RAD Australian Bursary winner

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Adjudicator Robert Curran, Bursary winner Tahlia Szumowski and RAD examiner and adjudicator Lynne Harris.
Adjudicator Robert Curran, Bursary winner Tahlia Szumowski and RAD examiner and adjudicator Lynne Harris.

Queensland’s Tahlia Szumowski has been chosen as the winner of the
Australian Advanced 1 Royal Academy of Dance Bursary 2024.

Tahlia is a pupil of Promenade Dance Studios. This is the second consecutive year that a student from Promenade
Dance Studios has won this esteemed bursary, following Ed Cooley's victory in 2023.

Tahlia was one of five finalists, the others being Charlie Carberry (NSW), Darcy Donoghue (Vic), Emmy Denys (SA), and Jaime Osborne (WA), who were selected from state semi-finals. They gathered at RAD Australia headquarters in Sydney on May 26. The event began with an open class conducted by Mitchell Rayner, accompanied by pianist Grant Kennedy. The students also performed a classical variation from set repertoire, and a contrasting "Dancer’s Own" piece. The competition was adjudicated by the respected Lynne Harrison, RAD examiner and life member, alongside Robert Curran, former Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet.

The adjudicators reflected on the high calibre of talent displayed, commending the teachers for their exceptional training of the next generation of dancers. The technique and artistry of the participants were particularly noted, with much artistic athleticism on display. The dedication and hard work of these dancers were evident in their outstanding performances.

The five talented finalists showcased exceptional physical and mental prowess,impressing the judges and the audience with their dedication and artistry. Tahlia Szumowski's outstanding performance earned her the top honour this year,excelling in the class and her performance of the Bluebird female variation from The Sleeping Beauty.

The event was hosted by Lia Cox, RAD Head of Department - Examinations and Regions. "We are incredibly proud of all
the dancers who participated today," said Cox. "Their commitment and excellence are a testament to their hard work and passion for dance. We look forward to following their promising careers."

The Australian Advanced 1 Bursary is a scholarship of up to $5000 awarded to an outstanding student to further their RAD training. Former participants of the Bursary have gone on to place in the annual Fonteyn competition and join professional companies around the world. This year saw the return to live semi-finals for the first time since 2019.

The event was sponsored by Bloch Australia.


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