Local dancers to compete in Youth America Grand Prix finals

Special to The Log
Dancers are pictured with their coach on final day of Grand Prix. Girls who qualified are holding their award plaques. (From left) Courtney Shealy of Destin, Ellie Borick, Katia Garza, Brooklyn Burbidge, Sabrina Lobner, Jonathan Carter and Ella Brummet.

Six dancers from the Northwest Florida Ballet traveled to Tampa to compete Jan. 2 in the internationally-acclaimed Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) regional semi-finals. The competition lasted for two days, and included both classical and contemporary dance performances.  

All of the dancers from NFB performed exceptionally, with three of the six securing places for themselves in the finals.

The cohort from NFB included Northwest Florida Ballet Académie eighth grader Ellie Borick; NFB Pre-Professional Program (PPP) freshman Brooklyn Burbidge; and PPP sophomores Ella Brummett, Jonathan Carter, Sabrina Lobner and Courtney Shealy. Traveling with the group were coach and choreographer Katia Garza, NFB Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen, and NFB Assistant Artistic Director Sharon Allen.

Together the group brought home three qualifier plaques: Borick took 2nd Place in the Junior Classical division with a pointe variation from Legat’s Fairy Doll (Die Puppenfee), Shealy took 3rd Place in the Senior Classical division with a pointe variation from Petipa’s Raymonda, and together Shealy and Brummett qualified in the Ensemble category (which did not designate rankings) with a contemporary piece, “Another Day,” choreographed by Garza.

All three girls will travel to New York this coming April to compete in the YAGP Final Round at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center.

Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition, awards more than $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. In addition to the potential to win dance scholarships, the Final Round presents a unique reward to the dancers — the Koch Theater is the stage on which the New York City Ballet performs.