Patrick Thaiday

With Bangarra Since:
Family Background:
Patrick is a descendant of King Kebisu of Tudu Island in the Central region of the Torres Strait Islands and Jamaica. Born in Biloela, his totem is the Kadal (saltwater crocodile).

Patrick moved to Sydney in 1999 to study dance at NAISDA Dance College (the National Aboriginal & Islander Skills Development Association) His initial meeting with Bangarra was performing alongside them and Christine Anu at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening & Closing Ceremonies. A highlight close to his heart while studying at NAISDA were the Cultural Residencies to Mer and Iama in the Torres Straits and Ngukurr in NT. Patrick completed a 6 week secondment with Leigh Warren and Dancers in 2001 before graduating.


In 2002 Bangarra offered Patrick a traineeship and he first appeared in Ash from Walkabout dancing alongside one of his biggest idols the late Russell Page to much acclaim. Patrick quickly became one of their leading soloists and went on to perform with Bangarra nationally and overseas touring throughout Europe, UK, China, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and the States. 


His final performance on stage with the company was in 2012 with the Australian Ballet Warumuk – In the Dark Night.  In April that year he returned to NAISDA as Creative Director & Choreographer for their End of Year Show Morning Star and had a movement Arts installation piece at ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People) The Rocks Project.


Bangarra approached Patrick again in 2013 to take up the role as Team Leader for their new Aboriginal Youth Dance Program Rekindling. Since then he’s been to 20 communities connecting with many Elders and youth sharing his knowledge and experience in dance which spans over 38 years.


2004 Australian Dance Awards - Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer for Unaipon


2006 Green Room Award - Best Male Dancer for Boomerang


2006 Deadly Award - Dancer of the Year


"Much of my inspiration and guidance is sourced from Elders and the youth of today. Retracing back through my grassroots to discover and learn more cultural intricacies from Elders and then fervently imparting that to young people is exhilarating." - Patrick Thaiday

There is a hallowed stillness about his dancing, as though the world and all its modern tumult is whirling around him and he has always been there, in that place, dancing these dances that are as much a part of him as his flesh and blood.

Juliet Burnett, The Australian Ballet, 2012