Lania Atkins on stage at McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Fifteen-year-old Lania Atkins of Bronte recently scored an impressive victory in the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship. Lania, who has been studying dance with Peta Frith and Mark Reily at The Dance Spot in Randwick since she was in primary school, scored top honours after out-dancing 95 rivals from all over Australasia in a series of elimination rounds.
Lania receives a $6,000 scholarship, along with $500 cash prize and a tutu by the Melbourne creator Ms Hayley Shanahan of Elegant Tutus. A tall girl with gracefully unfolding limbs, Lania shows extraordinary potential and is clearly enjoying an excellent season. A few days earlier, she won the Wenkart Foundation Ballet Championship for her age group and then preceded her latest triumph by winning silver medals in events for classical and contemporary duos with her classmate George Susman.
The Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship has been a highlight of the Sydney Eisteddfod program for many years. Most previous winners have progressed into successful careers and several now enjoy principal status with leading ballet companies.