Two dancers hailing from regional Australia have reigned triumphant at tonight's Telstra Ballet Dancer Award (TBDA) announcement at the Sydney Opera House.
Senior Artist Amy Harris from Ararat in regional Victoria was crowned the 2012 TBDA winner.
Amy's win is a case of third time lucky, with previous nominations for the esteemed Award in 2008 and 2010. In both of those years she took home the public-voted Telstra People's Choice Award, but this is the first time she has won the main accolade.
The 29-year old will receive a $20,000 cash prize awarded by Principal Sponsor Telstra.
The 2012 Telstra People's Choice trophy and $5000 cash prize was won by 21 year-old Jake Mangakahia, from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Jake's natural star quality and stage presence garnered him many fans, despite it being only his second year in the company.
The result was announced by Deena Shiff, Telstra's Group Managing Director, Applications and Ventures, in front of a sold-out audience at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, following tonight's Sydney premiere of Stephen Baynes' Swan Lake.
While presenting the award Ms Shiff said the dedication of these young dancers was to be celebrated.
"Amy and Jake are both shining examples of how hard work can pay off and aspiring young dancers all over the country should be inspired by the example set by these two outstanding individuals."
The Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David McAllister also congratulated Amy and Jake on their accomplishments.
"Bravo to our talented winners! They have both shown tremendous growth as performers this past year, wowing audiences and their fellow dancers with their artistry and technique.
"These wins demonstrate the breadth of artistic talent that lies in regional Australia and the strong appetite for dance in areas outside of the major cities," McAllister said.
The TBDA announcement is an annual highlight of The Australian Ballet's partnership with Principal Sponsor Telstra, a relationship of 28 years and one of the longest spanning arts sponsorships in Australian corporate history.