Melting pot of cultures at Kenna Hall

READY TO DANCE: Megan Stedman, Helen Croke, Grace Pereira, Charlie Willis, Saxon Hill, Melody Stedman-Hill, Nicholas Stedman and Vince Lovecchio. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

READY TO DANCE: Megan Stedman, Helen Croke, Grace Pereira, Charlie Willis, Saxon Hill, Melody Stedman-Hill, Nicholas Stedman and Vince Lovecchio. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

ABOUT 200 people of more than 20 cultural backgrounds are expected to converge on Kenna Hall on Saturday for Beat Around the Bush, a multicultural bush dance.

Run by Orange Culture Hub as part of the Orange Youth Arts Festival, the event will showcase bush band November Shorn, Bollywood dancers Little Jingles, hip hop from Central West Performing Arts and African drumming.

Culture hub president Grace Pereira said the event was about fun and connecting people from Australia and as far as Brazil, Iran and Croatia.

“It introduces people to Australian culture and Australian bush dancing – people come here due to not good circumstances and we’re telling them, ‘we accept you, enjoy and come have fun with us’,” she said.

“For people don’t have friends, when they come to functions, they’re telling stories, they’re partying and they open up.”

Mrs Pereira believed Orange residents were not fully aware of how culturally diverse it was.

“You might know me, I might know you, but you might not know my story or why I’m here,” she said.

“We’re just a melting pot of cultures.”

Event admission is free and light refreshments will be provided, however people are encouraged to come in their national dress and bring a plate of food.

“We come for the food mainly I think – it’s something we can’t go without,” Mrs Pereira said with a laugh.

Festivities start at 5pm.

The bush dance has been sponsored by the Sally Foundation, which promotes youth activities.

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