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Dancers from 101Doll Squadron linked to Navy warship performance have 'ongoing' contract

The jaw dropping performance seven women put on to celebrate the unveiling of a brand new warship did not come as a shock to the Navy personnel who hired them.

Dancers from 101Doll Squadron are considered mainstays at local and cultural events within Sydney's inner city, having performed at NAIDOC events and the Wooloomoolivin' Festival.

The women were thrust into the spotlight after footage of their modern dance routine - which included twerking and hip thrusting - was published online.

They were performing at an event celebrating the reveal of the HMAS Supply. The guest list at the opening included Governor-General David Hurley and Defence Force chief Angus Campbell. 

Clever editing of the footage made it appear the highly esteemed guests were unimpressed with the performance, but a Defence spokesman later confirmed the dancers were scheduled before the dignitaries even arrived. 

Governor-General David Hurley (pictured wearing glasses) sat front and centre of the ceremony - but attended after the dance performance

Regardless, it wasn't the first time the troupe have performed in front of crew from the HMAS Supply.

Earlier this year, the troupe performed at a local community barbecue and basketball tournament which was held between crew from the ship and local youth.

Woolloomooloo and surrounding suburbs have a high indigenous population, and the Defence spokesman explained they commissioned the dancers as part of a plan to actively support local charities and community groups. 

In fact, a joint statement released by 101Doll Squadron explained the performance was 'one small part of a longer term partnering with the Navy' and hinted at future collaborations.

'[There are] pathway opportunities and ongoing programs,' the joint statement read. 

'We perform regularly at festivals, cultural, and community events including The Woolloomoolivin' Festival and NAIDOC locally. We're very popular with all age audiences attending and have never been the target of abuse or complaints. 

The dance troupe has shut down most of their social media channels in the wake of the backlash from the event, which has primarily been aimed at Defence rather than the individual women.

Earlier this year, the troupe performed at a local community barbecue and basketball tournament which was held between crew from the ship and local youth. Pictured, several members of Studio 101 after a different performance

But in a series of videos shared three years ago, some of the women showcased their talents to fast-paced songs - an early indication of what the troupe specialises in.

The women combine traditional moves with modern flare specialising in dancehall and hip hop. 

The dancers have since slammed the ABC for 'deceptively' editing footage which they say has resulted in them feeling 'threatened, exploited and unsafe'.  

'We found this very creepy and reflects more on the ABC's camera operator and their need to sexualise these women and their dance piece for their own gratification,' the group said in a statement.

The troupe - which is made up of indigenous and multi-racial members - said they did not intend to be disrespectful and insist the footage was taken out of context. 

They claim the captain and several crew from the ship contacted them early on Thursday to ensure they were coping okay in the wake of the backlash.

The dancers said the captain agreed they had been 'unfairly targeted'.    

Dancers from 101Doll Squadron are considered mainstays at local and cultural events within Sydney's inner city, having performed at NAIDOC events and the Wooloomoolivin' Festival

New Navy ship HMAS Supply has been launched by a group of scantily clad women twerking (pictured) in Sydney's Woolloomooloo 

A defence spokesman told Daily Mail Australia the dance was arranged to engage with the local community and preceded the formal part of the ceremony.  

'HMAS Supply and the Royal Australian Navy are committed to working with Australians from all backgrounds in actively supporting local charities and community groups,' the spokesman said. 

'The dance was performed prior to the commencement of the Commissioning formalities and prior to the arrival of His Excellency the Governor General, Chief of Navy and Commander Australian Fleet.'

The narrative that senior officials were at the event at the time and unsatisfied with the performance has been firmly denied.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for comment. 

ABC amended the article and later confirmed that dignitaries arrived 'minutes after' the dance performance ended, and were not in fact watching as it took place. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the ABC's video compilation as 'wrong, false and misleading'. 

'I am disappointed that this event was so misreported. I think that was disrespectful to the performers to suggest there the Governor-General or others were in attendance in that way,' Mr Morrison said.

The ABC's version of events sparked outrage among the community, as people suggested the performance was 'too risqué'. 

Former soldier turned politician Jacqui Lambie trashed the celebration as an 'absolute shocker'. 

'I thought I was watching the Super Bowl there for a split second, I'll be honest with you,' she told Nine's Today show.

'Whoever made that call, it's an absolute shocker for goodness' sake.'

Senator Lambie added: 'Good on those young ladies for getting out there, but I tell you, being half clothed outside a warship is probably inappropriate. 

The HMAS Supply ship's company stand on the upper decks at the completion of her commissioning ceremony (pictured on Saturday)

The launch was attended by officials including the Governor-General and the head of the Navy

'If that is the leadership in our defence forces, God help our sons and daughters who are serving.' 

Videos from the event show seven women doing a choregraphed routine while dressed in black booty shorts and red crop tops and berets.

'Doesn't matter who the girls are, this is not appropriate,' one person said.

'At a time when we are promoting the rights of women to not be objectified, there are other dance moves that would be fun and equally energetic.' 

Other commenters found the incident 'bizarre.'

'I would flat out not believe you if the HMAS Supply banner wasn't visible in the background. This is... too strange,' one said.  

The HMAS Supply's key role is to provide support to naval combat units. The vessel will now undergo testing. 

Defence said the dance was arranged as an effort to 'engage with the local community'

The Governor-General David Hurley (pictured) is seen arriving on Saturday at the ceremony for the new $2billion boat

What will the HMAS Supply will be used for?

HMAS Supply is the lead ship of two Supply Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships currently being built for the Royal Australian Navy by Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia. 

The Australian Supply Class ships are based on the Spanish Navy's Cantabria Class design. 

The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.

In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations following a natural disaster.

Source: Australian Navy 

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