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Dancing on the Deck: A Maritime History of Dance

Apr 29, 2023, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Before the advent of air travel, the voyage to Australia was an experience shared by everyone.

Of all the activities on board ship, dancing was one of the most enjoyable. Given the perils, discomforts, fears and tedium of a long voyage, what better way to forget these worries than to dance. Enlightened captains used dance to keep the crew fit and healthy, knowing it helped to dispel feelings of discontent and the threat of mutiny.

The sailors hornpipe was required for all boys joining the navy, and became known as the national dance of England. Manuals for emigrant voyagers recommended dancing, as did surgeons on convict transports to Australia. Officer on ships visiting foreign ports staged elaborate balls. From forecastle frolics to festive balls, dancing on the deck has a rich and fascinating history.

Join Dr Heather Blasdale Clarke for an online exploration of the maritime history of dance - especially for International Dance Day on 29th April.

* The video will be launched at 4:00pm and will then be permanently available online.

Please find the link to the video below:

Dancing on the Deck: A maritime history of dance


Plan Your Visit


5 Dairy Farm Lane, Cedar Creek, Samford, Brisbane, Queensland, 4520


4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


(07) 3289 4708


Entry Fees

Free Event