Project information

Leanne Benjamin Awards for an Australian Dancer

A place at the Royal Ballet School costs £20K pa for young Australian dancer. We would like to assist with these fees with a properly funded and managed award. The dancer will be chosen by a panel of eminent dancers and teachers chaired by
Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, The Royal Ballet (retired)

September 2017 - July 2018

Charity information: The Tait Memorial Trust

The Tait Memorial Trust logo
  • Need


    Australia offers several generous scholarships for singers and musicians to come to Europe for advanced study but only a few relatively small prizes for dance. We believe that a properly funded and managed award for dance is desperately required to address this imbalance. Australian dancers have a reputation for excellence with the example of Leanne Benjamin and Steve McRae, principal dancers with The Royal Ballet, as a fitting inspiration to the next generation who wish to emulate this.


    This is a financial problem. The dancers are all in their teens whose families have had to make significant sacrifices to get their children to the UK. The Royal College of Music have estimnated that an overseas student need a minimum of £12,000 pa to survive in London. The fees are £20,000...a great deal of money.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To suuport and encourage the career development of a young Australian dancer


    » The Tait Trust is geared to fundraising for young Australians who wish to study in the UK. We have provided ballet awards for the last 10 years

    What success will look like

    By theire results at the School and their career growth. We track all of our recipients and have an enviable success rate. Most will gain a place with RB, ENBS etc

  • Impact


    The most profound change can be seen when our young dancers return to Australia and share their knowledge with their peers. The quality of the RBS education is at such a level it lifts the most talented students work. Leanne Benjamin has noticed the improved standards in Australia due to this sharing of knowledge and skills. The artistic advantages are too numerous to note. London is a world centre for Ballet. This is why we believe we need to help our most talented artists to study here.


    The majort risk is poor selection and injury. The former is checked by the quality of the selection panel and their experience and artistic standing which gives us confidence as to the security of their choices. The latter is also a judgement call, a good technique and bone structure is vital. Once again this is down to the panel and their selection.


    We send half yearly updates and a yearly report about all of our awardees. The RBS gives each awardee a showcase to which we can invite donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Fees Royal Ballet School fees
  • Background


    The Royal Ballet School Senior School, Floral Street, Covent Garden. Their premises were funded by the Linbury Trust and literally accross the road from the Royal Opera House.


    Young Australian ballet dancers who have satisfied exhaustive judging and selection by the RBS and by our panel led by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Tait Memorial Trust was formed in 1992 by Isla Baring OAM in memory of Sir Frank and Viola, Lady Tait and the Tait brothers who played such an important part in the establishment of theatre and the performing arts in Australia. The Trust offers awards/grants for postgraduate study, performance opportunities to young Australian musicians and performing artists and general help in the furtherance of their careers while resident in the UK.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Isla Baring OAM


    Leanne Benjamin AM OBE

    Patron and head of the judging panel

    James Hancock

    Executive Director