The glossary draws on the NSW syllabus glossaries, the glossaries developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, and the Macquarie Dictionary.
Aboriginal Peoples are the first peoples of Australia and are represented by more than 250 language groups, each associated with a particular Country or territory. Torres Strait Islander Peoples are represented by 5 major island groups, and are associated with island territories to the north of Australia’s Cape York which were annexed by Queensland in 1879.
An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is someone who:
- is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
- identifies as an Aboriginal person and/or Torres Strait Islander person, and
- is accepted as such by the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community(ies) in which they live.
A recognised dialect of English which is the first, or home language, of many Aboriginal people. It differs from other dialects of English, such as Standard Australian English, in systematic ways including sounds, grammar, words and their meanings, and language use. Aboriginal English is a powerful vehicle for the expression of Aboriginal identity. Aboriginal English is not a target language study option for NSW Aboriginal Languages syllabuses.
Texts that describe landscapes and directions of the tracks forged in lands, waters and skies by Creator Spirits during the Dreaming.
The process of generating movement that is symbolic, or changing movement from being representational to symbolic.
The extent to which a system, environment or object may be used irrespective of a user’s capabilities or abilities. For example, the use of assistive technologies (AT) to allow people with disability to use computer systems, or the use of icons in place of words to allow young children to use a system.
An aspect of safe dance practice. The relationship of the skeleton to the line of gravity and the base of support, which makes movement more efficient and reduces the chance of injury.
A device or system whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual's functioning and independence to facilitate participation and enhance overall wellbeing. This includes technologies specifically designed to meet an individual's needs, eg eye gaze technology, as well as more general technologies that can be used by anyone, eg speech-to-text applications. Assistive technology can also be referred to as inclusive technology.
An umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing. AAC can be unaided, such as gestures, body language and sign language, or aided such as pictures, symbols, objects or speech generating devices.
Working with others towards a shared goal, through a variety of modes of communication. This may be achieved using a range of technologies, tools and processes.
The ways people communicate and the communicative behaviours they use. Communication forms can be non-symbolic and/or symbolic. Non-symbolic forms include sounds, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements. Symbolic forms can be aided or non-aided. Aided forms of symbolic communication include objects, symbols, photographs and drawings. Aided forms can be digital. Non-aided forms of symbolic communication include formal gestures; speech; and signs, such as Key Word Sign.
The circumstances that influence creative works, practices, practitioners and audiences.
Accepted practices or features that help define textual forms, creative forms, styles and meaning.
To bring the body back to its normal physiological level after fast, vigorous exercise or activity by gradually slowing the pace of activity or by doing gentle exercises or stretches.
The protection provided to the creators of original works and makers of sound recordings and films, that offers a legal framework for the control and reproduction or transmission of their literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works.
Country is used to describe a specific area of a nation or clan including physical, linguistic and spiritual features. Aboriginal communities’ cultural associations with their Country may include or relate to languages, cultural practices, knowledge, songs, stories, art, paths, landforms, flora, fauna and minerals. These cultural associations may include custodial relationships with particular landscapes such as land, sea, sky, rivers as well as the intangible places associated with the Dreaming(s). Custodial relationships are extremely important in determining who may have the capacity to authentically speak for their Country.
Place is a space mapped out by physical or intangible boundaries that individuals or groups of Torres Strait Islander Peoples occupy and regard as their own. It is a space with varying degrees of spirituality.
The customs, habits, beliefs/spirituality, social organisation and ways of life that characterise different groups and communities. Cultural characteristics give a group or individual a sense of who they are and help them make sense of the world in which they live. Culture is a shared system but inherently diverse – there can be individual and group differences within cultures. Everyone has culture – it is a lens through which we see the world.
In Aboriginal communities, an individual charged with maintaining and passing on particular elements of cultural significance, eg language, stories, songs, rituals and imagery.
When referring to deaf people who belong to a linguistic and cultural minority known as the Deaf community, the 'D' may be capitalised in reference to the individual, the group, or the culture in order to accord respect and deference, for example, the Deaf community. When referring simply to audiological status or when cultural affiliation is not known, as in the case of a person with a hearing loss in general, the lowercase 'd', as in 'deaf' is the more common usage.
Training that physically prepares the body to dance. It is based on safe dance practices and anatomical principles to build strength, coordination and endurance.
A coherent organisation of phrases and sections driven by thematic considerations that create a unified whole.
A cultural identity for people with hearing loss who share a common culture and who usually have a shared sign language.
An umbrella term for any or all of the following components:
- impairments: challenges in body function or structure
- activity limitations: difficulties in executing activities
- participation restrictions: challenges an individual may experience in involvement in life situations. (World Health Organization)
Differences that exist within a group, for example, age, sex, gender, gender expression, sexuality, ethnicity, ability/disability, body shape and composition, culture, religion/spirituality, learning differences, socioeconomic background, values and experiences.
The Dreaming has different meanings for different Aboriginal groups. The Dreaming can be seen as the embodiment of Aboriginal creation which gives meaning to everything; the essence of Aboriginal beliefs about creation and spiritual and physical existence. It establishes the rules governing relationships between the people, the land and all things for Aboriginal Peoples. The Dreaming is linked to the past, the present and the future. Where appropriate, refer to Aboriginal names for the Dreaming.
