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Alum dominate ENB Emerging Dancer Shortlist

Posted by David Drakeley

A highlight of English National Ballet’s Season, Emerging Dancer sees six rising stars from ENB’s Company ranks perform classical pas de deux and contemporary works in front of a panel of esteemed judges: one finalist will then receive the Emerging Dancer Award. 

Having been selected by their peers, four of the six finalists are ENBS alum. 

The event is hosted by our Artistic Director, Aaron S. Watkin, and will take place at Sadler’s Wells in front of an audience on Friday 24 May, 2024. 

The evening will feature a performance by 2022 Emerging Dancer Award winner Eric Snyder and 2022 People’s Choice Award winner Precious Adams. This year’s People’s Choice Award (voted by our audiences) and Corps de Ballet Award (chosen by the Artistic team) will also be presented.

ENBS alum finalists

Anna Ciriano

Anna Ciriano joined the Company in 2022. Anna started her training at Institut del Teatre in her home city of Barcelona, and after graduating from English National Ballet School in 2017, she performed with Orlando Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Since joining English National Ballet Anna has danced Spanish in Wayne Eagling’s Nutcracker and appeared in Akram Khan’s Giselle, Tamara Rojo’s Raymonda and Derek Deane’s Swan Lake.

Anna Ciriano © Laurent Liotardo

Breanna Foad

Breanna Foad joined ENB in 2018, following training at The Australian Ballet School and English National Ballet School. Breanna performed the leading role of Chosen One in Mats Ek’s The Rite of Spring as part of Ek/Forsythe/Quagebeur at Sadler’s Wells in 2022. She went on to dance the role of Chosen One in the world premiere of Andrea Miller’s Les Noces: Ascent to Days, as part of Our Voices at Sadler’s Wells, in September 2023.

Breanna Foad © Laurent Liotardo

Jose María Lorca Menchón

Jose María Lorca Menchón joined ENB in 2022. He trained at Conservatorio Professional de Danza de Murcia, Spain, and English National Ballet School, where he had the role of the Prince created on him for My First Ballet: Cinderella (2020). Jose’s repertoire with ENB includes Wayne Eagling’s Nutcracker, Tamara Rojo’s Raymonda, and William Forsythe’s Playlist (EP), David Dawson’s Four Last Songs and Stina Quagebeur’s Take Five Blues.

Jose Maria Lorca Menchon © Laurent Liotardo

Anna-Babette Winkler

Anna-Babette Winkler joined English National Ballet as an Artist of the Company in 2018, following training at English National Ballet School, and performing with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Since joining the Company, notable roles include Lead Winter in Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall, Lead Snowflake in Wayne Eagling’s Nutcracker, Moyna in Mary Skeaping’s Giselle, and a featured role in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Laid in Earth.

Anna Babette Winkler © Laurent Liotardo

Anna Babette Winkler © Laurent Liotardo


The judging panel comprises four esteemed representatives from across the dance sector:

Amanda Britton: MA Chief Executive, Principal and Artistic Director of Rambert School

Freddie Opoku-Addaie: Artistic Director and CEO of Dance Umbrella

Edward Watson MBE: Former Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet

Monica Zamora: Former Principal Dancer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

How to watch Emerging Dancer 2024

Emerging Dancer on Friday 24 May, at Sadler’s Wells, is open to the public! Book your tickets now and enjoy the live atmosphere of this special event.

Emerging Dancer 2024 will be available to stream for free on ENB’s YouTube channel the week following the event.