The competition was founded in 1995 by Nancy Bertelsen. The new director David Eck was alumnae winner in 1995/96 and Guest Artist in 2008. The competition, partly supported by the Drier Family Rent Subsidy Program and the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, is made possible by the generosity of Santa Barbara County donors.

Colleen O’Callaghan, American Ballet Theatre alumnae, taught a master class accompanied by Patrick Lindley, pianist/composer for the UCSB Dance Department. David Gell was the Master of Ceremonies. The judges were Liam Burke, Australian Ballet, Broadway shows/movies; Carol Kirkland, dancer/choreographer/teacher at UC Irvine, Allan Hancock College, Adkins Dance Center and Sue Dalton School of Ballet; Alan Hope Kirk, San Diego Starlight Opera, Ballet Rambert, Virginia Ballet, Chicago Opera Ballet, Radio City Music Hall and Australian TV.

Francesca Gonzales won First Place Senior Lady. Karina Biancone won Second Place Senior Lady. Danielle Ireland won Third Place Senior Lady. Joel Sterken won First Place Senior Gentleman.

Emma Nelsen won First Place Junior Lady. Sophia Vraciu won Second Place Junior Lady. Grace Barker won Third Place Junior Lady.

Honorable Mention winners are: Lelia Black, Jenna Comstock, Lily Conroy, Breanna Corbin, Bailey Durnin, Camryn Durnin, Nicole Foster, Taylor Fuentes, Afton Gustafson, Katie Lester, Jessica Leyra, Melissa Lippolis, Malindi Malawo, Julia McCarter, Catherine Mesipam, Rae Michaud, Sarah Pacheco, Juliet Peck and Natalie Sheley.

Eliska Prochazka, age 12, danced as a non-competitor.

Cecily Stewart (alumnae winner 2002-2004) and Jamison Keating (alumnae winner 2008-2011) were Guest Artists; They danced a Pas de Deux choreographed by Cecily.

Ballet schools represented were: Boscutti Ballet Theatre, Everybody Can Dance, Gustafson Dance, Los Olivos Dance Gallery and Santa Barbara Festival Ballet.


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