Gold medalist Mia Zanardo

Michael Slobodian, Courtesy RAD

Congrats to the 2019 Genée IBC Medalists!​

This week, 62 of the world's top young dancers trained in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus gathered in Toronto for the annual Genée International Ballet Competition. Each year, the Genée is hosted by a different country; this was its first turn in Canada since 2008. After a week of intensive coaching and competition, the contestants, ages 15 to 19, performed before a panel of judges including Karen Kain, Mikko Nissinen, Magdalena Popa and Dame Monica Mason DBE last night. Also at the ceremony, Kain was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, making her the first Canadian to receive this honor.


Here's the list of 2019 medalists (aka dancers to keep an eye on); after all, Stella Abrera, Francesa Hayward, Alex Wong and many other ballet luminaries won the Genée as teenagers.

Gold medalist Darrion Sellman

Michael Slobodian, Courtesy RAD

Gold Medal

Darrion Sellman and Mia Zanardo, both age 15, took home the gold. Sellmann is from the U.S., and trains under Andrea Paris-Guiterrez and Jose Carayol. Zanardo is Australian, and studies with Hilary Kaplan and Archibald McKenzie.

Silver Medal 

This year's two silver medal winners are Julian Wen-Shang Gan and Paloma Hendry-Hodson. Gan, 17, trains in Malaysia with Serena Tan Suet Lang. Hendry-Hodson, also 17, hails from Australia, where she is trained by Shirley Rogers.

Bronze Medal

Jessica Templeton was awarded bronze. She is 16, from the UK, and studies with the faculty of Tring Park School.

The 2019 medalists and judges

Michael Slobodian, Courtesy RAD

Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award

Gan also won the coveted Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award.

Choreographic Award for Best Dancer's Own Variation

South African dancer Ashton Parker won the Choreographic Award for her solo Alcoba Azull, choreographed by Indra Reinholde. Parker is trained by Jonathan Barton.

Next year marks a very special year for the Genée. The competition will be renamed The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition after its longest-serving president, who would be 100 this year. The 2020 competition will be held in the UK to coincide with RAD's centenary, giving dancers an exciting chance to perform on the Royal Opera House stage.

Congratulations to all!

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