Love Dance? Choreography? Choreographers Competition

BalletNova Begins 3rd Annual Young Choreographers Competition

Winner Gets $500 Cash Prize and Chance to Choreograph New Piece


Falls Church, VA- BalletNova is proud to announce the 3rd Annual BalletNova Young Choreographers Competition (BNYCC). The BNYCC provides a unique opportunity for serious young dancers (ages 14-18) to develop their art beyond performing.

A Virtual Competition.

The competition is open to 14-18 year old dancers from the Metro DC area.  Their choreography can be in classical ballet, contemporary, modern, or jazz dance genres, and must be 3 – 4 minutes long with 3 –  dancers.

The BNYCC is conducted virtually – competitors submit a DVD of their work which is evaluated by an acclaimed panel of nationally and internationally recognized judges, who score them according to elements such as space utilization, movement patterns, timing dynamics and conceptual creativity.

The top three finalists are chosen and then the public is invited to vote on their favorite choreographers via Facebook (public voting counts as 20% of the total score). In 2013, 500 voters participated in the contest voting.

Competition registration began February 14, 2014, and the completed application and video are due on March 2, 2014. Applicants can submit their application and video online at www.BalletNova.org.


Viral voting is scheduled to run from March 18 – 25, 2014. The public is invited to participate by visiting the BalletNova Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/BalletNovaCenterForDance?ref=hl to cast their votes.


The finalists are invited to perform live at BalletNova’s Spring Gala on Saturday, March 29, where the winner is announced.



The winners receive cash prizes and other awards:

1st Prize:

$500 cash; trophy and certificate of achievement; free tuition to the BNCD Diamond Summer Intensive workshop; opportunity to set a new piece for the Diamond Summer Intensive Performance workshop

2nd Prize:

$250 cash; certificate

3rd Prize:

$100; certificate

All participants receive copies of the judge’s constructive comments, to help them continue to develop their choreographic skills.


BalletNova Spring Gala

The Gala is slated for Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 7:00 – 10:30 pm.  The festivities include a silent auction, live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a performance by the BNYCC finalists, followed by coffee and dessert.  Tickets are $65/person, or $120/couple, and sponsorships are available starting at $250.  To purchase a ticket or sponsorship, or get more information, go to: http://www.balletnova.org/support.



This year’s judges are:

  • Christopher Rudd, Principal Dancer at Ballet West, star of the “Breaking Pointe” TV series

A native of San Francisco, Christopher began his training at the San Francisco Ballet School, going on to additional training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and at the University of Utah Ballet Department. Christopher joined Ballet West in 1998, was promoted to Soloist in 2001 and Principal in 2004. With Ballet West Christopher has toured throughout the world including multi-city tours in China and in Scotland at the Edinburgh International Festival. Some of his notable roles include “Petruchio” in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated; and “Romeo” in Jonas Kage’s Romeo and Juliet.  After 15 years as a dancer with Ballet West, Christopher has added choreographer and Director of Ballet West II to his responsibilities. His works “Without Fall” and “Trapped” were performed at the 2012 Gala and Innovations program. In 2012 he was awarded a Fellowship Initiative grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, enabling him to create his latest piece, Strum.


  • Diane Coburn Bruning, Artistic Director of the Chamber Dance Project

Diane Coburn Bruning is an award-winning choreographer and Artistic Director/Founder of the Chamber Dance Project, a company of dancers and musicians performing new and contemporary repertoire with live accompaniment. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a two-year fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, the McKnight National Fellowship, Sundance Film Institute and support from Meet the Composer, Harkness Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, The Carlisle Project, and a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Choreography among others.


Diane has worked with the Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Joffrey II among many others. She is a graduate of Butler University and New York University with a Masters in choreography, and studied on a post-graduate fellowship at Yale University School of Drama. In addition, Diane has been a guest artist and teacher with over twenty  university dance departments including Juilliard, Tisch NYU and Butler University, and was a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Institute and New York City Ballet.


