Journey through the South Pacific – Desert Paradise


Desert Paradise is a South Pacific Island dance school based in Mparntwe / Alice Springs. Desert Paradise teach dances from across the South Pacific to celebrate all forms of island culture, while always paying respect to the Arrernte country they call home. They work with students aged from 4 years through to adults and across a range of diverse backgrounds; Aboriginal, Fijian, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Maori and Tuvaluan. Their teachers collaborate each term to share their unique knowledge and culture through dance and drumming.   

Desert Paradise pride themselves on having live drummers to accompany their performances. Their drummers come from diverse backgrounds, including Africa, the Cook Islands, Aotearoa, Samoa and Tonga.     

Their students love to learn about Pacific Island culture, and they are a fantastic representation of the rich young talent Alice Springs has to offer.  

Development Process 

Desert Paradise wanted to produce a concert to celebrate island culture, through dance and drumming, but they didn’t have the resources or experience to make it happen on their own. Through support from Project Seed, they were able to pay teachers to undertake hours of rehearsals and ensure all their dancers and drummers had great costumes and other support to go on stage.   

Desert Paradise has many groups for different ages and genders, and they also have a drumming collective. Each of these groups met weekly at Red Hot Arts Central Australia to choreograph, plan and rehearse for the concert.   


Over 260 people came to see the final show, Journey through the South Pacific.   

Audiences were given a tour by actors and film through the different Islands of the South Pacific. At each stop, the video would give some information about the geography, history and culture of the islands, and then the groups would perform traditional dances from that particular island.   

The cross-cultural nature of the show and the multiple cultural identities of the performers was inspiring to audiences.Their program for the Desert Festival included performances from Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Cook Islands.   


  • Tomi Ngauma, Co-Founder of Desert Paradise 

  • Performers from Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Cook Islands 

  • Drummers from diverse backgrounds including Africa, the Cook Islands, Aotearoa, Samoa and Tonga 

Check out Desert Paradise on Facebook