Jackson, Miss., June 18, 2018 – Thirty-two of the world’s finest young dancers will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals plus cash awards in Round III of the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition.

Named finalists for Round III are the following dancers from 10 nations:

Senior Males:

Jorge Barani, Cuba

Albjon Gjorllaku, Great Britain

Takahiro Hayashi, Japan

Yuki Kaminaka, Japan

Sangmin Lee, Republic of Korea

Ryo Munakata, USA

David Schrenk, USA

Keynald Vergara Soto, Cuba

Sicong Wu, China


Senior Females:

Veronica Atienza, Philippines

Katherine Barkman, USA

Rieko Hatato, Japan

Shin Jungyoon, Republic of Korea

Soobin Lee, Republic of Korea

Risa Mochizuki, Japan

Chisako Oga, USA

Yunting Qiu, China


Junior Males:

Hyuma Kiyosawa, Japan

Joseph Markey, USA

Razmik Marukyan, Armenia

Harold Mendez, USA

Stephen Myers, USA


Junior Females:

Nicole Barroso, Philippines

Elisabeth Beyer, USA

Carolyne Galvao, Brazil

Mya Kresnyak, Canada

Jolie Rose Lombardo, USA

Alexandra Manuel, USA

Julia Rust, USA

Rheya Shano, USA

Tia Wenkman, USA

Park Yujin, Republic of Korea

Each finalist will receive a $1,500 travel stipend, awarded through the Peggy Mize Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The 32 dancers will perform both classical and contemporary pieces in Round III, June 19-21. Jurors will select medalists and other award winners based solely on the competitors’ Round III scores.

USA IBC XI jurors are John Meehan, USA, chairman; Stanton Welch AM, Australia; André Lewis, Canada; Feng Ying, China; Xiomara Reyes, Cuba; Hae Shik Kim, Republic of Korea; Gennadi Nedvigin, Russia; Trinidad Vives, Spain; Vadim Pisarev, Ukraine; and Ashley Wheater, United Kingdom.

USA IBC medalists and award winners will be announced and honored at the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Awards Gala June 22. Tickets to the Round III performances, Awards Gala and June 23 Encore Gala are available at usaibc.tix.com. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall.

The USA IBC is a two-week, “Olympic”-style competition where tomorrow’s stars vie for gold, silver and bronze medals; cash awards; company contracts; and scholarships. The event is designated as the official international ballet competition in the United States by a Joint Resolution of Congress. Presented under the auspices of the International Dance Committee, International Theatre Institute of UNESCO, the USA IBC is held every four years in Jackson, Miss., in the tradition of sister competitions in Varna, Bulgaria; Moscow, Russia; and Helsinki, Finland. The USA IBC is a member of the International Federation of Ballet Competitions and the International Dance Council.