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The USA International Ballet Competition Has Just Announced Its List of 2018 Competitors

Younji-Grace Choi at the 2014 USA IBC. Choi is now a dancer with Cincinnati Ballet and will return to the USA IBC as a senior competitor this summer. Photo by Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy USA IBC.

Exciting news today: the USA International Ballet Competition has just announced its list of invited competitors for the summer 2018 competition. The USA IBC has invited 119 dancers from 19 countries out of over 300 applicants to compete in Jackson, MS June 10-23.

Since the last USA IBC in 2014 the competition has expanded its age limits; the junior category now allows dancers ages 14-18 and the senior category dancers ages 19-28. Of the 119 competitors this year, 53 are juniors and 66 are seniors. The United States has the highest number of competitors invited (52), followed by Japan (23) and South Korea (14). The other countries represented are Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Philippines, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.


Dancers will compete for more than $150,000 in cash prizes, as well as medals, company contracts, apprenticeships and scholarships. All finalists will receive a $1,500 stipend.

This year's competition will honor the legacy of former jury chairman Robert Joffrey with a performance by dancers from Joffrey Ballet. Other highlights include lectures by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky on Petipa's 200th birthday, Edward Villella on dancing for Balanchine and Olga Guardia de Smoak on the history of the Ballet Russes.


Edward Villella and Katherine Barkman at the 2014 USA IBC. Photo by Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy USA IBC.

We've listed the U.S. competitors below (for a complete list of competitors, click here). Junior division dancers include Ellison Ballet student Elisabeth Beyer, who just won 1st place in the Junior Division of the 2017 Moscow Ballet Competition, and Chloe Misseldine, who placed second among senior women at YAGP last year and was one of the seven Americans who competed at the 2018 Prix de Lausanne.

Thanks to the expanded age range, many of the senior American dancers are in the midst of careers with companies including Ballet Manila, Texas Ballet Theater, Cincinnati Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Boston Ballet and The Washington Ballet, among others. Click on dancers' names to learn more about them. Can't wait for June? You can count down the days until the USA IBC with their handy clock.

Junior Women

Elisabeth Beyer, Faith Bloomstran, Vanessa Childress, Cassidy Daves, Maddison Goodman, Alexandra Gray, Jaden Grimm, Lucy Hassmann, Liliana Lizalde, Jolie Rose Lombardo, Alexandra Manuel, Chloe Misseldine, Madison Penney, Julia Rust, Sophie Savas-Carstens, Rheya Shano, Quinn Starner, Katherine Stevens, Alina Taratorin, Avery Tessmer, Olivia Tweedy, Avery Underwood, Tia Wenkman and Sabrina Yap.

Junior Men

Jacob Alvarado, Diego Altamirano, Jorge Boza Cáceres, Arthur Erlanson, Stephen Kessler, Joseph Markey, Stephen Myers, Harold Mendez, Isaac Mueller and Luke Westerman.

Senior Women

Katherine Barkman, Youn Ji Grace Choi, Robbie Downey, Yaman Kelemet, Chisako Oga, Samantha Pille, Princess Reid and Eunice Suba.

Senior Men

Ariel Breitman, Andre Gallon, Derek Drilon, Yamil Maldonado, Alexander Maryianowski, Ryo Munakata, Oliver Oguma, Jefferson Payne, Alexandros Pappajohn, David Schrenk and Colton West.

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