The world’s largest student ballet competition was not intimidating for a group of eight dancers from Beck Center for the Arts.
The Lakewood group recently attended the Youth America Grand Prix in Chicago and didn’t disappoint.
The dancers’ performance, “Phantom of the Opera,” ranked in the Top 12 for ensembles, according to a news release from Beck Center for the Arts.
The group included Ali Cassidy, Bethany Comienski, Taylor Gerrasch, Julia Horner, Ciara McGlynn, Julia Parrish, Abby Schneider and Becky Steffen.
It was no small feat, considering they competed against some of the top ballet schools in the nation — including the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Interlochen Arts Academy and Milwaukee Ballet School.
Julia Horner, the 17-year-old phenom who has studied dance at Beck Center for the past 10 years, placed in the Top 12 in the women’s solo category for both her contemporary performance entitled “Revel in the Moment” and her classical piece, a variation from “The Talisman.”
According to the news release, this year’s national event marks the first time a Beck Center solo dancer has been awarded the prestigious prize.
“The YAGP offers our advanced ballet students the opportunity to compete alongside top Midwest dance training institutions, receive feedback from noted adjudicators, and take classes with highly sought after master teachers from companies around the world,” said Melanie Szucs, Beck Center’s associate director of Dance Education, in a statement.
“The results were the ‘icing on the cake’ for our students and confirm the excellent training they are receiving from Beck Center faculty.”