June 12-27, 2010

The ninth USA IBC opened Saturday, June 12, with excerpts from ROCK THE BALLET by the Bad Boys of Dance, founded by Rasta Thomas, 1998 Senior Gold medalist. Arthur Mitchell was tapped as the National Honorary Chairman, and Bruce Marks returned to lead the international jury. A record number of competitor applicants (357) poured in, but only 117 were invited to compete. The selections were made by Ethan Stiefel, Ravenna Tucker and William Whitener. Christopher Fleming and Gizella Witkowsky served as evaluators to offer the best possible learning experience to dancers. Including the jury and competitors 36 countries were represented.

The USA International Ballet Competition was named a National Endowment for the Arts 2010 American Masterpiece as designated through the Mississippi Arts Commission. The National Endowment for the Arts created this national initiative to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy.

The significant grant award supported a special presentation during opening ceremonies to honor IBC founder, Thalia Mara, and the legacy of the USA IBC.

The official artist of the event was Brent Funderburk, who “reassigns light” in his original watercolor “Firebird 2010” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the ballet. His other works were exhibited in Thalia Mara Hall for guests.

The companion USA IBC Dance School and faculty welcomed 258 students representing 24 U.S. States and 2 foreign countries. The USA IBC Teacher Training, led by Peff Modelskyi, had 27 students representing 11 states and 2 foreign countries.

For the first time, USA IBC hosted a professional development opportunity outside the Teacher Training with renowned dance photographer, Lois Greenfield, who shared her method, (technical and artistic), and guided photographers through mastery of both capturing the moment and creating sculptural lighting for bodies in motion. Her work CELESTIAL BODIES / INFERNAL SOULS hung in the gallery of the Mississippi Arts Center for the month of June.

The Edward Stierle Contemporary Showcase continued with such high interest from competitors eliminated in Round I that a lottery was held for the chance to perform.

The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco!) is described by critics as “a dance company so electric that they make you want to jump up and jump in.” They performed on the dark night between Rounds I and II in addition to teaching master classes and a lecture/demonstration as part of their two-day residency.

Other ancillary events included “Lunch with the IBC,” Tutu.Com workshops, a Regional Dance America performance and, of course, the Grand Prix Ball.

DanceLife TV produced a video commemorating the 2010 medalists.

The year following the ninth USA IBC, the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau named it the “Event of the Year.”


Senior Division


  • Cao Shuci (China) Senior Women


  • Candice Adea (Philippines) Senior Women
    Kosuke Okumura (Japan) Senior Men


  • Kyohei Yoshida (Japan) Senior Men
  • Zhang Xi (China) Senior Men
  • Maki Onuki (Japan) Senior Women

Junior Division


  • Marcelino Sambé (Portugal) Junior Men
  • Ji Young Chae (South Korea) Junior Women


  • Ki-Min Kim (South Korea) Junior Men
  • Fumi Kaneko (Japan) Junior Women
  • Alys Shee (Canada) Junior Women


  • Derek Dunn (USA) Junior Men
  • Mariana Layún Prado (Mexico) Junior Women

Special Awards

Best Junior Couple:

  • Ji Young Chae (South Korea),  Ki-Min Kim (South Korea)

Best Senior Couple:

  • Cao Shuci (China) & Zhang Xi (China)

Choreography Award:

  • Caterina Moreira for Que Todos Os Ais Sáo meus

Capezio Award:

  • Guixien Chu (Chinese Taipei) Senior Men
  • Ekaterina Oleynik (Belarus) Senior Women

Robert Joffrey Award of Merit:

  • Seo-Hye Han (South Korea) Senior Women

Jury Award of Encouragement:

  • Esteban Hernandez (Mexico) Junior Men
  • Amanda Gomes (Brazil) Junior Women

Tutu.Com Custom tutu to top junior and senior female medalists:

  • Ji Young Chae (South Korea) (Junior)
  • Cao Shuci (China) (Senior)

One Season Contracts

  • Columbia City Ballet: Aynsley Inglis (USA)
  • Miami City Ballet: Ekaterina Oleynik (Belarus)
  • Ballet San Jose: Miki Wakuta (Japan)
  • Nashville Ballet: Augusto Cezar (Brazil)

The Peggy Mize Fund for the IBC presented every finalist in Round III with a cash award of $1,000 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
  • Alexei Ratmansky, Russia
  • Denise Schultze,  South Africa
  • John Meehan, Australia
  • Hae Shik Kim, South Korea
  • Lita Beiris, Latvia
  • Bruce Simpson, Great Britain
  • Xiao Susha, China
  • Thomas Lund, Denmark
  • Hideo Fukagawa, Japan
  • Samantha Dunster, Canada
  • Doris Laine, Finland
  • Trinidad Vives, Spain

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

I am looking for..