The biennial Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF) provides young people a forum for healthy exchange and to begin their professional development. It provides an opportunity for young people to be mentored by a network of industry leaders in a supportive, non-competitive environment and to grow into the next generation of leaders. AYDF was formed to give youth dance practitioners an opportunity to connect with peers from other cities and towns. The Festival aims to also address some of the social issues faced by young people isolated by distance, population, regional and racial tensions.
Founded in 1996 by Ausdance National, was held in regional centres across Australia till 2017. In 2017, the festival was held in a capital city (Melbourne) for the first time and was remodelled to provide new opportunities for young people to access some of the finest dance experiences available in Australia. In 2019, AYDF went global with a participation from UK, Denmark, Singapore and India.