something about myself'.

In addition to her scholarship with Bangarra and the Sydney Dance Company, Maddie has performed on a music video with performing artists Mi-Kaisha and Nooky and choreographed her first work 'Murriyan' that was performed at NAISDA End of Year Show 'Ngoenakap'.

'The most memorable experience was attending Cultural Residencies with NAISDA to Nyinyikay and Moa Island where I got to experience culture first hand,' Maddie said.

Maddie believes in the 'pass it along' principle and is keen to mentor other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

'My message would be to be proud of who you are. If you have a dream chase it and take every step along the way as a lesson to who you will become. Don't always just think about the destination but the journey it takes to get there.'