Sidney Saltner

With Bangarra Since:
Family Background:
Sidney is from the Wulli Wulli people of Central Queensland and was born in Theodore, QLD

Sidney has over 26 years of performing and teaching experience and graduated from the National Aboriginal Skills Development Association (NAISDA) College in 1991.

While studying, Sidney undertook his apprenticeship with the Australian Dance Theatre and started to perform with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre The Company (AIDT). When he graduated he continued to perform with AIDT for 6 years, 3 of which he was Assistant Director. Sidney danced major roles in AIDT productions as well as collaborations with Side Track Theatre and Company B Belvoir.

Highlights of Sidney's performance career with Bangarra include: the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival; and collaborations with The Australian Ballet including Rites (1997& 1999) and Gathering (2006).

Sidney has been nominated for Best Male Dancer in the Australian Dance Awards and the Deadly Awards, and for a Mo Award. Throughout Sidney’s career he has performed and taught extensively throughout Australia and internationally in Asia, Canada, North and South America, UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The Courier Mail described Sidney’s dancing as ‘Beautifully sinuous, arching and undulating’.

In 2011 Sidney performed with the Australian Opera in La Traviata on Sydney Harbour, choreographed for the short film “He Say” by Leah Purcell and Performed at the Edinburgh Festival with Leigh Warren and Dancers.

In his current role as Youth Program Director, Sidney has been at the forefront in developing Bangarra’s own Youth Program Rekindling, which aims to inspiring the next generations of story tellers and future custodians of indigenous culture through dance. 


He has forged new mentoring partnerships within New South Wales and Queensland Public Schools, with huge success with the NSW Public Schools Aboriginal Dance Company.


He directed/ choreographed the Aboriginal Component for both the New South Wales School Spectacular and Creative Generations since 2012, as part of Bangarra’s partnerships with the New South Wales Education Department’s Arts Unit, and DET SER QLD and Creative Generations State schools Onstage QLD.


"What drives me and inspires me is the need for our culture to survive and be enriched. We spend so long on the protesting side, we forget about the teaching of our culture to the next generation, so creating an education platform for the next generation was important to me.  Through education we can change lives and opinions of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people." - Sidney Saltner 

Since joining Bangarra in 1997, Sidney has become one of Australia’s most loved dancers, recognised for his extraordinary artistic ability and passion for Indigenous dance.

Dance Australia, 2011