Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Student Advances in Prestigious, International Competition

Alaina Andersen of Waukesha Moves on to Youth American Grand Prix Competition in New York in April

By - Feb 20th, 2014 10:03 am
Alaina Andersen. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Ballet.

Alaina Andersen. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Ballet.

MILWAUKEE –February 20, 2014 – Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is proud to announce that 15-year-old student Alaina Andersen is set to advance to the next level of Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Senior Women Division competition on Thursday, April 9, 2014 in New York City.

YAGP is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards more than $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held in locations around the world with finals in New York City and is open to dance students of all nationalities nine to 19-years-old.

“I’m so thrilled by this opportunity to compete,” said Andersen, who began studying with Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy when she was nine-years-old. “Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy has led me to this point; it’s my home away from home and my family away from my family.”

Andersen and two other Milwaukee Ballet Student & Academy students, Kessia Andersen, age 14, and Claire Buehler, age 17, competed at the YAGP in Indianapolis last weekend. Alaina and Kessia are sisters.

Alaina competed in the Senior Division and took first place in contemporary and second place in classical; Kessia competed in the Junior Division, taking second place in contemporary and placing in the top 12 of classical.

Alaina Andersen has studied with a number of instructors, including Nadia Thompson and Mireille Favarel, at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, which is directed by Rolando Yanes.

“Everyone at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is extremely proud of these three students,” said Yanes. “We enthusiastically look forward to supporting Alaina in this next phase of competition, knowing we have prepared her for her dance career and beyond.”

Andersen’s mother, Jenny Andersen, noted the unique, holistic approach of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy as a major factor in her daughter’s success.

“Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy emphasizes the development of the whole child,” she said. “Alaina’s instructors have helped her grow not only as a dancer but as a person, keeping her focused on a goal, while keeping her modest and respectful of others.”

Last year, Jennifer Hackbarth became one of just five Americans to rank in the top 12 of the YAGP competition in New York, making her the first Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy student to achieve such a standing.

About Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy

In operation since 1975 and one of the three largest dance schools in the nation, Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy offers the finest dance training in an encouraging and professional atmosphere and supports the growth of classical ballet by maintaining the highest standards while nurturing the talent of every student. A proven training ground for professional dancers, Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy lists many of its alumni among the ranks of professional dance companies worldwide

About Milwaukee Ballet

Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet strives to inspire its audiences to think within and beyond traditional ballet through the presentation of quality performances and the implementation of educational opportunities. Milwaukee Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy are recognized among the top companies in the nation. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. With an annual operating budget of more than $5.5 million, Milwaukee Ballet presents more than 40 performances to 50,000 people each year. Its resident company includes 25 professional dancers along with 20 trainees in the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II Program and is one of the few dance companies in the country to maintain its own symphony orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, the official school of the Ballet, has an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students at three locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

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