Metropolitan Ballet Academy Announces 20th Anniversary Year

September 8th, 2015 |

Save June 4, 2016 for 20th Anniversary Gala Performance & Reception


Highly acclaimed ballet studio in Jenkintown, PA, launches 20th anniversary
Academic year with classes starting Monday, September 14, 2015


Jenkintown, PA—Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA), which has earned recognition from Pointe magazine as one of “seven local studios in America cultivating top talent” (November 2011), kicks off its 20th Anniversary year with classes starting Monday, September 14, 2015. The studio and its affiliated nonprofit performing company, Metropolitan Ballet Company (MBC), will celebrate two decades serving the greater Philadelphia region with an exciting year of guest artists, master classes and community performances, culminating in a Gala Performance and Reception on June 4, 2016.

Guest faculty John Selya, former member of American Ballet Theatre and Twyla Tharp Dance and an acclaimed Broadway dancer, teaching class at Metropolitan Ballet, Summer 2015; photo by Miki Wray.

Guest faculty John Selya, former member of American Ballet Theatre and Twyla Tharp Dance and an acclaimed Broadway dancer, teaching class at Metropolitan Ballet, Summer 2015; photo by Miki Wray.


Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic launched Metropolitan Ballet Academy in 1996, after performing for a decade with Pennsylvania Ballet, where she was also a Ballet Mistress. At age 14, Ms. Vidnovic received a full scholarship to American Ballet Theater in New York City; at age 16 she began dancing professionally with Chicago’s Lyric Opera Ballet, directed by the renowned Maria Tallchief. Over four decades, Ms. Vidnovic’s dance career included feature roles in many ballets by George Balanchine, as well as choreographers Jacques d’Amboise, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. She was a member of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet faculty from 1983-1996 and the Bryn Mawr College faculty from 1990-2000. Ms. Vidnovic also performed for seven years with the Voloshy Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.

Ms. Vidnovic founded Metropolitan Ballet with a vision to create a pre-professional ballet school and performing company that provides the highest quality classical dance training, scholarships, performance opportunities and outreach programs designed to promote a love and appreciation of dance in our community. Metropolitan Ballet is located at 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046.


Guest faculty Cynthia Drayer, former Principal with San Francisco Ballet, instructs young boys in Metropolitan Ballet 2015 Summer Intensive; photo by Miki Wray.

Guest faculty Cynthia Drayer, former Principal with San Francisco Ballet, instructs young boys in Metropolitan Ballet 2015 Summer Intensive; photo by Miki Wray.


Metropolitan Ballet is distinguished by its nationally acclaimed Boys’ Scholarship Program, founded in 1999, which annually provides tuition-free dance training for nearly 60 boys ages 7 to 18. Families enjoy its community and Showcase performances of classical and contemporary repertory, including George Balanchine’s Serenade and Valse Fantaisie, both performed with permission from the Balanchine Trust. MBC often presents new dance works created for the Company by New York-based choreographers including Kanji Segawa, Jessica Lang, Katarzyna Skarpetowska and MBA alumna Sarah Mettin, whose own dance company made its debut at Jacob’s Pillow in July 2015. More than 25 Metropolitan alumni dance professionally with regional companies across America, on Broadway and in Cirque du Soleil.

Over 50 Metropolitan students have earned highest honors at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and/or scholarships for intensive study with prestigious ballet companies from coast to coast. YAGP Philadelphia has also twice awarded Ms. Vidnovic Outstanding Teacher (2011/2013) and Metropolitan Ballet Academy Outstanding School (2012/2015). In 2015 the Eastern Montgomery Chamber of Commerce named Metropolitan Ballet Company Nonprofit of the Year.

Metropolitan is now accepting registration for girls and boys ages 3 to 18 for its Creative Movement, Youth Division and Pre-Professional Division classes, taught by the school’s outstanding year-round faculty, plus renowned guest artists. Classes start Monday, September 14, 2015; information and registration forms are available at, or contact Ms. Vidnovic at 215-663-1665 or

Metropolitan Ballet students perform the Children’s Mazurka from Paquita, after Petipa (Company Premiere 2010). Photo by E.A. Kennedy III.

Metropolitan Ballet students perform the Children’s Mazurka from Paquita, after Petipa (Company Premiere 2010). Photo by E.A. Kennedy III.

Metropolitan Ballet Company Announces Audition for Free

May 19th, 2015 |

Boys’ Scholarship Program dance classes, June 6, 2015 at 9:00 am

Boys ages 7-18 are eligible for weekly classes with Metropolitan Ballet faculty, acclaimed Bolshoi-trained artists Denis Gronostayskiy and Sergey Pupyrev.

