Now in its 17th year, the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award is an inspired piece of corporate support by Telstra, which has been partnering The Australian Ballet for 35 years.

Created in 2003 to support the rising stars of The Australian Ballet, the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award has become a popular, high-profile and coveted award. The six finalists this year, nominated for their artistic quality, powerful stage presence and contribution to The Australian Ballet, are: Isobelle Dashwood (Corps de Ballet), Jill Ogai (Soloist), Cristiano Martino (Senior Artist), Marcus Morelli (Senior Artist), Sharni Spencer (Soloist), and Yichuan Wang (Corps de Ballet).

Sharni Spencer, Marcus Morelli, Jill Ogai, Cristiano Martino, Isobelle Dashwood and Yichuan Wang. Photograph courtesy of The Australian Ballet

The Telstra Ballet Dancer Award is worth $20,000. The winner is chosen by a panel of judges from Telstra and The Australian Ballet. The nominees are also in contention for the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, which is decided by a public vote. The finalists are featured in a series of videos on the Ballet website so that the public can get to know more about them and then cast their vote.

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