Bishop Druitt College opens the Garra-Garraji Dance Studio

Wednesday, 04 Aug 2021

After more than two years in the making, Bishop Druitt College is pleased to open the doors to the Garra-Garraji Dance Studio to all students, whether they’re first time dancers or striving to become professional dancers. 

Named for the Gumbaynggirr word for ‘movement and dance’, this purpose-built facility has been developed with the most advanced technology in flooring, light and sound, and is a first for the Coffs Coast region. 

"We’re very proud of our newest resource, the Garra-Garraji Dance Studio,” said Nick Johnstone, Principal of Bishop Druitt College. "Whether it’s movement in PE or dance class, or through the high performance Dance Academy, this exciting resource, combined with our teaching and learning philosophies, will help our students to be the best that they can be." 

Unfortunately, the official opening, due for 16 July, was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, however The Right Reverend Dr Murray Harvey, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, David Ford, BDC Council Chair, and Omer Backley-Astrachan of Sydney Dance Company sent their well wishes remotely to the broader community of constituents who have not only been involved in the making of this wonderful facility, but to the BDC community who will get to benefit from this world-class resource. 

David Ford, Chair of the BDC Council, said: “It has taken a number of years in the making, and a lot of dreaming, and a lot of opportunities that we’ve looked forward to be able to offer our students in the future: A world-class facility for our students to add another string to their bow when they’re becoming world-prepared. 

BDC dance teacher, Hannah Johnstone said: “Already with the new space we’ve seen such an improvement in culture towards dance at the school. Having a specific space to run the dance courses allows us to reach new limits with dance.” 

Year 11 dance students in the Garra-Garraji Dance Studio

Year 11 student, Teo Ross: “It’s a safe space. The acoustics are amazing, and compared to other studios that I’ve been to, this amazing Tarkett (flooring) with the spring boards helps with jumping, turning and rolling. I’m used to dancing on wooden floors or a regular stage, but this floor moves with you, and supports you - it lifts you up and makes you jump higher and the rolls more comfortable.”

Year 5 student, Adelaide Robinson: “The dance studio is amazing, I love how when I go to do a roll I don’t smack my knees on it. 

Year 8 student, Jaela Hibbard: “The studio is amazing, with natural light and the floor is probably the best floor I’ve ever danced on…. Little kids in primary school will get to use this, and they’re very lucky!” 

We look forward to welcoming BDC families to the campus in the future to be able to view this wonderful facility first-hand.