2020 Awardee: Anya Phillips

Anya Phillips

"Having this Dewar Award has meant that [Anya] could keep this journey going...without it it would have been impossible...Thank you so so much"

Biography

Anya is an accomplished ballet dancer, who started dancing at the young age of 2 1/2 at CSBS Falkirk. During her time there, she took part in many dance productions, as well as gaining the opportunity to feature in TV commercials, STV Children’s Appeal and a range of events.

Anya was successful in gaining a place in Scottish Ballet Junior Associates, Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and also SMB company with Sara Maria Barton.

During her time with the Scottish Ballet, Anya successfully auditioned for a place in ‘The Nutcracker’. She toured with the production to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle – and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity. She was then successful in auditioning for the Dance School of Scotland where she boarded for 4 years (and loved every minute).

In her fourth year at the Dance School of Scotland, Anya auditioned for a sought after place at the prestigious Central School of Ballet as well as Elmhurst Ballet School.  She was successful in both auditions, and decided to study at Central on the 3 year BA (Hons) course.

How the Award Helped

Anya received an Award to support her accommodation and living costs at the Central School of Ballet.

Anya Phillips

"Having this Dewar Award has meant that [Anya] could keep this journey going...without it it would have been impossible...Thank you so so much"

2017 Awardee: Rory Swietlicki

"I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Award for enabling me to attend the Central School of Ballet, and setting me on the path to gaining the experience and training to hopefully fulfil my dream of becoming a professional dancer."

Biography

Rory began dancing at a very young age, and has always shown passion, strong focus, and commitment to developing his skills to the highest level.

At age 12, Rory took part in a competitive audition process and gained a place at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland.  During his time at the school he was awarded the Progress Prize, took part in the school’s choreography performances, and performed in end of year shows at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow and The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. In 2013 he successfully auditioned for a part in Scottish Ballet’s production of Hansel & Gretel.   At the age of 16, Rory gained his RAD Advanced 1 (Ballet), ISTD Advanced 2 (National Dance), and ISTD Intermediate (Modern Dance) certificates.

In 2016, Rory was offered a place on the Scottish Ballet’s Youth Exchange Programme, where he attended weekly classes and workshops at Scottish Ballet.  This took much dedication and commitment as he took part in this alongside his dance school classes and studying for his National 5 exams.

Rory travelled to New York with the Youth Exchange group to collaborate with students from TISCH School of The Arts at New York University.  While there he had the opportunity to take classes at New York City Ballet.

At age 16, Rory competed against students from the UK and abroad for a place to study at the prestigious Central School of Ballet, London.  He was proud to be the only student in his year achieve this, and accepted a place on the BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance.

How the Award Helped

Rory’s Award supported him in attending the Central School of Ballet, and pursuing his chosen career.

"I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Award for enabling me to attend the Central School of Ballet, and setting me on the path to gaining the experience and training to hopefully fulfil my dream of becoming a professional dancer."

2016 Awardee: Harvey Littlefield

"I am extremely grateful to the trustees and all those who have believed in me. Without this award I may not have been able to continue to explore and develop to become the dancer I dream of being. I shall strive to work hard and embrace every moment."

Biography

Growing up in Glasgow, with both parents working in the arts, Harvey was never under any illusions about the dedication needed to pursue a career in ballet. He knew it could be brutal and exhausting, requiring total commitment and focus, but also how fantastic and rewarding this profession could potentially be.

At age 10, Harvey joined Scottish Ballet Junior Associates, where he was first inspired to focus on ballet. He then moved to the Dance School of Scotland, where he graduated in 2016 receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award.

In 2015, Harvey was one of around 200 young people throughout the world to apply to The English National Ballet School. He attended the summer school, and was offered a final audition without having to complete the preliminary stage. He successfully gained a place and became one of only two British boys in his year.

Harvey and his family are incredibly proud of his achievements to date, and feel he could not have done this without the support and commitment from his initial teachers in Scotland.  His ambition is to become a principle dancer in a ballet company, performing the well-loved classical ballets as well as new and exciting works.

How the Award Helped

Harvey’s Award assisted him in his further training, enabling him to build on the opportunities he received in Glasgow, and take him closer to achieving his dream.

"I am extremely grateful to the trustees and all those who have believed in me. Without this award I may not have been able to continue to explore and develop to become the dancer I dream of being. I shall strive to work hard and embrace every moment."

