Blasdale-Clarke, Heather. "Dance for early Australian convicts: Discovering a lost culture." Historical Dance 4, no. 4 (2022): 3-9.
The traditional areas of research for dance historians have typically focused on the elite forms of dance such as court dance and ballet. This occurred for many reasons, one of which was the availability of information, confining researchers to specific fields. With the explosion of resources on the internet, a wide variety of other areas have become open to research. Nowhere is this more evident than in exploring dance in early colonial Australia. The comparatively modern date for the foundation of the colony in 1788 has ensured that it has one of the best documented histories of any emerging nation. However, given the circumstances of its formation as a penal colony, it was assumed that dance would have no place in the lives of the convicts and “lower orders” who formed the bulk of the population. Recent research has identified a number of unusual and unexpected places where evidence about dance was recorded. This has uncovered a wealth of information in both England and Australia.