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"absolutely amazing! The  performers are truely captivating and tell such powerful messages..."


"Dance is such a powerful medium of expression and therapy. Love seeing Darwin supporting local artists"


SLIDE has been in existence since 2011 starting its journey at Darwin High School through Sarah Calver’s Creative Arts Dance program which Joanna mentored until 2017.


In total since 2011, close to 100 SLIDE dancers have chosen to study performing arts nationally and internationally, with 50 returning as mentors.


SLIDE work veraciously to impact NT youth and emerging artists creating educational dance theatre performances as Company in Residence at Darwin Entertainment Centre (DEC) since 2018. SLIDE’s professional performance opportunities provide an authentic performance company environment from process to stage in all formal and informal theatres at DEC. 


The work SLIDE does acts as a conduit filling the arts gap in the territory for local youth, emerging & graduate dancers and artists. Our niche is to provide on the job training for emerging artists and graduates, drawing people back to the territory, providing opportunities for young people, creating a natural cycle of leadership, mentorship and opportunity as well as safeguarding, building and valuing arts and developing future audiences. 


SLIDE’s 10 productions since 2018 acknowledge Darwin Entertainment Centre as our Creative Partner and that Darwin Entertainment Centre house SLIDE as Company in Residence. 


SLIDE’s shows have proven to be sell out seasons - attracting new audiences to Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin’s best equipped, state of the art theatre - in particular youth audiences.


SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre creates compelling youth dance theatre products that are operative, innovative, dynamic and respected.

We work in partnerships with the Darwin community and local businesses and government to create products that provide unparalleled learning and performance opportunities for Darwin young people to:

ENGAGE with professional and leading choreographic mentors and arts practitioners


EXCHANGE diverse creative ideas in the development and remounting of Youth informed performance work


EXPLORE choreographic mediums and


ENTERTAIN on a range of site specific and professional stages.


“Painful emotional and necessarily so. This production should be in every middle school in Australia..."

Artistic Director 


Joanna Noonan

Joanna is one of the many richly creative artists who call Darwin home and is the resident choreographer/director and driver of SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre.  As a long-term local artist and educator, she has created opportunities for young and emerging dance artists in the Northern Territory for years. Joanna received her dance and theatre training from Lili Vita and the Darwin School of Ballet.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Adelaide University, followed by her Masters in Choreography at Utah University in the United States - one of the top Modern Dance institutions in the world.  On completion of her Masters, Joanna opted to return to Darwin to perform, create and teach.


Along with Julia Quinn, she established the Juniper Tree Dance Company in 1991. Continuing with this focus, her youth initiative, SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre, created in collaboration with long-term educator and community dance artist, Sarah Calver and Quinn, is a creative venture that brings together dance with social activism and awareness.


Joanna has been a guest choreographer with Tracks and worked in Northern Territory schools’ programs of creative arts and dance. A pivotal educator at Sanderson High School, Casuarina Senior College and Essington International Senior School, Joanna now focuses her time as the Artistic Director of Darwin’s SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre.


Sarah Calver 

Julia Quinn

Sarah Calver; a Territory arts pioneer……

Sarah, over her lifetime, has shown a passion for, and been a constant provider of, dance arts advocacy in a myriad of ways. Her strong sense of community and artistic vision matched with her savvy business acumen has supported and driven her impact which has sustained the NT arts sector, seeing it flourish and grow.

Her influence can be seen in the work she has done with establishing Tracks and the Grey Panthers in their formative years, to the significant development of the Dance Department at Darwin High School to her instrumental leadership and work with SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre, and the establishment, nurturing and navigation of a tertiary education partnership with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

As a teacher, community creative consultant, mentor, advisor, community dance officer, director, administrator, performer and visionary community artist her involvement, leadership and engagement in education, community arts and dance sectors has made a difference and left an indelible footprint on our NT performing arts industry.

Sarah Calver…..our heartfelt thank you.

Dance artist and teacher, Julia Quinn, undertook her training as a dancer at Darwin School of Ballet.  Her time under the tutelage of 'Madame’ Lili Vita became the foundations of her own teaching approaches and fuelled her love of the art form.  She went on to study a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Adelaide University, under the leadership of David and Simi Roche. After graduating, Julia, along with resident Darwin choreographer Joanna Noonan, established the Juniper Tree Dance Company in 1981, a youth-focused dance collective.

In 1995 Julia travelled to the United States to undertake an Independent Study Program with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre in New York.  Since her return to Australia, she has strived to 'give back' to her community - a significant lesson learnt through her time with Lili.  She attained a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education through the Charles Darwin University and began her journey in dance via Northern Territory schools programs, studio teacher at Darwin School of Ballet, leading Ausdance workshops, Dance Animateur at Tracks, local performer (Sunameke, Tracks, SLIDE, Gary Lang), part time choreographer/mentor for SLIDE and long term position as Dance teacher at Darwin High School.

2020 has seen Julia take a step back from her role at Darwin High School and Darwin School of Ballet and a sea change move from Darwin to Perth.


The objectives for SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre projects are:

To create educational performing arts programs that Inspire, Inquire and Acquire

To implement youth-led educational development initiatives that address relevant critical youth based issues in a sensitive and thought provoking manner;


Provide platforms for further developing creative practice and

performance skills for local youth;


To create a bold and powerful new works created with young people for young people as the target audience.


Develop local solutions to local problems.


BRAVE Nominated for outstanding achievement in youth dance 2013 in the Australian Dance Awards

TIME Nominated for outstanding achievement in youth dance 2016 in the Australian Dance Awards

SECRETS Nominated for outstanding achievement in youth dance 2017 in the Australian Dance Awards

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