Who We Are
We represent a team of highly skilled, versatile dancers and arts practitioners who perform and teach with knowledge and respect for the roots and culture of the dance we practice. Our team has years of experience in their respective dance forms. Some members originate from where the dance forms were created, while others have trained over many years with the dance creators in the communities of origin.
bring our team to your community
What we Do
- Dance programs for all ages and levels
- Dance fitness, Tantric Hatha Yoga practice and Dance Movement Therapy
- Private sessions in dance, yoga, and/or movement therapy
- School incursion & community outreach
- Entertainment services & live performance
- Choreography, casting, creative consultation
- Events & Cultural dance tours
- Mentorship & community arts projects
The dance forms we practice include Jamaican Dancehall, Afro Fusion and various Hip Hop dance forms. We acknowledge and inform our students and audiences about the roots and culture behind the dances we practice. We see our ability to learn and share these dance forms as a privilege and one that must always be done with respect.
How we do it
Jungle City is a leader in community focused dance practice, offering an alternative to the mainstream, centring our practice around cultural and social dance forms that stem from African roots.
We believe these dance forms offer the tools that go beyond just artistic expression and performance to also support our mental health and wellbeing, improve our social connections, initiate personal, collective and spiritual growth, and have the power to create positive social change.
How It Started
Jungle City sprouted its roots in 2005 with a vision of social change through dance, music and culture for culturally diverse young people in Melbourne’s west. Founder Cat Sweeney grew up as a second-generation Greek Cypriot/Irish in multi-cultural St Albans, and often witnessed social inequality, and discrimination inflicted on her peers. This, along with her own personal experiences overcoming challenges through Hip Hop and Dancehall culture, led her on a life-long journey creating communities around these sub-cultures.
Since its incarnation Jungle City has transformed from a Hip Hop youth program at Footscray Community Art Centre created by original members Cat, and Salamawit Mekonen, to a multicultural female youth dance crew supported by FCAC and Maribyrnong City Council. Then it became an all-female dance team for diverse young adults, and from 2015 – 2020 became a physical space on Hope Street in Brunswick.
After a number of nomadic years since losing the original studio space to the Victorian lockdowns, Jungle City rises like a Phoenix to create space for our existing community and for the next generation to flourish.
Our new chapter brings us to Preston, on Wurundjeri Country and a re-structuring of management to ensure the longevity and prosperity of our creative community. In 2024 as we open the doors to Jungle City – Create space at 3/350 Murray Rd, Preston we also welcome our new team of owner/directors Chuby Dice and Lerato Masiyane along side Cat Sweeney who will collaboratively direct the new era of Jungle City.
To find out more about our Company Directors check out their profiles here (include link to staff profile page)
Jungle City alumni:
Alumni of Jungle City’s projects include many young artists, dancers, models, actors, and filmmakers making waves today including; Rap artist P-Unique @itsmequeen.p, Super model Winnie @winnniy, Filmmaker Ezeldin Deng @ez_eldin_deng, Filmmaker Kim Summer @mills_and_boom, Dancehall King of Australia 2016 Wizdom @wizdomdancer, Film director Awak Rech Kongor @awak_k, and Fashion designer Maima @maima_o just to name a few.
Be part of our community? Get started!
Jungle City acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional custodians of the land of which we have the privilege to dance on in Naarm (Melbourne), and all First Nations people whose lands we have danced and performed on, or may do so in the future. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded. We pledge our commitment to ‘pay the rent’ to Aboriginal people in Victoria by contributing 1% of our monthly profits to https://paytherent.net.au/
We also acknowledge the creators of the dance forms we practice – past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that our ability to practice their dances is a privilege that we endeavour to do with respect and reciprocity to the creators and their communities.
Jungle City is committed to working toward unity, and honouring our diversity through the power of dance, music and culture”