In 2014 The Tait Memorial Trust in collaboration with Tait Patron Leanne Benjamin AM OBE launched new ballet awards for young Australian dancers studying in the UK.
The first recipient, Josephine Frick, was presented with her award at a Tait Friends event at Australia House on Tuesday 14th October 2014 as a contribution to her fees at The Royal Ballet School.
Now in its second year the Trust are delighted to announce the 2015 recipients of The Leanne Benjamin Awards
Rebecca Blenkinsop – The Royal Ballet School, John Frost Award
Rebecca is 16 years old and is from Melbourne, Australia. She started dancing at the age of 10 years and at the age of 11 was accepted into the dance programme at the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. At the age of 13 Rebecca began to develop a passion for ballet and
for the last three years has studied Cecchetti. She recently completed her final examination of ‘Advanced 2’ with a score of 100%.
At the age of 14 Rebecca won the State Silver Medal Award section, and also the National Lucie Saranova Silver section for her Cecchetti. Later that year Rebecca won a bursary to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in United States of America. Whilst one of the youngest
competitors, Rebecca received second prize and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Dancer’.
Rebecca’s Cecchetti success continued this year when she won the National Lucie Saranova Gold Medal section. In January she was also delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland where Mr Powney first saw her.
Rebecca had the opportunity to perform the role of a child ballerina with Victoria Opera, in their production of ‘La Traviata’. She was also cast in several lead roles in her school productions, her most memorable being a ballet work of Opus 47 choreographed by English born dancer Jonathan Taylor. Rebecca has received her ballet training from some amazing ballet teachers over the last few years, three of whom trained at The Royal Ballet School. Rebecca feels honoured to have been selected to attend The Royal Ballet School and looks forward to receiving what she considers to be the best available teaching and the opportunity to train with exceptionally talented students.
Chloe Hollow – The English National ballet School, Peggy Haim Award
Chloe started training at the age of four she studied all types of dance. She has been studying full time ballet since 2013 with Janine McGrath Classical Coaching Australia and has been studying both Cecchetti and RAD ballet syllabus over the past 10 years.
Chloe has been a member of Byron Ballet since she was seven years old where she has been in many productions leading up to become a leading artist. She also has been a full company member of Brisbane City Youth Ballet where she has been selected as a soloist and principle dancer.
Some recent highlights include:
- 2014 Australian Bursary winner, selected to represent Australia in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition held in Richmond Virginia USA held in August, selected as a finalist and awarded a scholarship to Boston Ballet six week summer program for 2015.
- Selected for The Queensland Ballet Junior Program 3 for 2015.
- 2014 Runner-up in the Australian Institute of Classical Dance International Ballet Competition (performed La Bayadere 1st Shade)
- Selected soloist for the Youth America Grand Prix Finals held in New York in April 2015. Offered various places.
- 2015 Alana Haines Australasian Awards awarded a scholarship to Queensland Ballet Senior Program for two weeks.
- 2015 Auditioned for schools in the UK and Europe receiving acceptance in various schools.
- Offered a half scholarship from English National Ballet School which she has proudly accepted. Starting with ENBS in September 2015.
Chloe is now studying at English National Ballet School in Level One.