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Transit Dance Launches Male-only Fellowship Award

Transit Dance Launches Male-only Fellowship Award

Melbourne’s Transit Dance has launched an all-male initiative to help encourage young men to choose dance as their career path.

Two lucky male dancers will be awarded the fellowship honour every year, which will help them financially achieve their professional development in dance through an Australian prestigious full-time establishment, Transit Dance. The Transit Fellowship is valued at a total of almost $75,000 and is aimed at male dancers aged 17 and over who would like elite dance training.

The recipient will be awarded a two-year full scholarship to Transit’s Pre Professional Diploma courses—either Contemporary Dance or Performing Arts. This is essentially a $23,000 scholarship awarded to a male who demonstrates a serious will to succeed and a desire to better themselves creatively. Along with the full scholarship, the recipient will also receive a $2,500 bursary at the completion of their studies to put toward their future dancing endeavours.  Fellowship recipients will have trusted individual guidance and mentoring by industry professionals and further opportunities such as performances, portfolio development, and networking.

It is more than generosity; it is a life-changing award.

Opportunity for male dancers is sky high. Photo supplied by Transit Dance.

Transit Dance co-founder Paul Malek said the days where dance was for the young spirited female who wished of becoming a ballerina are long gone. His aim is to turn that stereotype around and cater for more men in the industry with equal opportunity.

“As much as Australia has evolved, there is still a stigma that dance is predominantly for young girls, and career options are limited if any,” Paul said.

“I meet many young dancers, males especially, who do not have the same support and guidance I received on my pathway. So with the Transit Fellowship, we can help eradicate this thought process, educate the masses and give much-needed support to the next wave of male dance artists,” Paul added.

The Fellowship scholarship is awarded based on merit, technical skill, and passion for his artistry. Having a strong voice in his local dancing community is also a strong consideration. This award is expected to be in high demand with hundreds of entries anticipated to be submitted to the Transit panel.

To be accepted involves a challenging and lengthy application process. A formal written application, as well as video documentation, will be imperative to the selection process. The award is only valid for those males 17-years and over residing in Australia or New Zealand.

A panel made up entirely of male faculty members and dance industry leaders will be choosing the recipient from each diploma stream. The panel includes renowned artists Paul Malek, Chris Curran, Daniel Jaber, Adam Wheeler, Jayden Hicks, Jarryd Byrne and Lachlan Hall.

Paul is a five-time Victorian Dance Award winner for his services to dance. Chris Curran has been nominated multiple times at the Australian Design Awards and the Australian Dance Awards plus he is a four-time Victorian Dance Award winner.

Daniel Jaber is the head of ballet development at Transit Dance and also carries a fair weight of awards next to his name. In 2014, Daniel was nominated a Helpmann Award for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work, and two wins as part of the Dance Australia Critics Survey Awards for Most Outstanding Choreographer and Best New Work in his production Nought.

Adam Wheeler is no stranger to the contemporary dance world, being a former Chunky Move dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He is the artistic director of his own youth contemporary company Yellow Wheel, which has provided young dancers with the foundations for professional status. Jayden Hicks, Jarryd Byrne, and Lachlan Hall also have extensive professional backgrounds and are critical members of the Transit Dance family.

Transit Dance takes pride in its ability to represent male dancers with its strong support system. Transit Dance Company members consist of mostly male elite dancers, as demonstrated in a former professional show titled BOYZ, featuring Fellowship Award panelists Lachlan Hall and Jayden Hicks. 

Male dancers in flight. Photo supplied by Transit Dance.

Panelist Daniel Jaber agrees Transit is one of the most nurturing facilities for male dancers with its extensive list of male faculty who are or have been professional dancers.

We have a strong male faculty, all with illustrious industry experience and careers and because of this we can confidently foster and support men in the challenging world of dance,” Daniel said.

The Fellowship Award is not the first time Paul Malek has created unique opportunities for dancers. He is arguably the most successful dance entrepreneur in Victoria. With his other initiatives including Transit Dance Company, Boom Media, Dance Chat, Underground, Immersed and various other extension programs, many male dancers currently studying under Paul’s direction can feel safe to evolve professionally.

This announcement is the second of four big pieces of news for Transit, including the launch of other initiatives. The first announcement was the introduction of a new international pre-professional pathway (Tr.IPP) with appointed artistic director Israel Aloni. The highly acclaimed international choreographer will be packing their bags and heading to Melbourne in light of this new position with Transit Dance. Adam Wheeler will also begin his new role as contemporary stream course director from 2018.

Transit Dance believes strongly in the development and evolution of dance on a global scale. We believe in creating not only great dancers, but great leaders, artists and contributors to the world of dance,” stated the male faculty directors.

This is a remarkable opportunity and I wish all the applicants the best of luck,” said Transit’s ballet development director Daniel Jaber.

To apply, click here.  Applications close October 16, 2017. 

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