Jackson, Miss., June 27, 2014 – Two weeks of intense, world-class competition culminated today with the announcement of 28 dancers selected as 2014 USA International Ballet Competition award winners.

Edward Villella, 2014 USA IBC International Jury Chairman, noted that the competition is a global celebration of dance and the “finest of the finest.”  Winners are listed below by division or award.

2014 USA International Ballet Competition Medalists

Men’s Senior Gold Medalist –Jeong Hansol, Republic of Korea

Women’s Senior Gold Medalist –Shiori  Kase, Japan

Men’s Senior Silver Medalist –Byul Yun, Republic of Korea

Women’s Senior Silver Medalist –Tamako Miyazaki, Japan; Irina Sapozhnikova, Russia;

Men’s Senior Bronze Medalist –Aaron Smyth, Australia; Ivan Duarte, Brazil

Women’s Senior Bronze Medalist –Ga-Yeon Jung, Republic of Korea

Junior Division:

Men’s Junior Gold Medalist –Taiyu He, Peoples Republic of China

Women’s Junior Gold Medalist –Gisele Bethea, USA

Men’s Junior Silver Medalist –Jinsol Eum, Republic of Korea

Women’s Junior Silver Medalist –Mackenzie Richter, USA

Men’s Junior Bronze Medalist –Gustavo Carvalho, Brazil

Women’s Junior Bronze Medalist –Yasmin Lomondo, Brazil; Paulina Guraieb Abella, Mexico

Special awards were bestowed to:

Best Junior Couple –Yasmin Lomondo and Gustavo Carvalho, Brazil

Best Senior Couple –Ga-Yeon Jung and Ji Seok Ha, Republic of Korea

Choreography Award –Nicholas Blanc for Aaron Smyth “Rendez-Vous”

Jury Award of Encouragement Male-Yue Shi, Peoples Republic of China

Jury Award of Encouragement Female-Romina Contreras, Chile

Robert Joffrey Award of Merit –Daniel Alejandro McCormick-Quintero, Mexico

Contract and scholarship offers were extended as follows:

The Joffrey Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, offered:

  • Dae Han Na and Jeong Hansol, Republic of Korea, positions with the company for the 2015-2016 season
  • Taiyu He and Yue Shi, Peoples Republic of China; Matthew Griffin, USA; and Gustavo Carvalho, Brazil; full scholarships to the 2015 Summer Program with continuation into the Studio Company
  • Blake Kessler, USA, a full scholarship to the 2015 Summer Program with continuation into the Trainee Program.

In addition to the Joffrey Ballet award, Griffin was offered a Trainee position with Ballet Memphis for the 2014-2015 season, a one-season contract with Columbia City Ballet and a full tuition scholarship to the 2015 Colorado Ballet Summer Intensive.

Ballet West  offered Anisa Sinteral-Scott, USA, a position with Ballet West II for the 2014-2015 season.

Houston Ballet offered Mackenzie Richter, USA, a position with its Second Company,  Houston Ballet II,  for the 2014-2015 season.

Katherine Barkman, USA, was offered a scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year by The School of the Hamburg Ballet,  a one-season contract with Columbia City Ballet and the opportunity to compete in the 2015 Tanzolymp Competition in Berlin.

Texas Ballet Theater offered Paula Alves, Brazil, a Trainee contract for the 2014-2015 season.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre offered Gisele Bethea a full scholarship and stipend for Fall 2014 and a Studio Company position in Spring 2015.

The South Mississippi Ballet Theatre offered Olga Marchenkova and Ilya Artamonov the opportunity to perform leading roles in its 2014-2015 season’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.

“Our international jury did a great job selecting winners for 2014,” said Sue Lobrano, USA IBC executive director.  “With every USA IBC, we see an intense level of skill and artistry among dancers and this competition was no exception.”

Preparing for and competing in the USA IBC is highly valuable to young people seeking to make their mark in the dance world, Villella told the finalists at the beginning of the news conference in which winners were announced. “If you do not walk away with a medal you still walk away with the experience.”