  • Jill Eathorne Bahr, Resident Choreographer with the Charleston Ballet Theater

Jill Eathorne Bahr has served as Resident Choreographer of Charleston Ballet Theatre since its inception as a professional ballet company in 1987. Bahr been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Fellowships, four Monticello Choreographic Fellowships, the William Habich Choreography Award, the South Carolina Arts Commission Choreography Fellowship in 1997, two Astral Choreography Awards, the SC Arts Commission Verner Award and was part of the Celebration of the Uncommon Woman in Oregon.


Her choreography can be found in the repertoire of Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Eddy Toussaint USA, Eugene Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Nevada Dance Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Joffrey II Dancers. She has taught at many colleges including University of Akron, the University of South Florida, the University of Maryland/Baltimore and has adjudicated numerous American College Dance Festivals and Regional Dance America Festivals. Bahr recently served on the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Panel.


  • Zoey Cruz, Cruz Productions

Zoey Cruz began his dance career in 2004 in Los Angeles and later relocated to Washington DC to dance with Culture Shock DC. Cruz continued his performing career in Las Vegas with Culture Shock Las Vegas as a dancer and choreographer, and then worked with other mainstream dance companies and A-list choreographers including Jesse Lee Santos, Jerry Slaughter and NappyTabs of America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance. Cruz is a staff member and client with JLS Ent, a management company representing commercial, industrial and mainstream artists. He was featured on channel 13 news for the Philippine Culture Center and as choreographer/dancer for top Filipino TV network GMA.

Cruz has judged and choreographed for the internationally known World of Dance showcase/competition Tour NYC 2011, and started his own entertainment production and management company, Cruz Productions/F1RST SELECT in 2010. Cruz has been the featured guest choreographer for the Maryland Council of Dance State DanceFest, and participated in the Beast Coast presented by ASM Dance Company, one of Rhode Island’s biggest hip hop events. He is now part of a workshop tour called #LIDF (Live Inspired Die Fulfilled), headed by JP Goldstein from Mos Wanted Crew.


  • Marilyn York, Artistic Director of Dancin Unlimited

Since 1976, Marilyn York has been the artistic director of Dancin’ Unlimited, a professional jazz dance company based in Northern Virginia. She has been bringing first class jazz dance to the Washington Metropolitan Area for over thirty years. Her experience encompasses all aspects of the field including performing, teaching, directing and choreography.


York initially studied with the Washington School of Ballet, Capital Ballet Company, and was a dance major at Butler University. York continued her dance training with choreographer Wally Saunders, Nilo Toledo as well as jazz icons Gus Giordano, Luigi, Frank Hatchett, Bob Thoma and Phil Cole. In Washington D.C., York began looking for “an outlet to perform jazz professionally,” she explains, so she became the director of the Dance Theatre Company of Northern Virginia, which has become Dancin’ Unlimited. Her innovative choreography has something for everyone, ranging from the lighthearted “Who’s Got the Pain?” from Damn Yankees to the intense tribal work “Drum.”  In 1986, York organized the first Jazz & Tap Dance Festival which celebrates its 28th season in March 2014. A former President of the Fairfax County Dance Coalition, York devotes herself to helping everyone experience the power and passion of our indigenous American dance style.


BalletNova Center for Dance, founded in 1981, is dedicated to educating and mentoring dancers in a positive, nurturing environment and preserving the traditions of classical ballet through quality dance productions and education.  Formerly Arlington Center for Dance/The Center Dance Company, the organization moved to a beautiful six-studio 20,800 square foot state-of-the-art facility in July 2008, and offers classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip hop for children, teens and adult dancers. The pre-professional ballet program is recognized as one of the best in the Metro Washington DC area, and BalletNova also has an extensive Adult Dance Division with classes in several levels of Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz and Theater Dance.


BalletNova is supported in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development, the Arlington Commission for the Arts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.


For more information on BalletNova Center for Dance visit http://www.balletnova.org/ or call 703-778-3008.

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