The release of energy, weight and/or force over a period of time to create movement qualities.
The custodians of knowledge and lore. They are chosen and accepted by their own communities as people who have the permission to disclose cultural knowledge and beliefs. Recognised Elders are highly respected people within Aboriginal communities. Proper consultation with local Aboriginal communities will often direct schools to recognised Elders.
Space, time and dynamics.
The communication of ideas, images and emotions by the performer.
The first language(s) that a person learns to speak.
A process that begins with stimulus, idea and intent, and is developed through improvisation, abstraction, selection and refinement.
A category into which creative works are grouped based on similarities on style, purpose, structure and function.
Generate spontaneous movement in response to a stimulus.
An internationally recognised term for the first peoples of a land. In NSW the term Aboriginal person/Peoples is preferred.
Includes, but is not limited to, objects, sites, cultural knowledge, cultural expression and the arts, that have been transmitted or continue to be transmitted through generations as belonging to a particular Indigenous group or Indigenous people as a whole or their territory.
Non-material assets such as forms of cultural expression that belong to a particular individual or community. Intellectual property rights refer to the rights that the law grants to individuals for the protection of creative, intellectual, scientific and industrial activity, such as inventions.
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The purpose or message a choreographer or performer aims to communicate.
The individual dancer’s application of dance technique, kinaesthetic awareness and performance quality in order to communicate the choreographer’s intent in a dance work.
A communication strategy that incorporates signing with speech. It is used to support language development for people with communication difficulties. Although Key Word Sign uses a simplified form of manual signing, it is different to Auslan, as it is not a signed language.
Sensing or perceiving the body’s muscles, joints and tendons while in motion or while still.
A key aspect of Aboriginal cultures and values. It includes the importance of all relationships and of being related to and belonging to the land.
An Aboriginal community identified with a common language, both verbal and nonverbal, and with a particular territory. Used in preference to the term ‘tribe’.
The process and range of strategies for increasing knowledge and use of a language that is no longer spoken fluently across all generations in the context of language loss or language dispossession caused by colonisation. Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages are being revived through community initiatives, linguistic research and school programs. ‘Language revival’ may be used as an overarching term that could also include ‘reclamation’, ‘revitalisation’, ’renewal’ and ‘reawakening’.
A local Aboriginal community is constituted by those people who are Aboriginal and who reside in the near locality. Aboriginal communities will have a rich and diverse history that has been seriously affected by dispossession and relations, which sees families with spiritual connection to Country residing beside those who have been forced to move from other locations. The notion of locality is complex and multilayered: schools should seek advice from a range of people and/or organisations representing local interests.
A thematic device.
A distinctive, recognisable movement or pattern of movements that introduces and develops the idea and intent in a dance phrase and work.
Taking place away from Aboriginal land or Country of origin.
Taking place on Aboriginal land or Country of origin.
Each Aboriginal Language is recognised as belonging to a particular geographical area and thus to the people who can claim a connection to that area. Aboriginal community members acquire ownership of their language(s) at birth. Language proficiency is not essential for ownership.
The dancer’s skill in applying projection, focus, musicality, quality of line, kinaesthetic awareness, commitment and confidence in order to communicate the desired intent.
Individualised movements created in response to a stimulus or task that are free from misappropriation and communicate the intent.
The fundamental unit of structure in dance. It consists of a series of movements linked by thematic intent which has a beginning, middle and end.
The appropriate ways of behaving, communicating and showing respect for diversity of history and culture. This involves appreciation of the knowledge, standing and status of people within the local Aboriginal community and the school community. Protocols inevitably vary between communities, and between people within a community. In establishing a partnership between schools and Aboriginal communities, it is especially important that protocols are acknowledged and respected.
A term used commonly in NSW Aboriginal communities to refer to the way an individual treats others. Showing respect occurs in many ways, such as waiting to speak, listening and demonstrating understanding, not asking too many direct questions, ensuring that people are not made to feel uncomfortable or uneasy, and generally showing regard for others’ ideas, beliefs and culture.
A series of kinaesthetically linked dance movements not necessarily based on a compositional idea and intent.
Hand signs (or hand talk) used to supplement or replace oral language. Signs form part of nonverbal communication for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and may be used by people who are hearing, or d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sign Languages may be used in some areas. Some Sign Languages may be associated with sacred ceremonial practices.
The use of words, graphic designs and/or symbols used to communicate a message, eg information signs, plaques, warning signs, road signs, signs that show direction.
Refers to the space through which the body moves and includes the components of space: shape, level, direction, dimension, pathways, floor patterns, stage space and spatial relationships.
Part of the forming process in composition and choreography. There are 2 main parts; organising the movement; and organising the dance.
Related creative works and/or practices that share distinctive conventions and/or characteristics.
A type of assistive technology that enables people with cognitive and/or physical disability to access a range of devices, including computers and communication devices. Switches can be activated by touch, or triggered without contact, such as through eye gaze, sound or blowing.
The components of time including metre, rhythm, accent, tempo, duration and stillness.
Movements and/or movement phrases designed to raise the core body temperature and bring the mind into focus for the dance activities to follow.
Yarning circles are an important cultural practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to learn within the collective group. Knowledge and information are shared in harmony and respect with all individuals.