Waangenga is a descendant of the Mer Island people and of the Pajinka Wik, Cape York.
After studying at NAISDA, Waangenga was invited to join Bangarra in 2005, touring internationally with Bush and nationally with Boomerang. In 2006 he performed in Vicky Van Hout’s Wiradjourni, for Meryl Tankard in Kaidan and was a lead dancer in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
Re-joining Bangarra in 2007, Waangenga performed in Clan and True Stories nationwide, going on to perform in the acclaimed work Mathinna and touring to Europe, USA and Canada, performing in Rites and Awakenings in 2008.
Highlights include company’s return to Meriam Mer in the Torres Strait Islands to perform Emeret Lu by the ocean and also dancing on the football field in Yirrkala for the community.
In 2012, Waangenga was nominated for a Helpmann Award and Greenroom Award for Male Dancer of the Year, and in 2013, he was nominated for an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Male Dancer for his performance in Blak. He recently took home a Green Room Award and an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Male Dancer for his performance in 2014’s production of Patyegarang.
In 2015, Waangenga created his first choreographic work for the company jointly with fellow senior dancer Deborah Brown called I.B.I.S as part of the lore double bill. This work was inspired by his community in the Torres Strait Island and was praised by both critics and audiences.
Waangenga is continually inspired by the richness of Indigenous culture and sustaining it through dance, the rawest form of expression known to man.