14 July 2014
The Sydney Eisteddfod Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship is always a stellar event and with 92 entrants from all over Australia, this year was no exception. Adjudicators Annaliesa Kreutz and Adam Blanch were amazed by the high standard of the competition and described the task of choosing eight finalists from such an outstanding field as an agonising experience.
After a qualifying heat and semi final master class, the chosen finalists progressed into the final round. All performed magnificently, but at the end of the day, Naomi Sano, who studies with Jasmin Bobyk at The Sydney Ballet School, emerged as the winner with Victorian Emily Bray from Jane Moore Academy of Ballet finishing on her heels in second place.
Lisa Pavane, director The Australian Ballet School, who attended the final seemed equally impressed with the standard and had no hesitation in awarding one-year scholarships to Brayden Gallucci, a student of the Lake Macquarie Dance Centre, NSW, and Queenslander Navrin Turnbull from Danielle’s Studio of Dance.
The other finalists were Rebecca Blenkinsop (Vic), Mackensie Henson (Qld), Riley Lapham (NSW) and Bianca Scudamore (Qld).
A highlight of the annual festival, the Sydney Eisteddfod Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship is open to 14 and 15-year-old ballet students and carries a total prize roll of $11,500. The winner receives a $6,000 scholarship and a $1,000 cash prize, the runner-up $1,500 and the six remaining finalists $500 each. Since beginning in the mid 1990’s, this event has served as showcase for the nation’s dancing talent. Previous winners and placegetters include Royal Ballet superstar Steven McRae, Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Jenna Roberts, Stephanie Williams of the American Ballet Theatre, Alison McWhinney of the English National Ballet and numerous past and present members of The Australian Ballet, including principal ballerina Amber Scott.
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