Metropolitan Ballet Company Boys’ Scholarship Dance Program 2014-2015 Level 1 students with MBC faculty member, Sergey Pupyrev, photo by Miki Wray


Jenkintown, PA— Metropolitan Ballet Company will hold auditions for its renowned Boys’ Scholarship Dance Program on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM, at the studio of Metropolitan Ballet Academy, 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046. Boys ages 7-11 and 12-18 are eligible to receive free, weekly dance classes from September 2015 through June 2016, taught by artists Denis Gronostayskiy and Sergey Pupyrev, who trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and performed professionally worldwide, and presently serve on the Metropolitan Ballet faculty. No prior dance experience is required.

The Boys’ Scholarship Program provides tuition-free training in all-male classes designed to enhance athletic skills, motor intelligence, balance, flexibility and strength. Approximately 50 boys enroll each year to study beginning, intermediate and advanced ballet and partnering with distinguished male dancers who serve as teachers and role models, while addressing boys’ unique movement and learning styles. Boys in the Scholarship Program also enjoy classes taught by guest artists in modern, jazz and character dance, and diverse performance opportunities with Metropolitan Ballet Company. The Company is affiliated with Metropolitan Ballet Academy, which Pointe magazine named as one of America’s top seven ballet studios.

Metropolitan Ballet boys perform Colors, choreography by Lisa Collins Vidnovic, photo by E.A. Kennedy, III


Metropolitan Ballet’s Boys’ Scholarship Program was created by Lisa Collins Vidnovic in 1999 as a way to make ballet accessible to boys in the greater Philadelphia region. Vidnovic, a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist and Ballet Mistress, founded Metropolitan Ballet Academy in 1996 and Metropolitan Ballet Company, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, pre-professional performing company, in 2001. Nearly 250 boys have participated in the Program to date, and several Program alumni have pursued professional careers in dance, earning summer scholarships to regional intensive ballet programs, and performing with companies nationwide.

The Boys’ Scholarship Program is an outreach program of Metropolitan Ballet Company, and proudly supported by grants from the Loeb Performing Arts Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation and by many generous gifts from individuals. For more information about auditions for the Boys’ Scholarship Program, MBA classes for boys and girls, tickets to the MBA Showcase on May 30-31, 2015, or tax-deductible contributions to MBC, please contact Lisa Collins Vidnovic at 215-663-1665, email or visit

Metropolitan Ballet Academy Student Dancers Take Top Honors at 2015 YAGP Philadelphia and Boston Regional Semi-Final Competitions; Metropolitan Ballet Wins Outstanding School 2015 Award

May 1st, 2015 |

19 young dancers performed to acclaim at YAGP Finals in New York City

Metropolitan Ballet Academy Announces Three Unique Summer Dance Study Programs

Jenkintown, PA—Young dancers studying at Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in Jenkintown, PA, achieved great success in the 2015 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), winning high honors at the annual competition’s regional Semi-Finals held in Philadelphia and Boston earlier this year. 19 MBA dancers were selected to compete at the prestigious YAGP Finals in New York City, which concluded on April 15th. During the Philadelphia Semi-Finals Awards presentation, Metropolitan Ballet was again awarded YAGP Outstanding School.

Metropolitan Ballet Academy, recognized by Pointe magazine as one of America’s top seven ballet studios, will celebrate its 20th anniversary year from September 2015 through June 2016. Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic said, “I am so proud of all our diverse, young dancers who come from throughout the Philadelphia region to study at Metropolitan Ballet, and who work so hard throughout the year. The accomplishments of our students who competed at YAGP is one exciting measure of our success; additional rewards come in our Metropolitan Ballet Company performances, when our dancers share their love of dance and our classical and contemporary repertoire with audiences in our community. Many students who excel at YAGP are also offered scholarships to study with regional ballet companies across America, and many of our MBA alumni dancers now dance professionally with companies from coast to coast.”

In the 2015 YAGP season, Metropolitan Ballet earned the following awards:

