imageFive talented Orlando Ballet School (OBS) students scored big this weekend at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Tampa, a ballet competition that featured more than100 excellent dancers in both the junior and senior divisions. Bella Kirby, age 13, received top honors of Junior Grand Prix; this recognition is given to the highest scoring junior woman or man in both classical and contemporary dance. This is the first time an OBS female dancer has ever won this distinction.

Switzerland bound Prix De Lausanne competitor, Austen Acevedo, age 15, placed first in both classical and contemporary for senior men. This is Acevedo’s first year in the senior category, where dancers age 15-19 compete. Having celebrated his birthday in November, Acevedo was the youngest male competing in the senior category at YAGP; he won the Junior Grand Prix in 2014. Acevedo will compete at the prestigious 2015 Prix De Lausanne from February 1-8, 2015, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Also taking high ranks were 16-year-old Roberto Barqui, who placed third in among classical senior men, 17 year-old Nicole Davis who placed second among contemporary senior women, and in the pas de deux, 13- year old Maggie Chadbourne, partnered with Barqui placing second. Students Natalia Chersia and Alexis Workowski, both age 10, placed in top twelve for their duet “Pearls”. OBS had 14 top 12/24 finalists in addition to those that actually placed.

“We are extremely proud of Bella, Austen, Roberto, Nicole, and Maggie as well as all the students that competed” said Dierdre Miles Burger, director of the Orlando Ballet School. “The level of intense training needed to prepare for YAGP Tampa and their dedication and artistic talent certainly paid off. It is an honor and a privilege to teach such amazing students who have completely embraced ballet.”

Dierdre Miles Burger and Olivier Munoz, an OBS senior faculty member, were also recognized at YAGP as Outstanding Teachers. A former dancer with the Boston Ballet, Miles Burger is on the ABT® National Board of Examiners for the ABT curriculum. Munoz is a Paris Opera-trained former International Principal dancer and former Prix De Lausanne winner. Orlando Ballet School is one of a select few ballet schools in the United States to be designated an ABT Certified School. To learn more about Orlando Ballet School visit http://www.orlandoballetschool.org/

Photo attached: OBS students who competed at YAGP Tampa 2015, photo credit Andres Acevedo

About Orlando Ballet

Established in 1974, Orlando Ballet is the professional resident ballet company in the greater Orlando area. The Orlando-based organization employs a full-time company of national and international dancers from Brazil, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, as well as the United States, performing both full-length classical ballets and contemporary repertoire programs. Via its mission, “Orlando Ballet seeks to entertain, educate, and enrich the cultural growth of Florida through the highest quality of dance.” The Orlando Ballet is under the artistic direction of Robert Hill, who is marking his sixth anniversary with company. Hill has had a celebrated career as a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), as well as Artistic Director at Ballet de Monterrey and has guest performed internationally and created a great arsenal of signature choreographic works. For more information on Orlando Ballet visit http://orlandoballet.org/

About Orlando Ballet School

Orlando Ballet School, is one of only four American Ballet Theater certified schools Nationwide. We offer the highest quality classical ballet training guided by the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum and our fully trained and certified international faculty. To learn more about Orlando Ballet School please visit our website www.orlandoballetschool.org

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