Cathy Adamek

Ausdance ACT appoints new director, Dr Cathy Adamek

October 23, 2020

Dr Cathy Adamek has been appointed as Ausdance ACT’s new director after serving as chair of Ausdance SA while also juggling motherhood, performing and academia.   

Cathy has made a significant contribution to Australian dance, theatre, music, performing arts and film as a performer and producer and also through her research, writing and organisational leadership. She led the volunteer SA Board team to revive and reinvigorate the organisation to be on a firm footing and become highly valued by the dance sector. Now as director of Ausdance ACT, Cathy aims to bring about more touring pathways and performance opportunities to independent artists as well as shining a spotlight on the dance studio sector. 

“Coming from the independent dance sector, my aim is to really connect with the independent dance sector here in ACT. It is a small pool but a very committed group with diverse practice. I can bring a lot of my expertise in terms of programming and looking to employ independent dancers,” said Dr Adamek.

In 2019, she advocated for dance directly to state government, accelerating during the COVID outbreak, for the ‘Safe Return to Dance Guidelines’ to be accepted as a measure for the easing of restrictions for dance studios.

“I put the guidelines under the nose of the Premier who is also the Arts Minister. I was feeding him this information and slowly over time he started to refer to dance in his conferences. We certainly got movement on getting those class numbers up from 10 to 20. It raised the profile of the whole small business sector that was completely missed.”

Most recently, Cathy has been working on the aligned interdisciplinary health science research project with Dr Jeff Meiners, ‘How the creative process of dance teaching enables resilience and well-being across generations’. This project entailed the commissioning of 12 dance installations to be performed in the Royal Adelaide Hospital with the aim of discovering whether dance therapy was an effective method of instilling resilience. 

“We interviewed the dance leaders about how they filled their engagement with dance through their creative practice, which had in fact made them more resilient.”

Dr Cathy Adamek. Photo by Meaghan Coles.

Growing up, Cathy never knew a time where she was not dancing. Born from a Russian father and anglo-celtic mother, Cathy had an instinctive love for the performing arts.

“My parents both had a very strong love of ballet and music; it came from that Russian tradition where culture and the arts, music and ballet are very central,” Adamek said. 

She declined the opportunity to study at WAAPA due to injury and made the transition to acting. She attended NIDA for a year before she was accepted to Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. 

Cathy is renowned for her positive approach, excellent relations and track record of achievement with her peers and colleagues.  She will be moving from Adelaide to live in Canberra in mid-October to begin her new role.

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