June 17- July 2, 2006

The 2006 competition began with a high-energy performance by Ballet Hispanico, one of America’s foremost dance interpreters of Hispanic culture. Guest artists included Joseph Phillips, Adrienne Canterna, Danny Tidwell and Rolando Sarabia. Paul Terlizzi, COO of Capezio Ballet Makers, Inc., was selected as the national honorary chairman of the competition, and First Lady Marsha Barbour served as the event’s Mississippi Ambassador. The competitor selection committee, which chose competitors from a historically high pool of applicants, included Anna-Marie Holmes, Dennis Nahat and Janie Parker. From approximately 300 applications, the selection committee tapped 121 dancers from 27 countries to compete in Jackson. Christopher Fleming, Janie Parker and Wes Chapman served as competitor evaluators during the competition.

For the 2006 event, the USA IBC displayed work from a talented variety of artists in its lobby displays, including bronze sculptures by Susanne Vertel, metal pieces by Gary Martin and organic wood figures by Robert Crowell. The official USA IBC poster in 2006 was based on “Reflections,” an original oil painting by Jackson artist P. Sanders McNeal. Garth Fagan Dance, founded and led by the choreographer of Disney’s Broadway show “The Lion King,” performed to a packed house on the evening of June 22, and the company also conducted a lecture-demonstration and a master class during their two-day residency.

The competition’s companion International Dance School enrolled a record number of students in 2006, all of whom studied with master teachers during the day and attended exciting competition performances in the evenings.

Ancillary events included a lecture on the careful construction of tutus and a screening of the controversial documentary “Ballets Russes.”

For the first time, the USA IBC featured competitors eliminated during Round I in performance. A new event, titled the Edward Stierle Contemporary Showcase, allowed these competitors to present contemporary works they had prepared for later rounds of the competition. The performance, named in honor of Joffrey dancer and 1986 IBC medalist Edward Stierle, was presented at the Belhaven Center for the Arts.

In 2006, the USA IBC lit its official torch from a new flame. The flame, which is always ignited outside Thalia Mara Hall at the start of the two-week competition, was donated to the organization by Richard and Sandra Carlino on behalf of Regional Dance America. The seven-foot-tall structure, topped with a luminous metallic bowl, was given in honor of Luis Fuente. Fuente, who choreographed one of the pieces presented at the Regional Dance America performance in 2006, appeared on the 1982 IBC commemorative poster.


Senior Division


  • Daniil Simkin (Germany)
  • Misa Kuranaga (Japan)


  • Brooklyn Mack (USA)
  • Jurgita Dronina (Lithuania)


  • Joseph Gatti (USA)
  • Masayoshi Onuki (Japan)
  • Yui Yonezawa (Japan)

Junior Division


  • Isaac Hernandez (Mexico)


  • Denys Cherevychko (Ukraine)
  • Sae-Eun Park (South Korea)


  • Jeffrey Cirio (USA)
  • Kayo Sasabe (Japan)
  • Christine Shevchenko (USA)

Special Awards

Best Senior Couple:

  • Davit Karapetyan (Armenia) & Vanessa Zahorian (NCP)

Best Junior Couple:

  • Mathias Dingman (USA) &  Sasha De Sola (USA)

Choreography Award:

  • Ben Iida for “September”

Robert Joffrey Award of Merit:

  • Marija Kicevska (Macedonia)

Jury Award of Encouragement: 

  • Ryo Izawa (Japan), Zherlin Ndudi (Ukraine)
  • Francesca Dugarte (Venezuela)
  • Caitlin Valentine (USA)

Ballet International Award: 

  • Isaac Hernandez (Mexico)

The Heinz Bosl-Ballet Foundation “Great Hope Prize 2006”: 

  • Toshiro M. Abbley (USA)

Two one-season contracts to Miami City Ballet were presented to Elena Kazakova (junior female, Russia) and Carolyn Rose Ramsay (senior female, Canada).

Two one-season contracts to Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley were presented to Yui Yonezawa (senior female, Japan) and Amy Marie Briones (junior female, USA).

The Peggy Mize Fund for the IBC presented every finalist in Round III with a cash award of $700 to help defray travel expenses. These awards were offered through the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, and the fund is named in honor of the late Peggy Mize of Jackson.


  • Bruce Marks, Chairman, USA
  • Julia Moon, South Korea
  • Thomas Lund, Denmark
  • Konstanze Vernon, Germany
  • Doris Laine, Finland
  • Nina Novak, Venezuela
  • Tetsuji Adachi, Japan
  • Gizella Witkowsky, Canada
  • Denise Schultze, South Africa
  • Lita Beiris, Latvia
  • Simon Dow, Australia
  • Bruce Simpson, Great Britain
  • Zhanna Dubrovskaya, Russia

Join our mailing list for USA IBC updates, make a donation, or contact us.

I am looking for..