Dance Victoria Awards Over $8,000 to Support Emerging Dance Artist Training

2023/24 CDP-Training Winners: (left to right) Avari Dodd, Natalie Martin, Anna Wang-Albini.
2023/24 CDP-Training Winners: (left to right) Avari Dodd. Photo: Laura Zeke; Natalie Martin. Photo: Dan T Suji; Anna Wang-Albini. Photo provided by the artist.

Dance Victoria is thrilled to announce three winners of the Chrystal Dance Prize – Training and the Arabella and Robert Award for Dance, two annual awards that support emerging dance artists’ training abroad. A panel of local dance professionals selected the recipients, who were awarded a total of $8,535.

Avari Dodd (she/her) from Vancouver Island, B.C. was awarded $4,000 through the Chrystal Dance Prize – Training. Avari will enter her first year as a Dance major in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Montclair State University (New Jersey) this fall. Avari’s involvement in local pre-professional dance companies Helix Dance Theatre (2023-2024) and Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet (2019-2023) have prepared her for productions in post-secondary and a future career as a dance artist. She has represented the North Island and Nanaimo districts at the B.C. Festival of Arts Provincials since 2019 in the Stage and Modern disciplines. In addition to Modern and Ballet, Dodd has been training in tap dance for 14 years and had the honour of representing Canada at the Dance World Cup in Portugal in 2019.

Natalie Martin from Gibsons, B.C. was awarded $2,535 through the Arabella and Robert Award for Dance to pursue her studies at the Miami City School of Ballet (MCSB). Natalie began her professional training with Waldorf Ballet in Sechelt, B.C. She has earned numerous nominations at the Performing Arts B.C. Provincial Festival, where she won the Intermediate Ballet category in 2021 and received second place in the Senior Ballet category in 2022. She has attended summer intensive programs at Boston Ballet and Miami City Ballet and was accepted on scholarship at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, where she also received an invitation to compete in the 2023 Youth American Grand Prix Finals in Tampa Bay. This spring, Natalie has been training with MCSB and will attend Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Summer Course in July before returning to MCSB in the fall.

Anna Wang-Albini (they/she) from Vancouver, B.C. was awarded $2,000 through the Chrystal Dance Prize – Training to study at Nuova Officina della Danza (NOD) in Italy. They hold a BA (Hons.) of Fine Arts in dance from Simon Fraser University and trained in contemporary dance with EDAM dance company and the Training Society of Vancouver under a scholarship this past year. Anna has worked with The Falling Company (2023), Alexandra Caprara (2023), Rob Kitsos (2022-23), Bard on the Beach (2022), and Tin Gamboa (2022). They are actively choreographing while also pursuing training and performing opportunities.

About the Awards

The Chrystal Dance Prize is awarded twice annually. The Training category supports emerging western Canadian dance artists continuing full-time training at recognized international institutions outside of Canada. The Projects category supports independent artists, companies or collectives working on exceptional projects with an international artist (interpreter or choreographer). The Chrystal Dance Prize is generated from a bequest made by Dance Victoria patron Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman to the Victoria Foundation. Between the two awards, approximately $55,000 is awarded to dance artists annually.

The Arabella and Robert Award for Dance is open to dancers from across Canada continuing their training at an international dance conservatory or institution and is generated from a fund established by Dance Victoria patrons Arabella Martin and Robert Britten, held at the Victoria Foundation.

About Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Dance to the Royal Theatre and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. As a non-profit charitable society, Dance Victoria operates with the mission to promote the appreciation of dance by developing and presenting diverse local, Canadian, and international artists, and by engaging the community in the celebration of dance.

Media Contact:

Anne-Sophie Cournoyer
Marketing Manager
[email protected]
O: 250-595-1829

Downloadable PDF media release here.