For this production, Dance Makers Collective sought advice from their dads, on how to make dance. ‘Dad dancing’ is much derided but ask a dancer’s father, “when is it ok to dance?” or “why bother dancing?” and the answers are not what you’d expect. Enter a world of secret solo dance practice, gender bending, philosophising and joyful experimentation. As contemporary dancers take their artform for a walk back through their family history, they investigate the cultural relevance of dance and its timeless ability to nurture collective experience.

Shortlisted for the 2017 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance.

Available for touring.



Presented by FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres, November 2016

Australian Tour

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, December 2021


Director Miranda Wheen 
Choreographers & Performers
Matt Cornell, Anya Mckee, Sophia Ndaba, Katina Olsen, Marnie Palomares, Melanie Palomares, Carl Sciberras, Miranda Wheen and Rosslyn Wythes
Composer Matt Cornell
Interview Composition Tim Roxburgh
Lighting Design Guy Harding

2021 Touring Cast Eliza Cooper, Issy Estrella, Emma Harrison, Romain Hassanin, Ella Havelka, Katina Olsen and Carl Sciberras


There’s a surfeit of inventive and jaw-dropping moments throughout the work and, to the ensemble’s considerable credit, they each flow seamlessly into one another and operate beyond the level of pure choreography. Lighting, sound, narrative and theme are employed with as much sophistication as any of the dancers’ physical vocabularies.

Matt O’Neill, Australian Stage

Rather than being a light-hearted surface-skate across embarrassing dad anecdotes, DADS ventures a subtle enquiry into male frailties. It challenges stereotypes of paternity and masculinity and exposes a charming vulnerability in older men. It also uncovers seams of Sydney’s social history and multicultural character, audible in the many accents and historical expositions evident in the soundtrack texts…DADS, as Dance Makers Collective’s tribute to their fathers, manages to link contemporary and social dance via a touching exploration of the parent-offspring relationship.

Tony Osbourne, RealTime