MEBA News Item

Telstra Nomination for Karen


Ex MEBA student, Karen Nanasca, has just been nominated for the TELSTRA BALLET DANCER OF THE YEAR AWARD. 

The 2011 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominees were announced in Melbourne on Tuesday 15 February in front of The Australian Ballet’s entire company and artistic staff.

Brett Chynoweth (Mount Waverley, Victoria), Chengwu Guo (Jiangxi, China), Rudy Hawkes (Ipswich, Queensland), Robyn Hendricks (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), Luke Marchant (Maitland, New South Wales) and Karen Nanasca (Auckland, New Zealand) are all in contention for the TBDA title and the $20,000 first prize, donated by Principal Sponsor Telstra. The People’s Choice Award, decided by public vote, carries a $5,000 prize.

Created in 2003 to encourage Australian ballet dancers to reach their full potential, the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award has propelled the careers of several stars of The Australian Ballet to the highest level.

This year’s six talented artists have been nominated by The Australian Ballet’s artistic staff, previous winners of the award and principal artists. Nominees are judged on their performances throughout the year, ongoing development of their skills, and their support of fellow dancers. The winner is voted by an industry panel, comprised of representatives from The Australian Ballet, Telstra and the media.

To vote for your favourite dancer, simply SMS their first name to 0439 BALLET (0439 225 538) or visit beinvolved.com.au to enter online and read the full terms and conditions.

Congratulations Karen!!!

Telstra has been nurturing young ballet dancers through its Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards since 2003.

Talent, hard work and a passion for the magic of dance have seen these six performers make their mark in a highly competitive and demanding arena. The Telstra People's Choice Ballet Dancer Award aims to support and reward these dancers for their creative accomplishments. Find out more about each nominee below and then vote for your favourite.


Read the terms and conditions. By entering the competition via SMS you agree to and accept the terms and conditions.




Karen Nanasca was born in Auckland, New Zealand. Hailing from an athletic family, she followed in their footsteps by studying ballet from the age of seven.


Her natural talent was immediately noticed and nurtured by her teachers at the Mt Eden Ballet Academy. This resulted in Karen winning the New Zealand National Ballet Award in 2004, followed by a placing in the semi-finals of the Prix de Lausanne in 2005. In 2006 she was the recipient of Elizabeth McDonald Scholarship, allowing her to cross the Tasman and join The Australian Ballet School.


Karen became a member of The Australian Ballet's corps de ballet in 2009. 


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