Press release: Lania Atkins wins the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship

August 15, 2016

Bronte ballerina Lania Atkins said she was “on a high” after winning the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship at the iconic Sydney Opera House on Sunday, August 14.

She competed against seven other incredible finalists from NSW, Queensland and Victoria, taking home an $18,000 scholarship to assist in furthering her studies in her path to becoming a professional ballet dancer.

She impressed the judges and captivated the audience with a classical performance of Dream Solo, 2nd Variation, Act 2 from Raymonda and a contemporary solo tittled Mirrors & Ash.

In her acceptance speech, Lania said she was honoured to share the stage with the other finalists and she thanked the Sydney Eisteddfod Jubilee Fund for the sponsorship.

“This prize makes an enormous difference, in helping me to move forward in my studies and career,” she said.

“Thank you to my parents and family for their love, support and always believing in me and to my teachers Peta Frith and Mark Reily [from The Dance Spot].”

Judges Rani Luther and Paul Knobloch chose the 8 finalists from a pool of 160 competitors – aged 16-19 years – after preliminary rounds, Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals.

David McAllister, artistic director of the Australian Ballet, joined the judging panel for the Final. He congratulated the dancers and the two judges on doing a wonderful job.

“Competitions like this are a very strange thing because everyone has a unique talent,” he said.

“You’re a winner everyday you step into the studio. You’re all winners because you’ve learned and grown through this experience.”

Runner up Joshua Price, from Robina, QLD, received a second Scholarship (awarded to the best dancer of the opposite sex of the winner) in the value of $12,000.

He is a full time student at the Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy in Southport, QLD.

Both winners will have the opportunity to attend classes and observe rehearsals [at the discretion of the artistic directors] with The Australian Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet (UK), Houston Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy (USA), Northern Ballet (UK) and Queensland Ballet.

They will also be able to attend classes with the English National Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School, both in London.

Joshua Price and Luke Dimattina (Ascot Vale, VIC) from the Victorian College of the Arts, received the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Performance Awards with the offer to perform with a full orchestra in the conservatoire’s full length ballet production in December. They will receive a performance fee of $1,500 and airfares.

All finalists received $1,000 each, courtesy of Mr Rebbel Barnes. They were:

  • Lauren Songberg (Drummoyne)
  • Luke Dimattina (Ascot Vale, VIC)
  • George Susman (Coogee)
  • Lania Atkins (Bronte)
  • Tyla Steinbach (Lane Cove)
  • Joshua Jack Price (Robina, QLD)
  • Natalie Taylor (Mosman)
  • Makensie Henson (Reedy Creek, QLD)

Media enquiries:

Flora Cauchi

Media Liaison and Public Relations, media@sydneyeisteddfod.com.au or (02) 9261 8366.