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‘Suncorp Dream Big Challenge’ awards aspiring Mermaid Beach dancer

Queensland Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'.
Queensland Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'.

After a state-wide search, Queensland Ballet has announced the winner of its annual Suncorp Dream Big Challenge: seven-year-old Giles Nash from Mermaid Beach. 

Nash has won a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform a walk-on role in Queensland Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. He will also have the incredible opportunity to rehearse with Queensland Ballet at the company’s studio in Brisbane’s West End.  

Nash said he was so excited and incredibly happy to hear he had won. “I was in the car when we got the news, and then we all celebrated in the house when we got back. It was awesome. I loved it! It is like a dream come true. I felt amazed. It is such a big achievement. When I spoke to Li, I felt happy that I was speaking to one of the best dancers ever. I felt so happy, like I’ve never felt before!” 

Giles Nash. Photo courtesy of Queensland Ballet.
Giles Nash. Photo courtesy of Queensland Ballet.

He added, “It means everything to me. It makes me feel like all the practice and hard work I have done will make me be a professional someday. I am so excited to work together with the older dancers and to be on the big stage.”

In his entry, Nash was pictured showcasing his balance, performing an impressive relevé in front of an indigenous mural.  

“I like this position because it uses strength, balance, and it takes a lot of work,” he wrote in his entry. “I have been practicing hard at holding it in relevé. I chose this location because it is about the people of Australia all coming together; I also like to play with my friends here.”

This year’s challenge was all about capturing a ‘big move’.

More than 500 aspiring dancers submitted photos from across metropolitan and regional Queensland. To enter, they were required to upload a photo of their big move, with the help of a parent or guardian, and describe why their chosen pose and photo location was special to them. 

Queensland Ballet Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO said it was a tough ask narrowing the field to six finalists, and a huge challenge to select a winner. But at the end of the day, it was Nash’s enthusiasm and passion during the finalist’s visit to the dance studios that captured the eyes and hearts of the judges from Suncorp and Queensland Ballet.

Suncorp Executive General Manager Brand and Marketing Mim Haysom is proud that Suncorp has partnered with Queensland Ballet to make the arts more accessible to children and their families throughout Queensland and provide opportunities for youngsters to chase their dreams. 

“Every year, we see an incredible amount of passion for ballet in these entries,” Haysom said. “It is so inspiring to see the creativity in the photographs, to read what our young entrants have to say, and to see such strong passion for both ballet and their community.” 

Giles Nash will perform with Queensland Ballet in its production of The Nutcracker on December 19, at the QPAC Lyric Theatre. The Nutcracker runs from December 16-23. For more information, visit www.queenslandballet.com.au.

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