A brother and sister scooped the pool at this year's annual Ballet Teachers Workshop (BTW). Charlie Dashwood won the Paul Hammond Award, while his younger sister, Lilysophia Dashwood, was awarded the Frances Naylor Award, which goes to the outright winner. They will both go home considerably richer – Charlie received $2500, while Lilysophia not only received $5000 for the Frances Naylor Award, but also won a further $2000 as the winner of Section D (for ages 13-14). Both are pupils at the Jane Moore Academy of Ballet in Melbourne.
The BTW is not restricted to any particular syllabus and was conceived back in 1964 with the purpose of creating opportunities for students to be “exposed to the broader world of ballet”, as recorded in the program notes. This year's event, held at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre in Melbourne on Sunday August 18, attracted more than 700 entrants from 60 schools. The adjudicators were David McAllister, artistic director of the Australian Ballet, and Elizabeth Toohey, the AB's Ballet Mistress and Repetiteur.
The 117 finalists were divided into four age groups, with prizes totalling almost $30,000.
The Paul Hammond Award (for boys 15+), named after one of the organisation's original teachers, is one of very few boys-only senior sections in Australia. This year's event boasted 14 finalists. Charlie won his prize with a very accomplished performance of Siegfried's solo from Act 1 of Swan Lake, demonstrating great control in his pirouettes. Second prize ($1500) went to Joshua Paul Ballinger and 3rd ($1000) to Samuel Winkler, both from the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. The President's Artistry Award ($200) went to Michael Scott-Kahans (VCASS).
The female equivalent of this section, the Mabel Pryde Scholarship (named after the joint founder, with Frances Naylor, of the BTW), was won by Lucinda Mann with a spirited solo from Esmeralda. She received $2500. Second place went to Olivia Szentirmay ($1500) and 3rd ($1000) to Laura Griffith. All three are pupils at VCASS. The President's Artistry Award ($200) went to Totsuka Nayuki from the Melbourne Conservatoire of Ballet.
Awards in the other sections were as follows:
SECTION A: ages 7-8
1st: Leni Howlett $1,000 (Kerry Moore School of Dance)
2nd: Eve Vlahodimos $750 (Melbourne Academy of the Arts)
3rd: Grace Costigan $500 (Melbourne Academy of the Arts)
4th: Lucinda Cho $250 (Melbourne Institute of Dance)
ARTISTRY AWARD: Lucy Paxman $200 (Kerry Moore School of Dance).
SECTION B: ages 9-10
1st: Charlotte Trapani $1,000 (Michelle Slater Performing Arts Studio)
2nd: Chloe Lahood $750 (Melbourne Academy of the Arts)
3rd: Kyra Sione $500 (Joanne O'Kelly School of Dance)
4th: Dylan Gavan $250 (Glen Iris School of Dance)
ARTISTRY AWARD: Elise Huynh $200 (Glen Iris School of Dance)
SECTION C: ages 11-12
1st: Madison Sparkman $1,500 (Anita Coutts School of Dance)
2nd: Charlize Duck $1,000 (Expressions Ballet Academy)
3rd: Matthew Kennedy $700 (Jane Moore Academy of Ballet
4th: Shaylan Cole $300 (Independent Dance Studios)
ARTISTRY AWARD: Erica Payne $200 (Expressions Ballet Academy)
Nb: First prize for section D of $2000 was kindly sponsored by National Photography
SECTION D: ages 13-14
1st: Lilysophia Dashwood $2,000 (Jane Moore Academy of Ballet)
2nd: Jamie Bogemann $1,500 (VCASS)
3rd: Charlotte Chivers $1000 (Kerry Moore School of Ballet)
ARTISTRY AWARD: Rosie Walker $200 (Kerry Moore School of Ballet)
Kirsty Martin and Richard House were the adjudicators for sections A, B and C.
Photos above are by National Photography.