WBC - World Ballet Competition - International Ballet Competition

At the 2019 World Ballet Competition Finals, Grace Koznarek received the Silver Medal in the Pre-Professional Category. She recently shared everything from how she trained for the competition to her sight-seeing explorations. Enjoy our chat below!

1. Tell us about your preparation for the competition. How often did you rehearse and have private lessons?
I started thinking about the solos I wanted to do a few months before the competition. I had private lessons with my coach, Jennifer Grapes, about once or twice a week, and sometimes I would work a bit on my own.

2. Did you rent or have your costumes made?
I rented all my costumes from my dance studio, Hinsdale Dance Academy. However, my blue costume for Talisman was originally created for someone who was 6 feet tall! So, my amazing mom completely redesigned the skirt and all of the intracate beading, so that it fit my 5'4" frame.

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Pictured: Grace Koznarek performing the Talisman Variation at the World Ballet Competition

3. Were you nervous before competing?
I always feel calm about competing right up until I stand in the wings, waiting for the girl before me to finish. That's when I get a giant pit in my stomach! Usually, I try not to look at whoever is dancing, and I also take very deep breaths. I also remind myself that I am going out onstage to perform, to be an artist, not to be perfect!

4. What do you think of the instantaenous scoring system and the online broadcast?
At first it made me nervous. But, I actually enjoyed the system! The highest and lowest scores are taken off, so that you get a score which is not affected by one high or low scoring judge.

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 Pictured: Grace Koznarek

5. What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and the daily warm up classes?
I loved the master classes and the teachers so much! I was in Orlando for a week, so I didn't have to worry about finding a studio to take class in or trying to give class to myself, because all I had to do was walk from my hotel to the convention center.

6. There are several competition rounds in the WBC, who chose the order of your solos for the competition?
My coach and I worked together on what order my variations should be performed in. We always try to have two of the variations be super contrasting, like Esmeralda and Talisman!

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Pictured: Grace Koznarek performing the Esmeralda Variation at the World Ballet Competition

7. What do you think separates WBC from other ballet competitions?
I loved all of the different rounds! I got so much time on stage, all in one week. I was really happy about this because the more time I get onstage, the more comfortable and confident I feel performing.

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Pictured: Grace Koznarek visits the Gaynor Minden booth at the World Ballet Competition

8. What advice would you give to upcoming competitors?
Don't be stressed. Everyone gives this advice, but it is so so true. When you are stressed out, your whole body is tense! When you do your solos at your home studio your muscles are relaxed because you feel comfortable and safe. You should try to feel the same way onstage! Otherwise you will dance stiffly, which does not create beauty and artistry.

9. Were you able to sight-see in Orlando?
After I finished competing, I got to go to Disneyworld for the very first time!!!

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Pictured: Grace Koznarek strikes a stunning pose at Walt Disney World

10. What have you been up to since competing at the WBC?
Since competing, I have accepted a scholarship to Staatliche Balletschule Berlin which is connected to Staats Ballet Berlin! Living in Germany is a crazy, new adventure, and it's an adventure that I am very blessed to be on!

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the 2020 Application can be found by clicking here

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At the 2018 World Ballet Competition Finals, Natasha Furman was a stand-out competitor whom received the Gold Medal in the Introductory Category. She shared with us how she trained for the event and what she's been up to since, enjoy our chat!

 

Tell us about your preparation for the competition. How often did you rehearse and have private lessons?

My preparation for the competition was having private classes five days a week with my mom, who is a former professional ballerina and my teacher, working on my two variations.

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Pictured: Natasha with her mom and ballet coach, Katya Strelnikova

 

Did you rent or have your costumes made?
I had my costumes custom made for me. I love my tutus! Always can’t wait till competition to wear those tutus! ❤️

 

Were you nervous before competing?
I am usually a little nervous but mostly excited before competing, but when I go on stage I forget everything that happened before! All I think about is dancing with happiness and joy! Also, I think about all the people sitting there in the audience and enjoying my performance, and I feel that energy coming through my body that gives me even more power to dance through the end! ❤️

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Pictured: Natasha performing the Variation from Paquita at the World Ballet Competition 2018 Finals, Photo by Michael Cairns.

