The Australian Ballet's 2013 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award Nominations Announced; Showcase Set for March 8

February 12
8:25 2013

To vote for your favourite dancer, SMS their first name to 0439 BALLET (0439 225 538) or go to to enter online and see full terms and conditions.

The Australian Ballet congratulates this year's nominees and wishes them the best as they embark on their quest for TBDA glory.

About the nominees

Benedicte Bemet was born in Mackay, QLD in 1994, and started ballet at the age of three. She grew up on the Gold Coast and began her training at the Ransley's Ballet Centre. She was accepted into The Australian Ballet School at age 14. In 2012 she joined The Australian Ballet.

CameRon Hunter was born in Bentley, WA, in 1991. Growing up in East Fremantle in Perth, he started ballroom dancing at age nine. At age 13 he made the move from ballroom to ballet after being offered a scholarship to train at the Perth City Ballet. A year later Cameron moved to Melbourne to study at The Australian Ballet School. Cameron joined The Australian Ballet in 2011.

Natasha Kusen was born in Maroubra, NSW in 1984 and started dancing at the age of four. She trained with Nicholina Kuner's Academy Ballet in Randwick in Sydney. In 2001 Natasha won a scholarship at the Prix de Lausanne competition to study at The Royal Ballet School in London. Upon graduation in 2003 Natasha came home to Australia to accept a position with The Australian Ballet. She was previously nominated for a Telstra Ballet Dancer Award in 2010.

Christopher Rodgers-Wilson was born in England in 1987 but grew up in Camberwell, VIC, starting ballet classes at the age of six. He trained at the Camberwell District Ballet School before moving to London to study at The Royal Ballet School. Christopher joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2007 before returning to Melbourne to join The Australian Ballet in 2011.

Sharni Spencer was born in Lismore, NSW in 1988 and grew up in Tamworth and Newcastle. She began dance classes when she was three years old and studied at Sally Kefts School of Dance and Marie Walton Mahon Dance Academy before joining New Zealand School of Dance. Sharni joined The Australian Ballet in 2008.

Valerie Tereshchenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1989. She immigrated to Australia with her family when she was six years old and a year later took her first ballet class. Living in Carnegie in Melbourne, she attended a number of local ballet schools, including West Point Ballet Academy, Ballet Theatre of Victoria, and the Australian International School of Coaching. Valerie later joined The Australian Ballet School. In 2009 Valerie successfully auditioned for a place with The Australian Ballet.

Pictured: Sharni Spencer, CameRon Hunter, Benedicte Bemet, Christopher Rodgers-Wilson, Natasha Kusen and Valerie Tereshchenko. Photo by James Braund.

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