2015 Awardee: Scot Baldie

The award that I received from the trust was invaluable in allowing me to commence with my training at the Central School of Ballet...I would like to take this opportunity to thank the trust for my award.

Biography

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Scot joined the Dance School of Scotland in 2011, having never had a dance lesson in his life.  Whilst there he performed in the Scottish Ballet’s staging of Hansel and Gretel as well as in venues such as the King’s Theatre, the Theatre Royal and the Royal Concert Hall.

After just three and a half years at the Dance School he audiitioned for the Central School of Ballet in London.  He was successful, and became the only member of his year group to gain a place at this prestigious institution.

Scot has natural movement, co-ordination and stamina, which has enabled him to develop an outstanding technique in a short time. Coupled with his dedicated work ethic, Scot demonstrates the qualities necessary to achieve at the highest level.

How the Award Helped

Scot’s Award enabled him to attend the Central School of Ballet and continue to develop his talents.

The award that I received from the trust was invaluable in allowing me to commence with my training at the Central School of Ballet...I would like to take this opportunity to thank the trust for my award.

2015 Awardee: Lewis Normand

“The Dewar Award allowed me to study and network in Amsterdam...This provided an extremely valuable context for my work as a performer and a choreographer."

Biography

Lewis Normand is an intelligent, dedicated and exceptionally talented dancer.

Growing up in rural North East Scotland, Lewis describes his household as playful and creative, in spite of challenging financial circumstances.  “My family’s appreciation of and play in nature, my experience of fewer material things, and my growing up in Scotland is part of me; a driving force, a connection to other people and part of my inspiration.”

It wasn’t until Lewis was 15 that the family moved to Edinburgh and he began to study dance.  However, in just a few short months he had become proficient in his Advanced/Professional Level Contemporary Dance class. Whilst studying for a BTEC in dance he attended nine hours a week of extra classes, which he paid for with his Education Maintenance Allowance.

Lewis went on to gain a place to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Dance.  Whilst there he performed with the Scottish Ballet’s education tour and received the Program Prize for Modern Ballet as well as the Veronica Bruce Trust Award. He graduated in 2014 with a BA in Modern Ballet.

As a professional dancer, Lewis has performed with David Hughes Dance, Errol White Company and the Scottish Opera. He choreographed and performed in Dreamland Theatre’s first production, introducing French song and classical dance to children, and completed a Choreographic Residency at Dance Base.

How the Award Helped

Lewis received a Dewar Arts Award to enable him to attend a month-long training and information-gathering opportunity at the Henny Jurriens Dance and Choreography Intensive in Amsterdam.

The event brings together international teachers and performers of the highest quality and provides an intense learning opportunity, allowing Lewis to explore how his classical training sits in a context of international contemporary work.

Glory on Earth

Credits: Head shot Tania Gardener. Dance shots Erik De Roij Photography.

“The Dewar Award allowed me to study and network in Amsterdam...This provided an extremely valuable context for my work as a performer and a choreographer."

2014 Awardee: Amy McEntee

I hope to have the opportunity to inspire and support other young Scottish dancers to pursue a career in professional dance.

Biography

Amy has lived in Scotland all her life.  She began ballet lessons at the age of six, and four years later became a Scottish Ballet Junior Associate.  In 2010 she successfully auditioned for the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow and began her vocational training.

Whilst in Glasgow, Amy achieved distinction in all her exams in ballet, national and modern dance.  She also studied tap, contemporary and choregraphy alongside sitting her National 5 exams. She gained performance experience in competitions and showcases at key Glasgow venues including the King’s Theatre and the Royal Concert Hall, and represented the Dance School of Scotland at a range of events.

In 2014, aged just 15, Amy secured a place on the BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance at the prestigious Central School of Ballet in London.

How the Award Helped

Amy received a Dewar Award to enable her to study at the Central School of Ballet. She hopes to dance with the school’s touring company, Ballet Central, and to eventually dance for her national company, the Scottish Ballet.

I hope to have the opportunity to inspire and support other young Scottish dancers to pursue a career in professional dance.

2013 Awardee: Nadina Valenti

I am thrilled to have won a place at "Central School of Ballet" where I can develop my full potential. This would not be possible without the invaluable support from the Dewar Awards. Thank you.

