Ben Conquest ARAD

AdvDip Dance (ABS); BA Comm (USC); BA First Class Division Creative Writing (USC)

Former Principal Dancer – The Royal New Zealand Ballet
ITP (Australian Ballet School) Interstate Student Teacher Instructor

 

Born, and raised in Sydney, Australia, Ben commenced his dance training in 1994. During this time, he was lucky enough to perform as the title role of Oliver Twist in the Sydney Musical production of Oliver! – and as Musterseed in Baz Lurhmann’s Australian Opera production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ben was accepted into The Australian Ballet School (ABS) in 1997 where he trained intensely, graduating with an Advanced Diploma of Dance, and completed his Royal Academy of Dance Advanced Examination with Distinction. During his training with the ABS, he was asked to perform with The Australian Ballet’s productions of Madam Butterfly, and Manon. Ben also performed with the ABS’s Dancer’s Company Tour, performing Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Don Quixote as the Lead Fandango, amongst other roles. Here at the ABS, he also featured in Rudi Van Dantzig’s Four Last Songs (1st Principal Pas De Deux) and Ray Powell’s One in Five as the Sad Clown at the Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne. After graduating from the ABS, Ben was offered a contract with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) as a Professional Dance Artist. He quickly rose through the ranks to perform soloist and principal roles dancing both nationally and internationally with the RNZB throughout Australia, Scotland and London. Some of his favourite performing roles include; Mercutio – Romeo & Juliet, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Jester – Swan Lake, Peter – Peter Pan as well as numerous Contemporary Dance leading roles. He also choreographed contemporary dance work with the company to critical acclaim. Ben left the RNZB in 2005 to further his education by studying a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree graduating with a First-Class Division result, after which he lectured and tutored with the University of Sunshine Coast. During this time, he also commenced his career as a freelance Dance Teacher, Choreographer, and Coaching Specialist. Ben has taught and coached many students over the years that have gone on to accept positions with The Australian Ballet School, The Canada National Ballet School, Expressions Dance Company Youth Program, The Houston Ballet Academy and The Queensland Ballet Junior Program. As of 2017, Ben has furthered his career as a Dance Adjudicator. He has had the pleasure of adjudicating for the Canberra Dance Festival and Riverside Dance Festival where he has been asked back again to adjudicate for 2019, as well as in Auckland, New Zealand.