Queensland Ballet

Developing young artists plays an important role in Queensland Ballet's vision, as they aim to attract the best young talent, provide clear pathways through best-practice training initiatives and produce dancers whose abilities are internationally sought-after.

Since 2014, we have partnered with the Company to create the Energex Scholarship Fund. This initiative offers gifted young dancers the opportunity to join the Queensland Ballet Pre-Professional Program, which works to bridge the gap between their training and the profession.

Students are immersed into the life of a professional ballet company and have unrivalled opportunities to perform in world-class ballets and work with international artists and coaches.

We help to make this Program available to young, talented dancers, irrespective of their socio-economic background. By investing in these young artists, Energex and Queensland Ballet are able to secure the future of dance excellence in Australia.

2015 Energex Scholarship Fund Recipients

Alison Goodwin

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

"I was born and grew up in Camden, a small town just over an hour south-west of Sydney."

Why ballet? What inspired you to choose dance as your profession?

"The focus and discipline of ballet has always inspired me. I like to approach all parts of my life in this way, so it has suited me. Also, the buzz of achievement after a good class or show is a special feeling."

What is your proudest / happiest moment?

"A particularly happy moment for me was completing Pre-Professional Program last year. I felt a huge sense of achievement, knowing that I had the perseverance to get through the whole year, while living away from home for the first time."

What has been one piece of advice that has inspired you?

"So many pieces of advice have inspired me over the years. It's hard to choose just one! Remembering to trust my instincts and gut feeling has always been good advice for me, also to look after myself and not to be too hard on myself."

Courtney Radford

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

"I was born in Brisbane, but immediately moved to Perth where my extended family lives. I then moved to Port Headland (WA) with my mum and sister when I was 7."

What are your career dreams? What do you hope to achieve?

"My career dream is to be able to perform a solo from Raymonda in a professional ballet company."

Who / what inspires you?

"Watching company performances inspires me. I want to be where the dancer are – on stage."

What is your proudest / happiest moment?

"Finally taking a step forward in making my dreams come true, by being accepted into Queensland Ballet's Pre-Professional Program."

Daniel Kempson

Who / what inspires you?

"Ever since I began to dance, I have been inspired by Fred Astaire. His way of moving and entertaining was incredible and made me want to entertain people just as much. When I heard Li Cunxin's story and learnt about his life, I was so inspired that it made me take the decision to follow ballet. Lastly, Rachael Walsh has inspired me incredibly, through her love of dance and the arts. She has taught me so much in the last year, and that makes me more determined every day."

What is your proudest / happiest moment?

"My proudest moment would have to be the day I found out I was accepted into the Queensland Dance School of Excellence. That day really showed me that I was progressing with what I wanted to do and made me really excited for what was to come the following year."

What has been the one piece of advice that has inspired you?

"Always be yourself instead of trying to be the same as someone else. You just be yourself and show what you really have to offer, which I believe can be truly special."

Samuel Packer

Why ballet? What inspired you to choose dance as your profession?

"My sister encouraged me to dance when I was younger, so I started break dancing at the age of 10, and in the following years, I tried every style of dance I could. I found ballet pushed me the hardest, and as I am always up for a challenge, I decided to pursue ballet as my career."

What are your career dreams? What do you hope to achieve?

"Firstly, I would love to travel whilst dancing, so I can see the world and be inspired by different cultures and flavours. Then my dream would be to open a company of my own and offer first-class training to those who would not be able to access it because of their financial situation. But I will be seeking the passion from within them to create a company like nobody has ever seen before, by highlighting every individual person's strengths to create an image of beauty."

What is your proudest / happiest moment?

"My happiest moment was when my father first watched me dance for a professional company. My dad, being a typical Aussie, wanted me to play AFL, so to have his son end up doing ballet must have been a big shock. But when I finished that performance and dad gave me a huge hug and said, "I understand why you are doing this", it just meant the world to me."

Shayarne Matheson-Buick

Why ballet? What inspired you to choose dance as your profession?

"My mum put me into ballet classes to give the lady at day care a break, as I was a bit of a handful! I first fell in love with jazz and other styles of dance but by age 13, the artistry and discipline of the classical style drew me to love ballet."

What are your career dreams? What do you hope to achieve?

"My career dream is to dance professionally. I can't think of anything better than to dance every day. Ultimately, my dream would be to join Queensland Ballet because I love the Company, and my family could watch me dance, which I know would mean the world to them."

What has been one piece of advice that has inspired you?

"Everything always happens for a reason.' It may be a cliché, but, it has been incredibly important to me throughout my life. I have had a lot of really tough battles during my dance life, some due to my health and others injury-related. When times were tough, that quote would always give me hope. Each time something happened in my life, it shaped me into the person I am today."

Zacherie Dun

Why ballet? What inspired you to choose dance as your profession?

"When I was younger, I used to skip around the house or 'prance on my toes' as my parents tell me! But it wasn't until my younger sister started dance lessons that I became interested in dancing. I begged my parents to let me begin and finally I got my wish. The moment I knew I wanted to be a professional dancer was when I saw The Sleeping Beauty performed by The Australian Ballet. The whole experience of the ballet, the passion, energy and spectacle of the show really engaged me."

What are your career dreams? What do you hope to achieve?

"My goals and aspirations for my career are to work in either New York City Ballet or the National Ballet of Canada. I would also love to stay with the Company here in Queensland, to gain work within Australia would be fantastic."

What has been one piece of advice that has inspired you?

"One bit advice was from my grandmother before I moved to Brisbane to start with the Queensland Ballet. She told me to be the creator of my own happiness and work hard. I've always kept this in the back of my head and on hard days it really helps me get through the tough times."

The Rachael Walsh Award for Artistic Excellence

To further support the development of Queensland talent, we have provided funding for two awards for artistic excellence, presented to one Queensland Ballet student and one Pre-Professional Program student. The recipients are deemed to have cultivated and performed with notable artistry in the previous year.

These awards hold a prestigious place within Queensland Ballet and the artistic community, as stated by former Principal Dancer Rachael Walsh.

The awards, enabled by Energex, are an incredible gift for today's young dancers and an important investment in the future of Australia's artistic talent.

As artistic and community leaders, it is our responsibility to nurture young dancers, giving them every opportunity to reach their full potential and to feel supported and encouraged during their careers.

The awards are highly valued among Queensland dancers and serve to build a positive culture of rewarding excellence, both on and off the stage. I believe they will also assist in creating future leaders in our industry. My sincere thanks to Energex for their generosity, vision and support.

Rachael Walsh, Former Principal Dancer, Queensland Ballet