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Join the staff and volunteers of the Australian National Maritime Museum as our collection comes to life in the spirit of Museum Dance Off 2018. With a guest appearance from Sydney Heritage Fleet, come aboard our tall ships, below deck of the submarine HMAS Onslow, conga through our outdoor Containers exhibition and much more. Still: Kate Pentecost/ANMM.

Join the staff and volunteers of the Australian National Maritime Museum as our collection comes to life in the spirit of Museum Dance Off 2018. Still: Kate Pentecost/ANMM.

Museum Dance Off 2018

We are a passionate bunch here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. We preserve and bring to life Australia’s maritime history, through exhibitions, public programs and even this blog, but rarely do we use dance as our primary communication medium.

Until now…

Dancing around a world of museums

Museum Dance Off grew out of Maggie Guzowski’s popular blog When You Work at a Museum. Now in its fifth and final year, Museum Dance Off is an international competition which unities museums, galleries, archives and libraries together from around the world to showcase our collections, facilities and staff as well as our dance moves. This year there are 48 entries from dozens of countries and seven international finalists will face off in the Grand Final round, aka THUNDERDOME, next Monday/Tuesday.

Museum Dance Off was a unique opportunity for our staff and volunteers to share our passion for history – and hidden dance talents! The Last Dance was inspired by photographs in our collection featuring couples boogying on board ships. We wanted to bring the collection to life and share our enthusiasm for our magnificent vessels. What better way to do that than with Benny Goodman’s iconic Sing Sing Sing, which just makes you want to swing. From filming inside a spacious submarine, to dancing on the deck of the HMB Endeavour and even bringing out the big guns on HMAS Vampire, this project has been an adventure. Above all, Museum Dance Off encouraged our staff to collaborate together in an unexpected and wonderful way.

Crowning an Australian champion

May 7 and 8 was the Australian semi-final where we had a showdown with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) to represent Australia in THUNDERDOME. It was a tight round but NFSA went on to THUNDERDOME.

BUT all is not lost, as there is a bonus People’s Choice round for all the entries who didn’t make it to THUNDERDOME. Voting closes tonight, May 15, at 9:59 pm.

So you want to vote…

  1. Head over to
  2. Follow the link to cast your vote in the bonus People’s Choice round
  3. Tell someone that you have helped select the Australian representative for Museum Dance Off. Share our posts on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtags #MDO5 and #MuseumDanceOff. Create your own post with a link to Why not simply share this blog using the buttons below?
  4. Vote often

— Kate Pentecost, Digital Curator


Kate Pentecost

Kate Pentecost is the Digital Curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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