June 23, 2011 | Story by: Lindsey Chester
Cary, NC- International Ballet Academy (IBA) took nine dancers on their first trip to the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.
The studio opened a year ago with hopes of sending some of their students to this international competition and then on to professional ballet careers. Artistic Director Miguel Campaneria’s had high hopes also for his male dancers, several of whom moved here with him from Hartford, CT last summer. They did not disappoint.
The Road to Compete
In January, each dancer sent audition videotapes of themselves performing. By early February, IBA knew they were preparing to take nine dancers on the road for the week long competition. Each student prepared 1-3 pieces of classical ballet chosen from list of dances, and was allowed to choreograph their own contemporary piece.
During the short time from February to May 30, the dancers had to perfect their routines, and have costumes created by Mary Baylus and Diane Schaubach. All this, while still rehearsing the studio’s own Spring recital of Don Quiote.
The rigor involved was not for everyone, and the dancers that were chosen by the studio, had to be able to handle this additional workload.
Competing Against Pros
I asked Miguel about his expectations for the group: He said knew that Nikki Fanney would be well prepared to compete in her age level (11-12). The difficulty came with the older dancers who (aged 15-17), it turned out, were competing against professionals aged up to 22 years old.
He said the three couples he sent to compete in the Pas De Duex (duets) were well prepared and he had a lot of faith in their talents, but, he added, they were lacking competition experience, and were nervous. This first experience has opened many doors for them and they plan to return next year.
Next Year Even Better
“Hopefully the kids that went, will have had this experience and will be able to control their nerves” and perform against these pros.” He mentioned that many of the other dancers had been 3-4 times to this World competition.
The studio won the praises not only of the judges but of many coaches from other ballet schools. And the rewards are many:
- Nikki Fanney won the Silver Medal in the Introductory Division, Preston Chamblee received a full scholarship to Central Florida Ballet for summer 2012, Paul Branco and Xavier Nunez received full scholarships to Orlando Ballet for summer 2012.
- Robert Hill, the artistic director of Orlando Ballet gave high praise to the group and said the group are all admitted to Orlando Ballet Summer Program in 2012 without any need for auditions.
- Preston Chamblee (competed in Pre-Professional Category ages 14-17)
- Paul Branco and Kelsey Yoquelet (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
- Preston Chamblee and Regan Kucera (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
- Xavier Nunez and Kathryn Manger (competed in Pas de Deux Category ages 14-22)
- Anissa Bailis (competed in Preparatory Category ages 12-13)
- Victoria Wong (competed in Preparatory Category ages 12-13)
- Nicole Fanney (competed in Introductory Category ages 11-12)
No Time To Relax
The pre-professional program does not stop because it is summer vacation. In fact summer means MORE dance. The older dancers will be heading to New York and San Francisco for their summer training next week, while the younger students are studying this summer with Haydée Gutierrez, Roberto Munoz, Melinda Roy at IBA.
Cary, NC – Salsa Dancers from International Ballet Academy (IBA) added some new spice to the third annual Cary Caribbean Festival last Saturday, Sept 24. Dancers in the photo are Thalia Hernandez and Xavier Nunez.
This 3rd annual festival was held at the Herb Young Community Center in Downtown Cary. It featured food, activities for the children, dancing, handcrafts and cultural information.
Cary’s Caribbean Festival was co-sponsored by the Town of Cary and the Asociatcion de Peurtorriquenos Unidos de NC.
This is the first year the ballet academy participated in the festival. IBA’s artistic director Miguel Campanera specially choreographed a salsa dance en pointe that will become part of their repertoire for the winter performance in December at NC State’s Thompson Hall.
March 19, 2012 | Story by: Harold Weinbrecht | Categories: Featured, Harold’s Blog, News, Opinion
From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, covering the week through March 18, 2012. Photo courtesy of IBA.
Cary, NC – This was a busy week for me with a lot of events and a lot of late nights.
International Ballet Company and the Philharmonic Association
Sunday afternoon I attended the spectacular performance of the International Ballet Company and the Philharmonic Association. This ballet company is putting Cary on the map by winning national competitions and giving these wonderful performances. The ballet company is run by some of the best teachers in the county and lead by world renowned Miguel Campaneria. We are blessed to have them here in Cary.
January 22, 2015 | Story by: Lindsey Chester | Categories: Dance, Featured, News
Cary, NC — The International Ballet Academy (IBA) opened five short years ago, but they are already making their mark on the national ballet scene.
The Grand Prix
In January 2015, the school sent seven of their top dancers to the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) semi-finals in Tampa, Florida. Two of the students won the top awards in their category. The greatest honor that can bestowed on a dancer at this competition is called the Grand Prix and, this year, that was awarded to Nicole Fanney, 15, who danced in the women’s senior division.
Her classmate, Anissa Bailis, 17, placed in the top 12 dancers in that division. Parker Garison, 11, won the Hope Award–the top award in the Pre-Competitive age group.
This was the fourth time that the school has competed in this prestigious international competition and, of the seven dancers that made the trip, four were invited to the Finals competition that takes place April 10-16, 2015 in New York City. The school itself was recognized with the Outstanding School Award. IBA managing director, Christina Fanney, says:
“It’s a huge honor to receive this award from YAGP, as it reflects the caliber of training the students are receiving at IBA.”
A Surreal Experience for IBA
Christina Fanney remarked, “It was a surreal experience, a perfect storm where everything was the right timing.” She went on to say, “IBA is very grateful to Larissa Saveliev, Gennadi Saveliev, and the entire Youth America Grand Prix organization for providing these wonderful opportunities for our students.”
Her daughter, Nicole, who won the Grand Prix award and who was invited to perform in “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala,” has competed in Tampa previously. Nicole’s growth as a dancer is due to the hours of training that she has received at IBA with her teachers Rossana Gahagan and Servy Gallardo and with her hours of coaching by Haydée Gutierrez.
She added that, “For whatever reason, this year, the culmination of many factors created a good moment for her [Nicole]. It was the best performance I’ve ever seen her do.” Christina then stated that:
“Since the school has been coming to the competition the last few years, the people backstage were now rooting for them to perform well. It made them feel more relaxed. The judges have been watching the progress of the little school from Cary.”
After the awards, the dancers and their families went to a nearby restaurant to catch their breath and celebrate. While there, one of the judges, Bruce Marks, came over to their table and took a few moments to not only congratulate them on their artistry “but also to make sure they understood how lucky they were to have these teachers who helped them achieve.”
He was impressed with the consistency that all the dancers from the studio exhibited. Lead instructors Rossana Nesta Gahagan and Servy Gallardo have a passion for “their kids” and put in many extra hours of practice necessary to rehearse routines of this caliber.
Four IBA dancers, Anissa Bailis, Cy Doherty, Nicole Fannéy and Parker Garrison will move on to the next round of competitions in New York City during the week of April 10-16, 2015. The Youth America Grand Prix finals require a dancer to have scored a 95 out of 100 to be invited to compete. For IBA to send four dancers is quite an accomplishment!
For the final round, they will be competing against ballet dancers not only from the USA but from around the globe. About three hundred dancers who have been selected by YAGP from their respective semi-finals will converge in New York City to see how they stack up.
During that week, dancers take intense classes with instructors from professional ballet schools. This exposure can lead to scholarships and even job placement for the students who are ready to take that next step.
We wish them all luck on their journey.