Bellevue-based Emerald Ballet Academy (EBA) won ‘Outstanding School’ at the Seattle Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), held from January 4-6, at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Sixty-seven schools from Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Japan were represented at this semi-final competition, one of many held around the world.
Says Viktoria Titova, owner of EBA and Artistic Director of non-profit Emerald Ballet Theatre, “This is a huge accomplishment for our school. It is recognition not just for one person, but for everybody! All YAGP participants worked together as a fantastic team.”
EBA had 63 dancers participate in this competition. In addition to the dedication, talent and professionalism exhibited by all, several ensembles, partners and individual dancers distinguished themselves at this high-stakes event:
In the Pas de Deux category, Elisa Munson of Bellevue and Ryan Hong of Woodinville came in 2nd place for their “Flower Festival of Genzano.” They are advancing to the New York City finals in April.
EBA’s “Summer” came in 3rd place out of 37 ensembles. The charming Russian character dance was choreographed and coached by Roman Zinovyev, and performed by greater Eastside residents Miranda Elder, Daphne Guibert, Sofia Hatfield, Jeremy Hsu, Kaiya Jones, Kaili Kirschbaum, Emma Lavi, Oliver Lefferts, Lola MacLeod, Ruth Sanocki, Jane Sigl, Annabel Stratton, Violet Strehlo, Chloe Tang, Brooklyn Villauneva, Abbie Wilson, and Aviella Zayshlyy. It is advancing to the New York City finals.
Top 12 finalists in the Pre-Competitive Classical category include Sofia Hatfield of Everett and Kaili Kirschbaum of Issaquah. McKenzie Wilson of Woodinville placed in the Top 12 of both the Junior Classical and Junior Contemporary categories.
Top 24 EBA finalists in the Junior Classical category include Daniel Chernyavskiy of Kenmore, Abbie Gamba of Sammamish, Ryan Hong of Woodinville, Elisa Munson of Bellevue and Audrey Oaks of Medina.
Also advancing to the finals are the Bluebird Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty (Kaili Kirschbaum of Issaquah and Daniel Chernyavskiy of Kenmore), and Little Swans (Misha Carnes of Kirkland, Kate Leach of Sammamish, Elisa Munson of Bellevue, and McKenzie Wilson of Woodinville).
YAGP is the world’s largest student dance scholarship competition, with participants receiving educational opportunities and professional contracts from elite ballet schools and companies. To learn more about the Emerald Ballet Academy visit www.emeraldballet.org.