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Noah Benzie-Drayton: 2020 Marten Bequest Recipient (Ballet)

Oct 14, 2020

Noah is 17 years old, from Western Australia, He has been studying classical ballet since he was 4 years old. For him, the Marten Bequest scholarship is a step towards his dream of performing as a professional dancer for a major ballet company.

When did you decide to pursue a career in dance?

I started ballet when I was four years old, following my older sister to dance class. I loved it immediately, and very soon it became a major part of my everyday life. By the time I was ten or eleven, I knew that it was what I wanted to do as my career, so I slowly increased my dancing hours until I started online school in 2017 to allow more time to train.

Art has become one of the most important part of our lives to keep us busy, motivate and entertain us, so I am grateful for the opportunity to continue pursuing my passion.

Things are a bit topsy-turvy right due to COVID-19. What does it mean to get the news about the scholarship as this particular time?

I am so excited and honoured to have received this scholarship, especially in a time like this where there are so many uncertainties. I am very grateful as this scholarship will help take the financial pressure off my family who support me, and allow me to continue to travel for auditions and training.

In a time where many artists are struggling, art has become one of the most important part of our lives to keep us busy, motivate and entertain us, so I am grateful for the opportunity to continue pursuing my passion.  It also means a lot as it helped to bring a bit of joy to some of the people around me who have supported me and are the reason I am here today.

What does this scholarship mean to you?

This scholarship means so much to me, as I have seen previous dancers and artists who have received it go onto achieve amazing things. I am super grateful to be able to honour the legacy of the late John Chisholm Marten, and admire his career and support of the artistic community.  It is an honour to be recognised alongside some of Australia’s best young artistic talents, and I look forward to seeing all of the recipients achieve their potential.

What would be your ultimate dream career achievement?

In the next few years, I would love to enter a major ballet company and begin performing as a professional ballet dancer.

Do you have a word of advice for other young people pursuing a career in dance?

The best advice I have for other young people pursuing a ballet career is to think logically, plan ahead and be determined. Your brain is your most powerful asset and by identifying the areas you are weakest, you can work on them and make them your strongest. By planning ahead, you ensure you have a clear path to your goals as well as multiple back up plans, as everyone faces setbacks. Being determined is the most important aspect of a dancer’s life, as it drives you to get to the studio every day and continue working.

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