2007 Awardee: Shaun Kelly

I am most grateful to be awarded one of the awards from the Dewar Arts Awards.


Perth-born Shaun Kelly auditioned for the Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood when he was in primary seven. From the start he impressed as a young man of natural physical facility and exceptional talent and began to scoop up awards.

In his first year he won the John Marshall and the most improved dancer awards. In his second year he won the Joan Tucker award, and in his third year the most improved dancer award again. In his fourth year he won a choreography competition, the prize for which was a three-week exchange trip to Australia where he studied at the Victoria School of Arts in Melbourne.

Shaun has performed in Stirling Castle and the Tate Gallery for VisitScotland events and performed in the School’s annual shows at the Kings Theatre and the Theatre Royal. He achieved high marks in all his dance exams and says simply, “dance is my life”.

Shaun has now won a coveted place at the English National Ballet to study for the 3-year National Diploma in Dance. An ENB bursary and private sponsorship cover his tuition fees, but without additional financial help Shaun would not have been able to take up this wonderful opportunity.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will go towards Shaun’s living expenses while studying in London.

Since the Award

After a very successful first year, Shaun writes, “My first year has been very exciting and eventful.” Shaun represented the English National Ballet School on several occasions in the year; at the Royal Variety Performance in Liverpool, at the Critics Circle Dance Awards at the Royal Opera House, and was one of two first-year students performing in the ENB’s 20th Anniversary Gala at the Britten Theatre. His funding has been extended for a second year.

Shaun continues to demonstrate excellent progress and his award was extended for a third year. He writes, “For the second consecutive year I have been awarded a scholarship for summer school, this year for the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars. This has been awarded for consistent hard work and commitment.”

I am most grateful to be awarded one of the awards from the Dewar Arts Awards.