MBA Ensemble getting 2nd Place at 2016 YAGP Phila_photo by Miki Wray

Metropolitan Ballet Academy Student Dancers Take Top Honors at 2016 YAGP Philadelphia Regional Semi-Final Competition

2015 YAGP-phil_ 15pre-Jacey Gailliard- CROP
Photo credit: Jacey Gailliard by Visual Arts Masters

Twenty-seven student dancers of Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in Jenkintown, PA, achieved great success in the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Philadelphia Semi-Final, held January 14-16, 2016 on the Swarthmore College campus. Complementing the students’ honors, Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic, who founded Metropolitan Ballet Academy 20 years ago, received her third YAGP Outstanding Teacher award.

This year’s awards for MBA students were as follows:

  • Philadelphia resident and MBA student dancer Jacey Gailliard (age 11) won First Place in the Pre-Competitive Contemporary Division and Second Place in the Pre-Competitive Classical Division. As one of the Top 12 men and women in each category, Miss Gailliard will advance to the YAGP Finals, which will be held April 22-29 in New York City.
  • Tyler Diggs (age 14), a resident of Holland, PA and a student in MBA’s Boys’ Scholarship Program, won Second Place in the Junior Men’s Classical Competition. Mr. Diggs will also advance to the YAGP Finals in New York City.
  • In the YAGP Ensemble Division, 24 MBA dancers from Pennsylvania, performing “Seguidilla” from the classical ballet Don Quixote, earned Second Place (tie) and have been invited to advance to the Finals in New York City. Ensemble dancers included: Grace Aheimer (12, Doylestown), Cody Bakhshi (16, Abington), Kiersten Borkert (16, Pipersville), Juan Castellanos (15, Philadelphia), Eoin Daly (15, Philadelphia), Tyler Diggs (14, Holland), Carley Felzer (17, Philadelphia), Jacey Gailliard (11, Philadelphia ), Hannah Henderson (15, Huntingdon Valley), Michael  Jastrzebski (15, Philadelphia), Caleb Mansor (15, Hatboro), Emma  Morrison (13, Doylestown), Brian Ouzomgi (16, Meadowbrook), Giulia Pascucci (13, Doylestown), Devon Reid (15, Perkasie), Kyle Schoener (16 Chalfont), Micah  Sell (13, Philadelphia), Maria  Sperger  (16, Jenkintown ), Claudia Steel  (17, Elkins park), Natalie Valko (16, Chalfont), Henri Wache (13, Maple Glen), Emily Warden (14, Wyncote), Mercedes  Wentworth-Nice (16 Doylestown), and James Wray (11, Hatboro).

A proud Ms. Vidnovic added, “These honors are a testament to our outstanding faculty at Metropolitan Ballet Academy, and the hard work of our student dancers, who devote countless hours to improving their technical skill and artistry. We are very proud of all of our dancers, whose performances also included that of Hannah Henderson (15, Huntingdon Valley), who danced beautifully in the Senior Division Classical and Contemporary Competitions.”

photo credit: Tyler Diggs by CC Wolfe

Many of this years winners, along with former YAGP winners and alumni will be appearing in Metropolitan’s 20th Anniversary Gala Performance on June 4th at Abington Friends School’s Josephine Muller Auditorium. Ticket information for the Gala Performance and Celebration may be viewed on MBA’s web site at

***Cover photo credit: Ensemble by Miki Wray

One reply on “Metropolitan Ballet Academy Student Dancers Take Top Honors at 2016 YAGP Philadelphia Regional Semi-Final Competition”

  1. Congratulations to Lisa and all her dancers! I salute you all on your amazing performances at Swarthmore College, please keep up the wonderful and inspired work and dancing that you do so well! Jon Sherman

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