Meet Our Staff

Nalina Wait

Job Title
Dance Lecturer
Contact Details
Bachelor of Arts (Dance), West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (1996)
Honours (1st class), University of New South Wales (2012)
PhD candidate, University of New South Wales (current)

Staff Bio

Nalina Wait has worked as a professional dance artist for the past 20 years, performing nationally and internationally in works by Sue Healey (2002-present), Hans Van Den Broeck, Sydney Performance Group, Danceworks (Sandra Parker), Rosalind Crisp, Nikki Haywood, Lizzie Thomson, Joan Jonas, and Marina Abramović. The most recent accolade achieved was the 2016 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Sue Healey’s On View: Quintet (2015) that was presented both at Dance Massive, and Performance Space.

Nalina has also taught contemporary dance technique, composition, and improvisation in most of Sydney’s professional-level dance institutions including: UWS, NAISDA, SDC (pre-professional year and public classes), Ausdance, IDC, extensively at UNSW, and specialised HSC dance workshops based on a work she performed in, Sue Healey’s Fine Line (2003), which is included in the HSC dance syllabus.

Nalina’s choreographic credits include kyu (Performance Space, 2002), Sole (dance film 2003, screened in Minneapolis and Tel-Aviv), Instant (dance film 2006), 2DUAL (dance film, screened in Sydney Festival 2008), Dual (with Jane McKernan in LiveWorks Perfomance Space, 2008), Slow Riot (2010), Choreomania (Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2010), Never odd or even (2011) The Empty Centre (with James Brown, 2011), Phosphene (with Alister Spence, 2013), Pastafari (2015), and Wildlings (with Paea Leech and James Brown, dance film 2016).

Teaching Interests

Contemporary dance technique, composition, improvisation, and somatics.

Research Interests

Composition, improvisation, and somatic-based dance theory, with a particular interest in somatic intelligence, affect theory, and post-positivist philosophy.


Nalina’s current PhD research investigates the nexus of improvised performance practice and composition, with a particularly thorough examination of how somatic intelligence operates in improvised dance.


Her book chapter Conscious Embodiment is to be included in a volume on improvisation edited by Vida Midgelow (Middlesex University, London), to be published by Oxford University Press (OUP)
She has also collaborated with Dr Erin Brannigan on a book chapter Body-States and Competition, edited by Sherril Dodds (Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia) also to be published by OUP
She has authored several publications in RealTime Arts Magazine and Critical Dialogues

Conference Presentations

Centre de recherché sur les arts et le language (CRAL) at Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris (2015)
ASDA Sydney University (2015)
Improvisational Practices Symposium at Critical Path (2014)
Cultures of Change at UNSW (2013)
Residencies at Bundanon Trust (2016), Critical Path (2008, 2007, 2005), Ausdance (2006), Omeo Dance Studio (1998-2005)
International Residencies at Monty in Antwerp, Le Biennale Nationale de Danse Val-de-Marne and the CND in Paris, Tanzfabric in Berlin (2001)
Choreographic residencies at Critical Path with guest artists: Jonathan Burrows, Hans Van Den Broeck, Cordelia Beresford (ReelDance Mentorship), Wayne McGregor, Wim Vandekeybus, Thierry De May, Rosalind Crisp, Thomas Lehmen, Helen Herbertson and Ben Cobham, and Necera Belaza.

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