Young dancers studying at Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in Jenkintown, PA, achieved great success in the 2015 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), winning high honors at the annual competition’s regional Semi-Finals held in Philadelphia and Boston earlier this year. 19 MBA dancers were selected to compete at the prestigious YAGP Finals in New York City, which concluded on April 15th. During the Philadelphia Semi-Finals Awards presentation, Metropolitan Ballet was again awarded YAGP Outstanding School.
Metropolitan Ballet Academy, recognized by Pointe magazine as one of America’s top seven ballet studios, will celebrate its 20th anniversary year from September 2015 through June 2016. Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic said, “I am so proud of all our diverse, young dancers who come from throughout the Philadelphia region to study at Metropolitan Ballet, and who work so hard throughout the year. The accomplishments of our students who competed at YAGP is one exciting measure of our success; additional rewards come in our Metropolitan Ballet Company performances, when our dancers share their love of dance and our classical and contemporary repertoire with audiences in our community. Many students who excel at YAGP are also offered scholarships to study with regional ballet companies across America, and many of our MBA alumni dancers now dance professionally with companies from coast to coast.”
In the 2015 YAGP season, Metropolitan Ballet earned the following awards:
Philadelphia Regional Semi-Final
- 1st Place, Large Ensemble for Moriaky (Sailors), Pavlo Virsky as restaged by Taras Lewyckyj: Cody Bakhshi (15, Abington), Juan Castellanos (14, Philadelphia), Aedan Daly (9, Philadelphia), Eoin Daly (14, Philadelphia), Tyler Diggs (13, Holland), Michael Jastrzebski (14, Philadelphia), Najae Johnson (12, Elkins Park), Caleb Mansor (14, Hatboro), Brian Ouzomgi (15, Meadowbrook), Devon Reid (14, Perkasie), Kyle Schoener (15, Chalfont), Micah Sell (12, Philadelphia), Xavier Synnestvedt (11, Bryn Athyn), Kieran Versaw-Barnes (14, Elkins Park), Charles-Henry Wache (12, Maple Glen), James Wray (10, Hatboro); all boys are Pennsylvania residents.
- Top 12, Large Ensemble for Night Run, choreography by Tommie Waheed-Evans: Tatiana Di Bucci (17, Rydal), Gabrielle Frett (13, Cherry Hill), Marguerite Gelfin (13, Wyncote), Hannah Henderson (14, Huntingdon Valley), Sophie Lane (16, Elkins Park), Sierra Levin (18, Doylestown, PA), Rafaella Rader (14, Philadelphia), Natalie Valko (15, Chalfont), Nancy Wenger (17, Newtown), Mercedes Wentworth-Nice (15, Doylestown), Brianna Yarnoff (16, Meadowbrook); Cherry Hill, New Jersey; all other towns are in Pennsylvania.
- 3rd place, Classical, Pre Competitive Soloist: Jacey Gailliard (10, Philadelphia, PA).
- Top 12, Junior Classical Soloist: Rafaella Rader (14, Philadelphia, PA).
- Top 24, Junior Classical Soloist: Hannah Henderson (14, Huntingdon Valley, PA).
Boston Regional Semi-Final
- 2nd place, Senior Classical Soloist: Sierra Levin (18, Doylestown, PA).
- Top 12, Junior Classical Soloist & Junior Contemporary Soloist: Tyler Diggs (13, Holland, PA).
“I am so grateful to our entire artistic staff, our dedicated production team, our costume design and wardrobe team, and the many dedicated MBA parents who all support our dancers during YAGP season and throughout the year,” Vidnovic said. “In particular, Ms. Natalya Zeiger took great care in preparing our dancers for the stage, and Mr. Taras Lewyckyj worked to help the Boys Ensemble take First Place and win resounding applause for Moriaky (Sailors). Our choreographers, Sarah Mettin and Tommie Waheed Evans, also created beautiful works for both soloists and ensemble.”