Four Metropolitan Ballet Academy Students Place in Youth America Grand Prix Semi-Finals, Three Continue on to NYC Final

March 10th, 2009 |

Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) students have much to celebrate this week as four students excelled in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) 2009 Regional Semi- Finals held on March 6–8, 2009 in Torrington, CT and January 9-11, 2009 in Philadelphia, PA.

Kamryn Baldwin (10) won First Place in the Pre-Competitive Age Category; Peter Weil (12) placed in the top 12 in the Junior Classical Ballet Category, Phoebe Gavula (14) placed in the top 12 in both the Junior Classical Ballet and Junior Contemporary Ballet Categories, and Brianna Leporace (17) placed in the top 12 in the Senior Contemporary Ballet Categories.

Baldwin, of Blue Bell, PA; Gavula, of Glenside, PA; and Leporace, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, will go on to compete in the YAGP New York City Finals, April 17-22, 2009, where finalists selected from semi-final rounds conducted all over the globe will compete for over $250,000 in scholarships to 30 of the world’s leading dance schools, as well as job offers from notable dance companies in the U.S. and abroad. Weil is a resident of Jenkintown, PA.

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest international student ballet scholarship competition. Now in its 10th Anniversary season, YAGP has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. Over 25,000 dancers worldwide have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, competitions, and audition classes, and over 200 YAGP alumni are now dancing with 50 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others.

Metropolitan Ballet Academy has been training boys and girls in classical ballet since 1996, and in 2009 is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its nationally-acclaimed Boys’ Scholarship Program, which provides tuition-free dance training for boys 7-18. MBA was founded by Lisa Collins Vidnovic, a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist and Ballet Mistress. Boys’ Scholarship Program classes are led by William DeGregory, renowned Principal Dancer of Pennsylvania Ballet and current Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet II. Nearly 150 boys ages 7-18 have participated in the program in the decade since its founding.

In 2001 Vidnovic founded the nonprofit Metropolitan Ballet Company (MBC), which provides MBA students with pre-professional performance opportunities and master classes with visiting guest artists and choreographers. MBC dancers regularly appear in Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker and other performances, and perform in schools and elder care facilities throughout the region. In May 2009, the Company will represent its community at the Regional Dance America Festival, performing for the fifth consecutive year. Learn more at