  • Philadelphia Regional Semi-Final (January 2015):
  • 1st Place, Large Ensemble for Moriaky (Sailors), Pavlo Virsky as restaged by Taras Lewyckyj: Cody Bakhshi (15, Abington), Juan Castellanos (14, Philadelphia), Aedan Daly (9, Philadelphia), Eoin Daly (14, Philadelphia), Tyler Diggs (13, Holland), Michael Jastrzebski (14, Philadelphia), Najae Johnson (12, Elkins Park), Caleb Mansor (14, Hatboro), Brian Ouzomgi (15, Meadowbrook), Devon Reid (14, Perkasie), Kyle Schoener (15, Chalfont), Micah Sell (12, Philadelphia), Xavier Synnestvedt (11, Bryn Athyn), Kieran Versaw-Barnes (14, Elkins Park), Charles-Henry Wache (12, Maple Glen), James Wray (10, Hatboro); all boys are Pennsylvania residents.
  • Top 12, Large Ensemble for Night Run, choreography by Tommie Waheed-Evans: Tatiana Di Bucci (17, Rydal), Gabrielle Frett (13, Cherry Hill), Marguerite Gelfin (13, Wyncote), Hannah Henderson (14, Huntingdon Valley), Sophie Lane (16, Elkins Park), Sierra Levin (18, Doylestown, PA), Rafaella Rader (14, Philadelphia), Natalie Valko (15, Chalfont), Nancy Wenger (17, Newtown), Mercedes Wentworth-Nice (15, Doylestown), Brianna Yarnoff (16, Meadowbrook); Cherry Hill, New Jersey; all other towns are in Pennsylvania.
  • 3rd place, Classical, Pre Competitive Soloist: Jacey Gailliard (10, Philadelphia, PA).
  • Top 12, Junior Classical Soloist: Rafaella Rader (14, Philadelphia, PA).
  • Top 24, Junior Classical Soloist: Hannah Henderson (14, Huntingdon Valley, PA).

Boston Regional Semi-Final (February 2015):

  • 2nd place, Senior Classical Soloist: Sierra Levin (18, Doylestown, PA).
  • Top 12, Junior Classical Soloist & Junior Contemporary Soloist: Tyler Diggs (13, Holland, PA).


“I am so grateful to our entire artistic staff, our dedicated production team, our costume design and wardrobe team, and the many dedicated MBA parents who all support our dancers during YAGP season and throughout the year,” Vidnovic said. “In particular, Ms. Natalya Zeiger took great care in preparing our dancers for the stage, and Mr. Taras Lewyckyj worked to help the Boys Ensemble take First Place and win resounding applause for Moriaky (Sailors). Our choreographers, Sarah Mettin and Tommie Waheed Evans, also created beautiful works for both soloists and ensemble.”

Metropolitan Ballet Academy announces summer dance study opportunities

Metropolitan students who competed at YAGP study dance intensively nine to 12 months of the year. For students who hope to pursue a professional career, or who appreciate the rigor of classical dancing training and the beauty of performance, Metropolitan Ballet offers pre-professional dance study for beginner, intermediate and advanced students by its highly acclaimed faculty and an outstanding array of guest artists, who teach Master Classes in seasonal workshops and Summer Intensive programs that complement MBA’s school year. For summer 2015, MBA announces three unique programs, including one that integrates academic enrichment. All classes are held at MBA’s studios located at 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA.

  • The BRIDGE: A Master Class Series for Intermediate & Advanced Dancers, June 2-9, featuring guest artists John Selya (American Ballet Theatre, Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out) and Olga Kostritzky (Faculty, The School of America Ballet and Novosibirsk State Opera/Ballet Theatre) for ballet and Natalia Bizinha (Mettin Movement, RIOULT Dance NY) for modern.
  • MBA’s renowned SUMMER INTENSIVE, July 6-Aug 14, offering half and full-day programs for beginner, intermediate and advanced boys and girls.
  • M3 = Math x Music x Movement©: an exciting summer enrichment program for ages 7-10, featured in April’s Dance Teacher magazine. Enroll now for Level 1: July 6-10 for children entering 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade or Level 2: July 13-17 for children who have completed Level 1.

Fall classes start September 14, 2015; all summer programs are enrolling now. For class registration and information, call 215-663-1665 or visit


The Metropolitan Ballet Academy Boys Ensemble at the YAGP 2015 NYC Finals, after winning 1st Place in the YAGP 2015 Philadelphia Semi-Finals; seated center, MBA founder and artistic director Lisa Collins Vidnovic (left) and Taras Lewyckyj (right), who restaged the traditional Ukrainian sailor dance “Moriaky” after Pavlo Virsky for the Boys Ensemble performance.

Metropolitan Ballet Academy student dancer Jacey Gailliard (age 10, Philadelphia, PA) competing in the YAGP 2015 Philadelphia Semi-Finals, where she won 3rd place in the Classical, Pre Competitive Soloist division.

Metropolitan Ballet Company Presents Annual Collaborative Concert

February 16th, 2015 |

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2015 Contact: Lisa Collins Vidnovic, Director / 215-663-1665,

ATTN: Weekend, Performances, Music, Dance, and Family Activities


Cutting-edge choreography and brilliant live music – an exceptional evening of music and dance.