Biography

Nadina is a very gifted and dedicated young dancer with exceptional talent. She started ballet lessons in her hometown of Wemyss Bay at the age of three, and in 2008 she was offered a place at the Scottish Ballet as a Junior Associate.  She went on to achieve a place at the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow.

During her time at the Dance School she gained distinctions in all her vocational ballet exams, won a Scholarship and Commendation at Dance Summer Schools and achieved a place as a semi-finalist at the Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Ballet Competition 2013.  She also featured in the Dance School’s annual performances in the Kings Theatre and Theatre Royal Glasgow.

In 2013 Nadina successfully auditioned for the prestigious Central School of Ballet in London, gaining a place on their BA(Hons) course in Professional Dance and Performance.

How the Award Helped

Nadina received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Central School of Ballet.

I am thrilled to have won a place at "Central School of Ballet" where I can develop my full potential. This would not be possible without the invaluable support from the Dewar Awards. Thank you.

2012 Awardee: Gavin McCaig

The award has been invaluable for me. Without the support of Dewar Awards I would have been unable to complete my 3 years at ENB School.

Biography

Originally from Motherwell, Gavin moved to Glasgow at the age of 12 to take up a vocational place at The Dance School of Scotland.  Four years later, he received a scholarship to study at the English National Ballet School.

Since then he has performed frequently, including excerpts from Soireé Musicales and Romeo & Juliet. He has also worked part-time with the Dance School at the Royal Academy of Dance.

Gavin was awarded a scholarship to attend the Prague Masterclasses run by Daria Klimentova, where he won the Boy’s Prize at the end of his first week.  He recently undertook a placement with the Scottish Ballet, performing as part of the company for Christopher Hampson’s new Hansel and Gretel.

Gavin is looking forward to his graduation performances in July 2014 and is eager to begin his professional career.  He hopes to secure a contract with a company in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

How the Award Helped

Gavin’s award supported him in his studies at the English National Ballet School.

Since the Award

2014: Gavin gained and accepted a contract from the Northern Ballet. He will tour the UK with them from July with some very exciting rep!

The award has been invaluable for me. Without the support of Dewar Awards I would have been unable to complete my 3 years at ENB School.

2011 Awardee: Isabella Swietlicki

I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards, whose assistance has made it possible for me to work towards achieving my dream.

Biography

Isabella is a very gifted dancer with a wonderful natural facility for classical dance and a mature technique.

Brought up near Oban since the age of 4, Isabella started dance classes at Ballet West Taynuilt at the age of 8.  During her time there she passed all of her Royal Academy of Dance vocational grades with distinction.  She also performed in their annual touring productions of ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Coppelia’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’. In 2011, she was part of a seven-week tour of China, performing the role of Clara as well as understudy for the role of Juliet.

In 2009, Isabella attended the International Summer School at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond. In 2010, she won first place for her level at the Royal Academy of Dance Senior Awards in the prestigious Genee Challenge in Edinburgh.

Isabella has attended a masterclass with Francesca Zumbo of the Paris Opera Ballet, who danced with Rudolf Nureyev when she was young.  She has also had the opportunity to work with and learn from her favourite dancer, Tamara Rojo; Royal Ballet Principal at the Royal Ballet Upper School in Covent Garden.

How the Award Helped

Isabella received a Dewar Arts Awards in 2011 to help her continue her dance studies at Ballet West. She has since received additional awards to support her flourishing talent.

Since the Award

In 2012 Isabella won the Molly Lake Award; a biennial ballet competition for young dancers.  She went on to gain a place at the English National Ballet School, and was granted additional funding from the Dewar Awards to continue her studies there.

Isabella is proving herself to be a dedicated, talented, and a quite exceptional dancer.

2014: Isabella writes “I am loving every moment of my studies at ENBS, and I feel a big difference in my dancing after just one term.  The academic aspect is thorough and rigorous – I thought I knew a lot about ballet until I started this course!  Most weeks, I am able to watch the dress rehearsals of performances by companies such as English National Ballet, Royal Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet.  My ambition is to be a professional ballet dancer, and I believe that I am in an ideal environment in which to train towards my goal.  I love my school, and I know that the staff will constantly challenge me and prepare me as well as is possible for a career in ballet.”

Sept 2014: Bronze Medallist at Genée International Ballet Competition

I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards, whose assistance has made it possible for me to work towards achieving my dream.