Local Dancer Signs with the Home Team

Glenside native Phoebe Gavula, age 16, a student of Metropolitan Ballet Academy, begins her “dream come true” as a member of Pennsylvania Ballet 2

Local ballerina Phoebe Gavula, age 16, of Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in Jenkintown, achieved the statistical equivalent of signing with the Phillies last month when she landed a professional contract with Pennsylvania Ballet 2, the second company of Pennsylvania Ballet.

MBA Artistic Director, Lisa Collins Vidnovic, herself a former member of Pennsylvania Ballet, is especially proud of her student.   “Phoebe has studied at MBA since the age of 3. It has been a nothing less than a joy to participate in her growth as an artist and athlete. The entire faculty, her fellow classmates and I are thrilled with this incredible accomplishment.”

Gavula, too, is still pinching herself. “I knew that there were many amazingly talented dancers also competing for this position, so winning this contract is very exciting… I am so grateful and just awestruck that it has happened to me, and I’m still trying to convince myself it actually happened,” she said. “It’s a huge honor to be able to call myself a part of the company.”

Born in Abington, Gavula began dancing with Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in 1996 at the age of three. In 2006, she became a member of Metropolitan Ballet Company, MBA’s pre-professional training company, where her principal roles included Bluebird, Spring Waters, Paquita, and Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Gretel in Kanji Segawa’s Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Balanchine’s Serenade and Valse Fantaisie, among others.

Pennsylvania Ballet 2 Artistic Director William DeGregory and Phoebe Gavula at the signing of her first professional contract.

Her numerous awards include the 2009 and 2010 Barbara Weisberger Northeast Regional Founder’s Award at the Regional Dance America / Northeast Festival (Ms. Weisberger is the founder of Pennsylvania Ballet), and most recently,  the 2011 Youth Grand Prix prize at the Youth America Grand Prix Philadelphia regional semi-finals, where she continued to the Final Round of the New York Finals. Ms. Gavula also won acceptance and attended the  summer study programs at American Ballet Theatre in New York City , Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet on full scholarship from Philadelphia Dance Access, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy on a full scholarship,  and San Francisco Ballet School on a half scholarship.

Gavula first performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2005, dancing in both The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Academy of Music. She has continued to perform in Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker every year since then, dancing the roles of Party Girl, Polichinelle, Sentry, Hoop, and Tea. In 2010, she received her first full-company roles, dancing Snow, the Waltz of the Flowers, and Marzipan. In their 2011 season, Phoebe danced in Pennsylvania Ballet’s Swan Lake as a Swan and a Ballerina, and in the featured role of Cygnet.  In April of 2011, Gavula was invited to sign a contract with Pennsylvania Ballet for their Second Company.  She is excited to begin her life as a “pro” with Pennsylvania Ballet!

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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