The Grey Panthers
Tracks believes in dance as a whole of life activity.
Giving voice to Territory culture means creating work for and about all Territorians. Seniors can often be overlooked for the ‘younger’ models, and yet they hold an enormous amount of valuable knowledge, wisdom and know-how. When it comes to maintaining, developing, and passing on culture to younger generations, the role of the senior is invaluable. With the largest per capita population of Indigenous Australians, some Northern Territory seniors have access to information held within one of the oldest living cultures in the world.
Tracks places great value on these people and creates performances that speak to and about this vital section of our community. We run training sessions, provide access to participation in mainstream events, promote activities widely, tour works, and generally provide an environment where the senior mover feels at home.
Dance is seen as a great activity for the senior. It maintains a level of health and fitness, assisting in counteracting many conditions that come with age and also helps to keep the brain sharp, providing this within a creative environment of socialisation.
The Grey Panthers
Tracks has a long term relationship with the Grey Panthers, begun in 1988 and continuing to the present. They explore what it means to be a part of the Aging Australian population and the role of the elder in contemporary Northern Territory Life. In October 2018 this group celebrated their 30th birthday.
A unique Northern Territory dance troupe, with participants predominantly over the age of 60. The Grey Panthers are ‘successful’, ‘productive’, ‘healthy’ and ‘positive’ role models for active ageing and life long learning. The group sets high expectations for themselves and constantly rise above them, enjoying their lives and living them to the fullest. Anything but flighty, this amazing group show us what happens when you commit to long term extended relationships and links into your community.
They perform regularly for special one-off events, usually charitable, and especially for older adult, and health specific organisations such as the Arthritis Foundation, University of the Third Age, and Rotary and Lions Clubs, and the Anti-Cancer Foundation, Biggest Morning Tea, and Council of the Aging (COTA). They are regular performers as part of Darwin’s arts and cultural calendar, including the very popular Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award They are also regularly used to act as Seniors in television advertising. They have been seen in Darwin, Batchelor, Adelaide River, Katherine, and Alice Springs.
Together they have written, designed and performed in Grey Panther specific shows, as well as been guest performers for Track’s major performances making a major contribution to the company’s body of work.
In 2018 the reach of the Grey Panthers extended rurally and a chapter of the Grey Panthers was started in the Coomalie region, led by Darryl Butler - Grey Panther, Tracks performer, and alumnus of our choreographic program.
In 2019, a feature length documentary by Nicolas Rowe, Dancing7Cities released featuring the Grey Panthers. The documentary takes you on a journey through seven cities to explore how very diverse dancers respond to their urban landscapes. Watch the trailer.
For more information about their past performances click here.
Darwin: They currently meet every Friday, 9.30-11am, at the Tracks Dance Studio - Ground Floor, Harbour View Plaza, 8 McMinn St, Darwin. Sometimes classes go longer if a special performance is looming. For more information contact Tracks office on 08 8941 1410
Coomalie Region: classes run each Tuesday 1-2.30pm - Batchelor Tavern. For more information contact Darryl on 08 8976 0160
“It’s better than taking a pill…” - Glad Morris, a founding member
Participants (1988 – 2023)
Adie Bruce (dec), Anne Newman, Anne Carrick, Annette Haitana (Coomalie), Antonietta Vanzella, Audrey Gorring (dec), Audrey Svara, Pamela Trotman, Barb Quinlan, Barbara Chung, Barbara Pollock, Barby Barkly, Barry Thomson, Beryl Darben, Bette Chapman (dec), Bev Paget, Bobbie Johnstone, Carmel Alderson, Carolyn Bursa, Cherrian Eecan, Chris Parker (dec), Christina Honan, Christine MacKinnon, Colleen Orr, Connie Vlastuin, Crena Hemmings, Darryl Butler, David Turbayne, Delicia Cooke, Denice Grecian-Wright (Coomalie), Di Koser, Diana Rickard (Coomalie), Diane Dibbins, Diane Lucas, Dianne Mount, Dorothy Mclorras, Dottie Dabin, Elaine Marlow, Eleanor Scott, Ellen Hankin, Elsie Thompson, Eve White, Filomena De Castro, Francisca Kleinebeck, Frida Staats, Gail Flack (Coomalie), Gail Morris, Glad Morris (dec), Greta Quong, Gwen Varney, Hanna Stamm, Heather Hyde, Heather Keighley, Helen Mannion-Esparon, Helen Murphy, Hilary Bassett, Idalia De Sousa, Inger Andersson, Jacqui Murray, Jacquie Williams (dec), Jan Blackburn, Jan Hastings, Jan Hills (Coomalie), Jan Jewell, Jan Powick (Coomalie), Janet Farnell, Janine Sutter, Janis Lewis, Jean Dempsey, Jean Young Smith, Jenni Sanderson, Jo Davis, Jo Parish, Joan Fensom, Joan Worth, Jocelyn Perkins, Josephine Brine, Joy Soullier, Joyce Tickell, Judi Samuels, Judith Allen, Judy Markwell, Judy Mckerr, Julie Dowson, Julie Mastin, Julie Pudney, Kath Baldwin (dec), Kathleen Harding, Kathleen Elliot, Kathy Herlihy, Kay Brown, Lendell Fyson, Leslie Piper, Lila Prochazka, Lillian Mann, Linda Fields, Linda Mansour, Liz Gammon, Lois Penman, Lucy Aylett (dec), Marg Lee, Margaret Glowacki, Margaret Monteiro, Margaret Wight, Marge Duminski, Maria Vlastuin, Marie Porter, Marj Baxter, Marjorie Reynolds, MaryAnn Hinton, Mary Jane Overall, Maureen Roberts (Coomalie), Mavis Waddell, Maxine Atkinson, Nanette Gillies (Coomalie), Nikki Charlesworth-Canning, Noelene Trinne, Nora Francis, Norma Young, Pamela Sims, Pam Smith, Pat Simmonds (Coomalie), Pat Townsend, Patricia O'Neill, Patricia Vipond (Coomalie), Penny McIntyre, Prue King (Coomalie), Punny Vegter (dec), Renate Hubel (Coomalie), Robert McDonough, Rose Phillips (Coomalie), Rosemary Findlay, Roslyn Henry, Ruth Blandy, Ruth McMartin (Coomalie), Sara Bagley, Shirley Somers (dec), Soo May Cheng, Sue Mornane (Coomalie), Susan Pattiselanno, Terri Brown (Coomalie), Toni Vine-Bromley, Trish Greenfield, Val Clark, Val Hristova, Vilaisan Campbell, Von Hill, Wendy James, Willis Gerrig, Yvonne McDonnell, Zenaida Ballesteros
Program Leaders (1988 – 2023)
Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Julia Quinn, Joanna Noonan, Merrilee Mills, Jess Devereux, Kelly Beneforti, and Darryl Butler (Coomalie).
Guest Artists (1988 – 2023)
Anja Tait, Betchay Mondragon, Beth Shelton, Bryn Wackett, Claire Kilgarrif, Emma Porteus, Esther Woolnough, Gail Evans, Gary Lang, Jess Devereux, Jayachandran, Jenelle Saunders, Jenine MacKay, Joanna Noonan, Jordan Bretherton, Julia Quinn, Karen Manton, Karyn Sassella, Madeleine Brown, Marie Trewin, Maggi Phillips, Merrilee Mills, Paia Ingram, Renate Marek, Tim Newth, Trevor Patrick, Trix Mallooly, Warrant Officer Peter Clark, and Yoris Wilson. Sydney Dance Company and Australian Ballet. Also the Arafura Ensemble as live musicians.