Shae Berney joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in June 2021 after returning home from a few years of study and performing abroad.
Born and raised in Lower Hutt, Shae began dancing at the age of fourteen at Chilton Dance Centre under the direction of Bronwyn Bennett. After dancing for two years, he moved to London to study full-time at the English National Ballet School.
From London, he then moved to Amsterdam to complete his training at the European School of Ballet’s pre-professional programme (formally known as the Dutch National Trainee Programme). During this year, Shae was selected to travel to Italy and Germany to perform the Satanella pas de deux in galas which helped him to develop his artform and technique as well as feeding his travel bug.
Shae launched his career in mid-2019 with the Finnish National Ballet’s Youth Company in Helsinki. During this time, he enjoyed performing and learning a diverse range of repertoire with the main company which included: The Concert (Jerome Robbins), Infra (Wayne McGregor), Jekyll & Hyde (Val Caniparoli) and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Wayne Eagling) where he danced the role of Fritz.
A career highlight to date was in early 2019, where he performed with the English National Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon’s production of Cinderella in the round at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2022, Shae performed the role of Prince Dashing and The Fab Five’s Giani in Loughlan Prior’s Cinderella. He also had roles in Shaun James Kelly’s The Ground Beneath Our Feet, Olivier Wevers’ The Sofa, Alice Topp’s Aurum and Sarah Foster-Sproull’s The Autumn Ball. As part of the digital season Ballet Bites he performed in Shaun James Kelly’s Alba and Alice Topp’s Absence of Light.
Shae is excited to be back in New Zealand and looks forward to performing for his fellow New Zealanders and whānau throughout the country.
The Fab Five - Giani