Jenkintown, PA — Metropolitan Ballet Company (MBC) will present Variations/Collaborations, its annual evening of contemporary choreography and live music, on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Kurtz Center of William Penn Charter School, 3000 West School House Lane, Philadelphia, PA.

The concert will showcase new works by Philadelphia choreographer Tommie‐Waheed Evans of PHILADANCO!,

NYC choreographer/ Sarah Mettin, an MBC Alumna and founder of Mettin Movement, and NYC choreographer

Damani Pompey, as well as works created in collaboration with musical artists from Settlement Music School.

The program will also include a world premiere by pianist and composer, John Silva. Mr. Silva and renowned flutist Margaret Claudin will perform the new work, also with choreography by Ms. Mettin.

With over thirty dancers, Metropolitan Ballet Company has been recognized as “one of the top places to see ballet in Philadelphia” (CBS/ Arts and Culture, June, 2012). Known for both its classical and contemporary dance performances, MBC has added an astounding 45 works to its repertoire since its founding in 2001. These include the commission of 15 world premiere contemporary works and three world premiere story ballets for children, created for the company by

New York City based and other noted choreographers.

Guest artist John Silva has performed as a soloist internationally and was a finalist in the Alfred Kitchen Chopin Competition. He is a Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music and received the Master of Music degree as a scholarship

student at the Trinity College of Music in London, UK. Flutist Margaret Claudin has made frequent solo and chamber

music appearances throughout the United States and Europe. Her repertoire covers a wide musical spectrum, ranging

from baroque sonatas, to premiering contemporary compositions.

The highly accomplished young musicians study at various branches of Settlement Music School and include piano trio members Vanessa Poe, violin; Jennifer Lee, cello; and Immanuel Mykyta-Chomsky, coached by SMS violin faculty member Jean Louise Shook, as well as solo performers, including violinist Sophia Yoo, coached by SMS faculty member Lee Snyder, and Kristal Daniels, a soprano student of Judith Turano.

Tickets for the 7:00 pm performance on March 7, 2015 are $15.00 in advance or $20.00 at the door. Tickets may be purchased online at

For information, please call (215) 663-1665.


Metropolitan Ballet Company is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization providing scholarships, performance training for pre-professional dancers and outreach programs designed to promote a love and appreciation of dance in our community. For more than 100 years, Settlement Music School has been a resource for excellence in community arts education, providing music, dance and the related arts for all – regardless of age, skill level, background, or financial means. At its six locations in South and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Wynnefield, Willow Grove and Camden, New Jersey, Settlement Music School offers 10,000 weekly services and awards $2 million in financial aid each year.

28 Metropolitan Ballet Academy Dancers to Compete This Weekend at the Philadelphia Regional Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition

January 14th, 2015 |

Best of luck to the 28 Metropolitan Ballet Academy dancers competing this weekend in the regional Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), the world’s largest student ballet competition.

Students who qualify at regional competitions worldwide will go on to the prestigious final YAGP competition in New York City in April, 2015, where they’ll have the opportunity to win scholarships to prominent ballet schools such as American Ballet Theater in New York and Royal Ballet School in London.

At last year’s Regional Semi Finals , the MBA’s Children’s Ensemble won First Place (Philadelphia),   and our Jr. and Sr. soloists won top honors in both Philadelphia and Providence;  MBA faculty member  Sarah Mettin won an award  for Outstanding Choreography in the Philadelphia semi-final and  MBA faculty member Natalya Zeiger was presented with the Outstanding Teacher award at the  Providence semi- final.  18 MBA students went on to perform in New York City 2014 Finals, with the Children’s Ensemble placing in the top 12 ensembles from around the globe.

More than 300 dancers from throughout the Northeast, including 28 from the Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA), will compete in the Philadelphia regional semi-final, which will be held at the Temple University Performing Arts Center through Saturday.

The 28 MBA Dancers competing this weekend include 16 men and 12 ladies:

Cody Bakhshi, Kiersten Borkert, Juan Castellanos,  Aedan Daly, Eoin Daly, Tatiana Di Bucci, Tyler Diggs, Gabrielle Frett, Jacey Gailliard, Marguerite Gelfin, Hannah Henderson, Michael Jastrzebski, Najae Johnson, Sierra Levin, Caleb Mansor, Brian Ouzomgi, Rafaella Rader, Devon Reid, Kyle Schoener , Micah Sell, Xavier Synnestvedt, Natalie Valko,  Kieran Versaw-Barnes, Charles-Henry Wache, Nancy Wenger, Mercedes Wentworth-Nice, James Wray, and Brianna Yarnoff.

Two MBA dancers will also be competing in YAGP regionals in other cities:
Tyler Diggs & Sierra Levin.