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Fresh Funk’s Avatar show, Erindale Theatre 2019. Photo: Martin Ollman.

Fresh Funk offers a style of dance that is suitable for all ages and body-types. Participants build co-ordination, positive body image, self-esteem, strength, stamina, flexibility, fitness, discipline, team-work and performance skills.

Our dancers do not only participate in classes and performances, they work together and support each other. They learn to accept each other’s differences and come together to dance in a non-competitive, non-judgemental environment.

When people join Fresh Funk they become part of a large family of participants and supporters. The older dancers influence and inspire the younger dancers, and vice versa. This nurturing and positive environment is particularly important for participants in their teenage years.

The overwhelming majority of dancers remain involved with the program for many years. Fresh Funk proudly boasts on-going participation as members transition through their teenage years, defying the trends of most other sports and cultural activities, which show this age group often avoiding physical activity and disconnecting from peers.

Fresh Funk is most popular with teenagers, for guys as well as girls. The program has the largest body of male dancers in Canberra. With a junior, senior and master level program for guys, 50–60 boys and young men participate on a weekly basis.

A dance program with a difference

Fresh Funk is part of the Tuggeranong Community Arts Association, a community-based not-for-profit organisation with a 25 year history. Our focus is to encourage and foster arts and cultural development in Tuggeranong and beyond.

Dance continues to play a central role in the cultural life of our community. Running a program that brings together people from such a variety of backgrounds and ages remains a strategic priority for the Arts Centre.

Prices are stable and competitive. Fresh Funk classes and shows do not require specific costumes or other financial out-lays, making it an affordable physical and cultural activity that is suitable for all families.

Success stories

Sam Young-Wright, Sydney Dance Company

Sam Young-Wright began dancing with Fresh Funk when he was 11 years old. His skill and passion were evident early on and he began training in other complementary styles such as contemporary and ballet, with goals of becoming a professional dancer.

After college, Sam was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for a dance degree. In 2014, Sam was named part of the Sydney Dance Company. After 5 years, he is now a professional choreographer and dancer in Germany, touring the world regularly. An amazing performer, Sam has been told his hip-hop dance skills gave him an ‘edge’ when it came to auditions. ‘Fresh Funk was such a great start for me,’ Sam says. ‘It is where I realized that dance was more than a hobby, it was my passion and could become my career.’

David McLean, Dream Dance Company

Fresh Funk dancer and tutor David McLean won a major competition in 2014 that took him to Los Angeles. Dave was selected to join the crew of one of the world’s leading urban choreographers, Rob Rich.

He received an all-expenses paid trip to travel and work with the Richboyz crew, doing intensive training with some of the world’s top choreographers.

Up against hundreds of other dancers competing from around the globe, Dave’s win demonstrates the world-class quality of performers coming out of the Fresh Funk program.

‘I would never be where I am without the opportunities and experiences Fresh Funk has given me,’ Dave says. ‘It has provided me with the best possible platform for dancing and is an amazing support base for me, personally.’

The last year has been an extremely tough year for my daughter, dealing with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. Fresh Funk is what keeps her going. It is why she gets up, knowing that at the end of the day she has something to look forward to. I know that it wouldn’t be the same environment at other dance studios. The Fresh Funk tutors do more than just teach kids how to dance and be confident. For my daughter they are literally a life-line. I am so grateful.

Fresh Funk parent, Kathy

I absolutely love being a part of the Fresh Funk family. Everyone is so supportive and loving. We push each other to be better and stronger. The tutors and the overall environment has so much to offer. The shows are such great experiences. They have really helped me to come out of my shell and taught me so much.

Fresh Funk participant, Carly

Being a part of the Fresh Funk student body and tutor team has allowed me to express myself honestly and creatively.
The Tuggeranong Arts Centre is a safe place, free from judgement, and the Fresh Funk program promotes and encourages those traits within all of us, that may not be considered the social norm—Fresh Funk nurtures individuality. Through dance we explore social issues affecting youth everywhere, the most important ones being self-confidence and self-respect.

Fresh Funk tutor, David