 

Do you think the WBC's individual onstage rehearsal before each round benefited your performances?
I think it helps a lot! First it helps you to get the right feeling of the stage before performing! Also you can really mark the stage and do your dance using the stage! Overall I think it’s awesome! ❤️

 

What do you think of the instantaneous scoring system and the online broadcast?

I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT!!!! FIRST EXPRESSIONS ARE AWESOME! I was SHOCKED when I got a score of 9.175!!!!!!! Love the Kiss and Cry area!❤️ When you sit in the Kiss and Cry area it’s like time stops, but suddenly you get your score and when I got my score I started to cry from glee and happiness! ❤️ The broadcast all around the world was amazing! My great grandparents live in Russia and could still see me dancing even though at that time in Russia it was 2:00AM!! I wish we could get the videos from the Kiss and Cry area. ❤️

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Pictured: Natasha receiving her score in the World Ballet Competition's Kiss & Cry Segment

 

What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and the daily warm-up classes?
Both were AMAZING! They were so interesting! And it’s really interesting when you have the opportunity to work with another teacher! Especially the judges! I tried my best! I made sure every step I did was perfect! Also, the master classes give you extra training for your performance! ❤️

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Pictured: Natasha training in the ballet studio

 

What advice would you give to upcoming competitors?
Some advice I would give to the upcoming competitors is to not be nervous and calm down! Forget everything that happened before and enjoy the dance! ❤️

 

What do you think separates WBC from other ballet competitions?
The scoring system for sure! I’ve never seen in any other competitions where you get your scores right away. It’s just the perfect feeling because when you are on a different competition you have to wait 3 days for sure! And that just feels like FOREVER! The sudden feeling of the glee in me was perfect! Also our reactions were LIVE! That was AWESOME I’ve never ever seen your reactions LIVE except for the Olympics! It makes you feel like you actually in the Olympics!❤️

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Pictured: Natasha performing the Bluebird Variation at the World Ballet Competition 2018 Finals, Photo by Michael Cairns.

 

Were you able to sight-see in Orlando?
No, I was trying to rest as much as I can before my performance but the day after my performance I had to fly back home, so I didn’t really have a chance to sight see in Orlando! I know it’s a really beautiful city! ❤️

 

What have you been up to since competing at the WBC?

First I went to Master Ballet Academy's Summer Intensive. I’ve been to a Russian TV show called “Blue Bird” («Синяя Птица»), also prepared new variations and choreographed my contemporary piece for the new dance season. Obviously before all that had to have a fun Summer duh! Who wouldn’t!!!!!

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Pictured: Natasha at Master Ballet Academy's Summer Intensive with Ballet Mistress, Irina Wozniak.

 

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the Competitor Application can be found by clicking here

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Davi Chagas, age 23, has participated for several years at the World Ballet Competition Finals in Orlando, Florida receiving Gold and Silver Medals. He most recently competed at the 2017 World Ballet Competition OPEN in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he was awarded the Silver Medal in the Professional Soloist Category. Enjoy our chat below to learn about Davi's experiences competing at the WBC.

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Davi performing the Variation from Le Corsaire. Photo by Virginia Trudeau

Tell us about your preparation for the competition. How often did you rehearse and have private lessons?
I prepared for the WBC with a lot of dedication. I took classes in the afternoon every Monday to Saturday, and at night I rehearsed many times. I also maintained a very healthy diet to be able to be strong and at the same time light.

Did you rent or have your costumes made?
My costumes were made by Marta Calheiros, a great friend. She's the mother of one of my partners and she does a beautiful job!

Why did you choose to participate in the WBC OPEN São Paulo?
Because I had the opportunity to participate several times of the finals of the WBC in Orlando, and I realized that it is an incredible event for the maturation of a dancer. There are many opportunities for knowledge, scholarships and contracts. Only those who have participated can describe the sensation.

What solos did you perform? Which was your favorite and why?
In the WBC Open Sao Paulo I performed ''Con Te Partiró'', by Ana Palmieri and also the classical variation ''Grand Pas Classique''. No doubt my favorite was ''Con Te Partiró'', because it is a very exciting choreography for those who dance and who watch.

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Davi performing his contemporary solo. Photo by: Virginia Trudeau

Were you nervous to compete?
I was pretty calm, because there were many trials and a lot of work. I just thought I'd do my job with love and passion!

What did you think of the scoring system?
I think it's amazing! With this system, each participant can finish his performance without having to spend days distressed to know the result. It's one of the coolest things in WBC.

How was the WBC OPEN in São Paulo different from the Orlando Finals?
In fact, when I participated in the WBC Open Sao Paulo I felt like I was in Orlando because it was very similar! The only difference is that in the finals in Orlando have participants from all over the world.

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Davi performing the Flames of Paris pas de deux. Photo by Virginia Trudeau

Which restaurants and/or landmarks should dancers visit while in town?
Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo Art Museum, Rock Gallery are some of the many cool places that exist in Sao Paulo. It is a very big city, there are many places to be explored

What did you think of the master classes?
I really liked the master classes. Great professionals and were essential for my preparation in the days of the competition. In addition to the various opportunities offered in the classes.

What did you gain from your experience at the WBC OPEN São Paulo?
I gained more knowledge and a lot of incentive to move forward in my career as a dancer.

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Davi performing in an ensemble group piece by Balletarrj Escola de Danca. Photo by: Virginia Trudeau

What advice would you give to dancers competing this year?
ENJOY this opportunity! Do all the classes, train a lot, do your best, dance with a lot of passion and don't forget to make friends, this is one of the coolest things in this competition. Be able to learn all the time, as I have been.

 

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Davi Chagas, 23 anos, participa há vários anos das finais do World Ballet Competition, Flórida, sendo premiado com diversas medalhas de ouro e prata. Em sua participação (2017), ele também competiu World Ballet Competition OPEN em São Paulo, Brasil, onde recebeu a medalha de prata na categoria Solista Professional. Aproveite nossa conversa abaixo para saber mais sobre experiência de Davi competindo no WBC.

Conte-nos sobre sua preparação para a competição. Com que frequência você ensaia e tem aulas?

Me preparei para o WBC com muita dedicação. Eu tinha aulas à tarde de segundas a sábados, e à noite eu ensaiava muitas vezes. Eu também mantive uma dieta muito saudável para ser capaz de ser forte e ao mesmo tempo leve.

Você alugou ou comprou seus figurinos?
Meus figurinos foram feitos por Marta Calheiros, uma grande amiga. Ela é a mãe de uma das minhas partners e ela faz um belo trabalho!

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Davi variação Le Corsaire / Foto: Virginia Trudeau

Por que você escolheu participar do WBC OPEN São Paulo?
Porque eu tive a oportunidade de participar várias vezes da final WBC em Orlando, e eu percebi que é um evento incrível para o amadurecimento de um bailarino. Existem muitas oportunidades de conhecimento, bolsas e contratos. Somente aqueles que participaram podem descrever a sensação.

Que solos você apresentou? Qual foi o seu favorito e por quê?
No WBC Open São Paulo eu dancei ''Con te partiro'' de Ana Palmieri e a variação clássica ''Grand Pas Classique''. Sem dúvidas o meu favorito foi ''Con Te Partiro'', porque é uma coreografia muito emocionante que encanta tanto quem está dançando quanto quem está assistindo.

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Davi solo contemporâneo / Foto: Virginia Trudeau

Você estava nervoso para competir?
Eu fiquei muito tranquilo, pois foram muitos ensaios e muito trabalho. Eu pensei apenas em fazer o meu trabalho com muito amor e paixão!

O que você achou do sistema de pontuação?
Eu acho incrível! Com esse sistema, cada participante pode terminar sua apresentação sem precisar passar dias angustiado na dúvida de ter tirado uma nota boa ou ruim. É uma das coisas mais legais no WBC.

Como foi o WBC OPEN em São Paulo e quais diferenças das finais em Orlando?
Na verdade, quando participei do WBC Open São Paulo eu me senti como se estivesse em Orlando porque foi muito parecido! A única diferença é que nas finais em Orlando são participantes do mundo inteiro.

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Davi chamas de Paris pas de deux / Foto: Virginia Trudeau

Quais restaurantes e / ou pontos turisticos os bailarinos devem visitar enquanto estiverem na cidade de S. Paulo?
Parque Ibirapuera, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Galeria do Rock e diversos outros lugares legais. São Paulo é uma cidade muito grande e tem muito a ser explorado!

O que você achou das master classes?
Eu gostei muito das aulas. Grandes profissionais que foram essenciais para o meu preparo nos dias de competição. Além das várias oportunidades oferecidas durante as aulas.

O que acrescentou na sua experiência participar do WBC OPEN São Paulo?
Eu ganhei mais conhecimento e muito incentivo para seguir em frente na minha carreira como bailarino!

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Davi Grupo Balletarrj Escola de Danca / Foto: Virginia Trudeau

Que conselho você daria aos bailarinos que competem este ano?
APROVEITEM essa oportunidade! Façam todas as aulas, treinem muito, deem o seu melhor, dancem com muito amor e paixão e não se esqueçam de fazer amizades, essa é uma das coisas mais legais nesse concurso. Estejam aptos a aprender o tempo todo, como eu estive!

 

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At the 2017 World Ballet Competition Finals, Sophie Miklosovic was a stand-out competitor whom received the Gold Medal in the Professional Category. She recently shared with us how she trained for the event and her mindset for competing, enjoy our chat below!

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Pictured: Sophie Miklosovic

Tell us about your preparation for the competition. How often did you rehearse and have private lessons?

Sophie: We started WBC preparation after Nutcracker. I took my regular daily schedule 2 technique and 2 pointe class/variation classes most days, at The Art of Classical Ballet. I ran a WBC solo or my Pas De Deux most days a few times after morning tech & pointe when my body was centered and warm. Sometimes if we missed our morning rehearsal we would run after our evening classes. We do a little every day, as a group and rotate dancers and variations. We don’t rush things or over do rehearsing that way. I prefer this as I get to watch others prepare and I learn from their corrections too and we encourage each other. As I had a new Pdd partner we did do some extra sessions to get us prepared!! Also, I greatly benefited by getting advice from all the Principals and professional dancers that constantly pop in to train with our Director, Magaly Suarez. Seriously, these professionals (former Magaly students) are so generous to help and I got amazing advice from them. Taking class & getting rehearsal pointers from Adiarys Almeida, Taras Domitro, Ana Sophia Scheller to name a few is a young dancers dream. I also got to work with Mr. Bruce Marks, who judged for another event I won, and he generously came in to see Magaly and work with me several weeks as well.

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Sophie practices her variations with renowned dancers: Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro watching

Did you rent or have your costumes made?

Sophie: My mom made my Kitri tutu and it was her first and I loved it!! My contemporary costume was designed/made by Tara Mitton Catao who worked my contemporary solo which was choreographed by Mark Godden. They had a very specific costume plan and well it worked as Mark and Tara won the WBC choreography award. For my other variations I wore one costume I had from the past and one from my Director’s stash.

Were you nervous before competing?

Sophie: I was more excited then nervous as usual. I was prepared, the work was done in class & rehearsals so you just got to trust that. My job at that point is to tell a story, make the audience feel something. So I always want to get into character and lose myself in my music and the story. There is nothing better than feeling free and becoming that character onstage. It’s my reward and what I love most so I just trust my preparation and get out of my head and enjoy the onstage opportunity. This has always been my thought process since I did my first solo at age 5.  I’m not there to compete for an award ... I am there to perform. Make the audience feel something. It makes me happy and I always dance best when I pretend to be that character or tell that story and I give a good performance for the audience.

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Sophie performing at the 2017 World Ballet Competition, Photo by Virginia Trudeau

What do you think of the instantaenous scoring system and the online broadcast?

Sophie: I LOVED IT!! Because first impressions are truest and honest feedback good or bad is most valuable if I’m to improve. Also, as an audience member the transparency is great and let’s you learn what these judges are looking for!

What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and the daily warm up classes?

Sophie: As I was sick during the week and nursing a injury, I had to modify my warm ups & class and do cryrotonics as maintenance so I unfortunately only attended the last day of warm up classes. I do think that having daily class is a GREAT feature of WBC though, anytime you can take class from knowledgeable judges or master teachers it’s a win!

There are several competition rounds in the WBC, who chose the order of your solos for the competition?
Sophie: My coach and I discussed the order and were in agreement. I think I led off with Giselle as I had performed it before.

Do you think the individual onstage rehearsal before each round benefited your performances?

Sophie: Yes, definitely! Feeling the stage space, the floor and lighting is very valuable. It eliminated surprises and allowed me to make some needed adjustment and feel more comfortable. A few less surprises are always a good thing!!

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Sophie and her coach, Magaly Suarez

What do you think separates WBC from other ballet competitions?

Sophie: The instant scoring for sure, it feels fair and you get each judge's first impressions. I also REALLY appreciate the MEDAL standards - you may be awarded 1st Place but it might be a Bronze or Silver medal performance. I REALLY like the WBC standards because it gives you a clearer understanding of how you danced against a standard not just the dancers who happened to be at that event. It’s not about winning 1st Place; my goal was to dance well enough to earn a GOLD medal. If I perform well then I’ve done my job regardless of the final 1st, 2nd or 3rd placement.

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Sophie poses with her Gold Medal at the 2017 World Ballet Competition

Were you able to sight-see in Orlando? 

Sophie: No, I was doing a lot of resting and injury maintenance that week as I was performing as both a senior soloist and with a Pas de Deux, and well we have to make choices. I wanted to give solid performances so I tried to stay off my feet when possible. 

Orlando is a great place for sightseeing and everything was so close — if I didn’t have to go right back to training it would have been a great city to vacation in!!

What advice would you give to upcoming competitors?

Sophie: For me, I LOVE the preparation and try to think of a competition as a PERFORMANCE opportunity and think wow look at the variations I get to work on and perform! So I love doing the prep work everyday in class, so my technique is there for me when I step on stage. Think of WBC as a performance opportunity, enjoy meeting and watching other dancers and then enjoy every second on stage. Sometimes you win ... but you can always LEARN.

What have you been up to since competing at the WBC?

Sophie: After WBC I attended The Art of Classical Ballet's Summer Intensive and prepared another new classical variation & new contemporary for the China IBC I was invited to attend in Beiijing in August. THEN I had the best surprise EVER!! Two days before before China, Edward Liang called my teacher and offered me a contract with BalletMet!! As I was in a boot 5 weeks during audition season and missed out I was super surprised. Mr. Liang had visited Magaly to set a piece on our resident Principals, he watched classes and rehearsals I guess! Also, as a Gaynor Girl and Zarely Rising Star, I had to post videos and well I think that helped too!! So I signed on for their 2017-2018 Season the day before I flew to Beijing! 

I am THRILLED with all my learnings this fall and the opportunities I’ve been given this season already at Ballet Met!! I must admit, dancing their Clara role was most rewarding and a dream come true as she dances with each diversement and does the Snow Pas de Deux and the Flowers Lead/Pas with the Nutcracker Prince.

Opening night for Giselle is February 9th and I am THRILLED to dance as the soloist in the Peasant Pas de Quatre AND to portray Zulma a Wilies soloist role!!

I am growing as an artist everyday, improving, living my dream, and I could not be happier. Thank you, Magaly Suarez, for the amazing training and all the doors you opened for me.

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the 2018 Application can be found by clicking here

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At the 2017 World Ballet Competition Finals, Kali Kleiman received the Silver Medal in the Preparatory Category. She recently shared everything from how she trained for the competition to her sight-seeing explorations. Enjoy our chat below!

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman

Who is your coach(s) and what dance school do you attend?

My coach's are Jacqueline Porter, Olga Pavlova, and Yevgeni Anfinogenov. I attend The Dallas Conservatory.

Do you rent your costumes or have them custom-made for you?
I recently have been working with a Dallas based costume designer and seamstress, Lisa Joy (who is masterful and like a second mom) that has created my last several costumes. This season I am also wearing two of the tutu’s that my coach, Olga Pavlova, is allowing me to borrow from her personal professional closet.

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman performing the Variation from Le Corsaire at the World Ballet Competition

What is your typical class and rehearsal schedule like during competition season?
I am a student at The Dallas Conservatory Academic program and it gives me amazing flexibility. My typical schedule includes a 9:30am studio arrival time, with time during the day for private lessons, two to three times a week to work on variations. We have classes every afternoon into the evening and then Saturday is company class and ensemble rehearsals. Sunday can be used for addition rehearsal time if it’s necessary.

How do you warm-up before competing?
It just depends. Usually I prefer a full barre with additional floor stretches. I also include jumps to get my blood flowing!

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman posing backstage

Were you nervous competing at the World Ballet Competition? If so, how did you overcome your nerves?
Yes I was very nervous but I think the opportunity to have tech time really helped. The backstage experience was very calm and supportive so that helped too. Just the ability to have my coach with me and to know that I prepared properly in the studio provided confidence as well.

What did you think of the WBC's instantaneous scoring system?
I thought the scoring was amazing because there is no waiting, you know where you stand with your competitors right away. There was no question of scores being changed or anyone playing favorites. I loved how transparent it was.

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman performing her contemporary solo "Intolerance" at the World Ballet Competition

Did you enjoy the "Kiss & Cry" area backstage for the live broadcast?
The “Kiss or Cry” booth was so much fun! It was a exciting way to find out your score...I do love the camera!

What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and competitor warm-up classes:
The classes were absolutely great! It’s always so enjoyable to take class from such well known and experienced teachers who are so dedicated to all students improving.

Did you do any sight-seeing while in Orlando?
Yes!!! My whole family flew in and Grandparents too! We did several days of Disney and Universal Parks. We made it our Summer Vacation!

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman and her family take a break from the competition at Walt Disney World

Anything else you would like to share?
This competition was just an absolute joy! I got do my favorite thing which is to perform and everything about the competition was just amazing! The fact that you had open stage time, five minutes just to yourself and your coach gave me so much confidence. The schedule wasn’t so intense that it prevented family time and interrupted the whole day. The icing on the cake was being invited to perform in The Gala! It was such a humbling experience! Thank you World Ballet Competition!

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the 2018 Application can be found by clicking here

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We recently chatted with Gabriele Lukasik who captivated the judges and received the Bronze Medal at the 2017 World Ballet Competition Finals. She shared everything from how she trained for the World Ballet Competition, who made her costumes, and how she kept her nerves from affecting her performances. Enjoy our chat below!

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Pictured: Gabriele Lukasik

 

Tell us about your preparation for the World Ballet Competition. What dance school did you train at and who coached you?

Gabriele: In preparation for the competition, I trained at Classic Dance Academy in Colorado. I was coached primarily by Michelle Dolighan-Rodenbeck, but also had several privates with Staci Kinkead-Fox, Heather Marsh-Schieck, Catherine Board, and Maria Mosina. Now, however, I train with Colorado Ballet's Pre-Professional Division.

How often did you have private lessons and what regular classes did you take?

Gabriele: I began to rehearse for World Ballet Competition in September, as I was also competing my variations at other competitions. I began with an hour private every week to rehearse my classical solos, and half an hour for my contemporary piece. As the competition neared, particularly beginning in April, I rehearsed for about two or three hours each week, with the amount of rehearsal time increasing in the few weeks before the competition. In addition to my rehearsals, I took about five or six hour-and-a-half ballet technique classes, two hour-long contemporary/lyrical classes, and an hour-and-a-half-long pointe class per week (I trained in other styles as well, such as tap, hip-hop, jazz, etc).

Did you rent or have your costumes made?

Gabriele: I purchased my costumes from an online retailer located in China. The company called, Ali Express, had a variety of professionally-made performance tutus for sale, which you could select and have made based on your measurements. My teacher and I looked through the website and chose the costumes we thought best fit my variations, gave them my measurements, and had the tutus custom-made.

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Pictured: Gabriele (right) poses backstage with her Ensemble group

Were you nervous before competing? If so, how did you calm your nerves?

Gabriele: I was definitely nervous before competing; not only is it nerve-wracking to perform a solo onstage, but I was also being judged by my performances. To calm my nerves, I reminded myself that I was prepared and well-rehearsed. I also thought of a quote that a dance teacher once told me: “When you go onstage, you have nothing to prove - only to share.” This saying helped me to remember that, although I was being judged, my goal should be to make the audience feel something and to share my passion for dance.

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Pictured: Gabriele Lukasik performing her contemporary solo "Saturn"

 What do you think of the World Ballet Competition's instantaneous scoring system and the online broadcast? Did your friends from back home watch you?

Gabriele: I was a huge fan of the instantaneous scoring system and online broadcast. The scoring system was very transparent and fair, and it was clear that everyone was considered and judged equally. My friends and family from all over the world were able to support me through the online broadcast, and they really enjoyed being able to watch and be a part of the competition from afar.

What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and the daily warm up classes?

Gabriele: I thought that the Master Class Workshop and the daily warm-up classes were very helpful. I loved taking classes with new teachers, and it was fun to dance with inspiring dancers from all over the globe. I learned a lot by watching the other competitors, and by gaining knowledge from world-renowned teachers and professionals.

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Pictured: Gabriele Lukasik

 There are several competition rounds in the WBC, who chose the order of your solos for the competition? 

Gabriele: My coach and I worked together to choose the order of my solos. My category had a total of three rounds, with a classical and contemporary solo in Round I, a different classical solo in Round II, and two classical solos in Round III (one of these variations could be the same as the variation competed in Round I). The three variations I prepared were La Esmeralda, Grand Pas Classique, and Giselle Act I.

We decided on La Esmeralda for Round I, Grand Pas Classique for Round II, and Giselle Act I and La Esmeralda for Round III. We debated between La Esmeralda and Grand Pas Classique for Round I, but ultimately decided that La Esmeralda was my stronger variation and, since I could perform it in Round III as well, made that my first variation. We knew that we wanted the two variations in Round III to be very different artistically, so decided that Giselle Act I was the most contrasting from La Esmeralda. Grand Pas Classique then ended up being my variation for the second round.

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Pictured: Gabriele Lukasik performing the Variation from Esmeralda

Do you think the individual onstage rehearsal before each round benefited your performances?

Gabriele: The individual onstage rehearsal time was certainly beneficial. I was able to run my variations onstage, which helped me to get a feel for the stage, space out my variation, and feel more comfortable. I became more accustomed to the stage through this rehearsal time, and felt more confident performing my variations during the competition.

What do you think separates WBC from other ballet competitions?

Gabriele: I have competed in a variety of different ballet competitions over the years, and there are a few characteristics of WBC that make it unique. First of all, the competition is very well-organized, and the staff was always very helpful in answering any questions. Additionally, the competition itself and the scoring system were very transparent; since the scores were announced right after a dancer finished performing, it was clear that everyone was being judged openly and fairly. Finally, through scholarships, the opportunity to perform in the gala, and the chance to take class with well-known ballet teachers, it was obvious that the goal of WBC was to provide young dancers with the opportunity to be seen by different schools, and to help ensure their futures in dance.

Gabriele Lukasik

Pictured: Gabriele (left) posing with her sister, Maya, a fellow competitor

Were you able to sight-see in Orlando? If so, tell us what places you visited.

Gabriele: I was able to sight-see a little bit in Orlando; over my three years of competing there, I visited Disney World, Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, Sea World, and more.

What advice would you give to upcoming competitors?

Gabriele: The advice I would give to upcoming competitors is to do your best and have fun. Oftentimes, dancers worry about performing, especially during competitions, and think too much about placing well or giving a perfect performance. In my opinion, it is much more important to enjoy yourself and find personal growth. Don’t get too caught up in the competition aspect; instead, use WBC as an opportunity to grow as a dancer, to perform onstage, and to have fun sharing your passion for dance with the world!

What have you been up to since competing at the WBC?

Gabriele: Right after competing at WBC, I attended San Francisco Ballet’s summer intensive on full scholarship. I then flew to Sacremento, California to perform at the YAGP Masters and Youth Gala alongside Maria Mosina, Olga Pavlova, Vladislav Lantratov, Maria Alexandrova, Marianna Ryzhkina, and some of the most talented young dancers in the world. Since then, I was accepted to dance with Houston Ballet’s Professional Division and Colorado Ballet’s Pre-Professional Division. I decided to attend Colorado Ballet, and am enjoying dancing every day. In addition to the daily training I receive at Colorado Ballet, I have had many performance opportunities, including performing in the snow scene in their professional company’s production of The Nutcracker, as well as performing Clara’s Snow Pas de Deux and the principal variation from Raymonda in an academy showcase.

Gabrielle Lukasik

Pictured: Gabriele Lukasik

 

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the 2018 Application can be found by clicking here

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The World Ballet Competition (WBC) is a not-for-profit 501 (C) 3 organization whose sole purpose is to promote talent and fairness.

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Special Mention

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Special thanks to Discount Dance Supply, sponsor of the 2020 World Ballet Competition. 

 

Discount Dance Supply is the biggest dancewear mega store offering brand dance and ballet shoes, dance clothing, recital costumes, dance tights.

 

accessibility

The venue for the World Ballet Competition 2020, Orange County Convention Center, is wheelchair accessible. For futher information on Assistance for Guests with disabilities, please click here.