Black Joak are a fun and enthusiastic dance group who welcome people of all ages and genders. We practice weekly all year round and perform regularly throughout the year, especially during the spring and summer months. Anyone is welcome to join at any time.
Practice is on Thursday nights in Rhodes Sea Scout Hall (486 Concord Rd, Rhodes, NSW 2138). We start at 7.30pm and finish at 9.30pm. Wear comfortable shoes that will grip floorboards, and clothes that you can move freely in. Pants and shorts are better than skirts. Practices can vary from teaching a new dance from scratch, a close workshop of a particular style, or a “dress rehearsal” for an upcoming performance. Consistent attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.
The first Thursday of every month is normally a casual performance or busking set around Sydney. Please contact us if you’re thinking of coming.
The practice hall is an easy ten-minute walk from Rhodes Station. If you drive, the entrance is a short left turn lane immediately before the south end of the Ryde Bridge. There is free parking in front of the hall.
Membership is free. Our kit (costumes) bellpads and baldrics are available for purchased from the side for $100. Individual members source the rest of the kit. Members are covered by specialist dance insurance for accident and injury, and public liability insurance.
All performances are optional, but highly encouraged, not just because they are wonderful fun, but they also provide an income to the side which pays for our insurance, hall hire, and some weekends away. Individuals do not earn any money from performances.
We regularly dance around Sydney at events such as Festival of the Winds, Bondi, or casual visits to The Rocks or Newtown; we travel to folk festivals where we camp and perform over whole weekends perhaps five to six times a year. Once or twice a year we travel interstate for festivals, or to visit other morris sides.
While children are welcome, we are an adult group and we often perform in the evenings and at licensed venues. Black Joak is more suitable for older teenagers.
Musicians should have a basic understanding of their instrument, as we are not able to offer lessons to complete beginners. Musicians need to be able to play from memory, as they need to watch the dancers for cues.
Morris is a genuine community of friendly and enthusiastic oddballs, with strong links to interstate and overseas dancers and musicians. Joining a side keeps you fit, allows you to travel the country to wonderful music festivals and unique events, and is a fascinating way to participate in a living tradition stretching back hundreds of years.