We’re helping The Australian Ballet to operate during this difficult time through our work to support one-on-one virtual mentoring between professional dancers and aspiring performers in regional communities.

As we all adapt to living and working in a ‘new normal’, we and our partners are learning how to best support the people and groups that we’d usually help face to face. We’ve been the Principal Partner of The Australian Ballet for 36 years and understand how hard they’ve been hit by the effects of Australia’s COVID-19 shutdown – they are unable to perform on stage, and also unable to take its annual Regional Tour on the road.

Equally, dance students across the country haven’t been able to physically attend classes for some time now, and in the spirit of keeping their passion for ballet alive during this time, we wanted to create a program with The Australian Ballet that would connect and inspire the next generation of dancers.

Harnessing the power of technology, we’ve developed a bespoke mentoring program for young dance students in regional Australia – a rare chance in even normal times – and hope to reach as many male and female ballet students as possible.

Telstra Virtual Mentoring - The Australian Ballet

Throughout the three-week program, students will each receive two, 30 minute online mentoring sessions with an artist of The Australian Ballet each week to learn choreography and refine their performance of a famous ballet repertoire used for many ballet competitions.

Amy Harris, Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet, is one of the program’s freshly minted mentors. “As soon I heard about this program, I immediately put up my hand to be involved. We are so lucky to be supported and trained by our fantastic ballet staff during this time, so being involved in virtual mentoring with students feels like we’re giving back to the talented and committed young ballet dancers out there.”

More than 350 aspiring young ballet dancers have been invited to take part in the program, and now we’re opening it up to all dance students in Australia to win one of four spots in our next round of the program, kicking off at the start of July. Head over to The Australian Ballet Virtual Mentoring program website for all the details. Applications close 17 June 2020.

This is an experience young dance students will treasure for many years to come, and we’re thrilled to be working with The Australian Ballet to help this next generation of dancers thrive during these challenging times.