Spotlight on IBC Jackson

Some call the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, the Olympics of dance. It comes around every four years, draws an international roster of competitors and bestows medals, contracts, cash awards and scholarships upon the some of best and brightest young talents in the world. The competition, which started June 14, has narrowed down the list of 99 competitors to 31 finalists. Here are the six Americans who made the cut. (All photography by Richard Finkelstein, courtesy IBC Jackson.)

 

In the Senior division:

 

Steven Loch, 23, a corps member at the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa Gelfin, 21, joining Cincinnati Ballet as a new dancer in the fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Junior division:

 

Aran Bell, 15, currently a student at both the Art of Classical Ballet in Florida and the Fabrice Herrault Studio in NYC. (You may remember him from the 2011 documentary First Position.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blake Kessler, 17, currently a trainee with Orlando Ballet II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gisele Bethea, 15, currently a student at the Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, AZ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mackenzie Richter, 15, currently a student at the International City School of Ballet in Smyrna, GA.

 

 

 

Winners will be annouced Friday, June 27th.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

How Can I Stay Motivated While Training at Home?

Ethan Ahuero was having a good year: he was in his first season dancing with Kansas City Ballet II and had been presented with the opportunity to choreograph on the second company. "The day before we shut down I had a rehearsal, and I was so happy," Ahuero says. "The piece was coming together and this was the first time I felt really proud of my creative process."

Suddenly, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt. With the company's season cut short and the studios closed, Ahuero found himself attempting to continue dancing from home, with his choreography project put on hold. Like many other dancers around the world, Ahuero is dealing with disappointment while struggling to stay motivated.

Keeping up with daily ballet classes may feel difficult right now; inspiration can seem hard to come by when you're following along on Zoom and short on space at home. Below are a few simple tips for finding new ways to stay motivated.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Goh Academy

Pro-Pro Priorities: The Top Skills to Focus on During Your Final Training Years

As told to Rachel Caldwell

Finding the right pre-professional training program can be daunting. Then once you're there, what should you focus on in order to succeed? To shine some light on the topic, we talked to five leading teachers and directors who have seen scores of students move on to flourishing ballet careers. Here's what they suggested for young dancers on the pre-professional track.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/21/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks