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Ballet Yuma earned the distinction of RDA Honor Company 2014

Posted: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 | By Kass Hall

Yuma, Arizona – Ballet Yuma dancers recently participated in the Regional Dance America/Pacific Festival in Spokane, Washington, representing Yuma as the only company from the entire state of Arizona at this prestigious event and once again earning the coveted distinction of “Honor Company” within the organization. The Festival is the culmination of the season for these young artists, where the dancers perform, participate in master classes, audition for scholarships and attend three evenings of performances. During this time, the directors and board members are also given opportunities to connect, share ideas, network and gain greater perspective.

Ballet Yuma had an exceptionally successful Festival experience, both in relation to auditioning and in relation to their performance and growth over the past year. In addition to maintaining their Honor Company status, they also brought home Choreography Awards and several scholarships for summer study and college/university interest. Awards earned are as follows:

  • Ballet Yuma earned the distinction of RDA Honor company 2014 (one of seven out of 21 companies)
  • Brooke Frandsen – Monticello Emerging Choreographer Award for her original ballet, “Cory” performed by Ballet Yuma; Full Scholarship to the RDA National Choreography Intensive
  • Alyssa Myers – USA/IBC Merit Scholarship; 1/2 tuition scholarship to 2015 Ballet West summer program; Received an invitation to apply to the Modern Dance department at the University of Utah
  • Tiffany Velazquez – Merit non-resident tuition scholarship to Utah Valley University
  • Amy Mondragon – Full scholarship to the RDA National Choreography Intensive
  • Carina Gresham – Full tuition scholarship to the State Street Ballet summer program; Received an invitation to apply to the Modern Dance department at the University of Utah
  • Vivianna De Santiago – Full tuition scholarship to Ballet Arizona Summer program
  • Bethany Johnson – 1/2 tuition scholarship to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet summer program
  • Lakyn Hall – 1/2 tuition scholarship to the USA/International Ballet School of Dance
  • Breanna McCauley – Accepted to Dance department at Cornish College of the Arts; Received an invitation to apply to the Modern Dance department at the University of Utah

The festivals are essentially performing events each hosted by an individual company or region. Each spring the process begins when nationally recognized adjudicators tour the regions to select works by participating companies and arrange festival programs. Each company receives a written report about its own offerings as well as those of the other members. For those in isolated communities where there is no informed dance press, the adjudication reports are especially valuable.

Recruiters from professional companies, colleges and universities are welcome and encouraged to attend these Festivals. They may observe the dancers in class and performance, meet with the directors, participate in college roundtable discussions, hand out information on their various programs and take advantage of the various auditions held at each festival to award contracts and scholarships, early admissions and letters of encouragement to apply. Tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded at each festival to dancers for study at prestigious summer programs. Additionally, major professional companies, colleges and universities scout for their future talent.