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A Busy Winter of Dance for DDC Members

Staff Report

Diamond Dance Company recently announced the successes of several of their Senior Company members in the 2016 dance season. DDC Senior Company members Jillian Kerr and Juliana Warnock traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 4 with their advanced ballet teacher, Bliss Soucek to compete for the first time at The Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest global network of dance. While at YAGP both dancers attended master classes at Point Park University taught by renowned instructors from around the world, attended scholarship auditions, and each performed a ballet variation with over 150 other junior level dancers from around the world. Jillian performed the Gamzatti variation and Juliana performed the Bluebird variation.

In addition, Diamond Dance Company Senior Company members Ariana Knowles, Jillian Kerr, and Juliana Warnock auditioned and were awarded scholarships at the 2016 Delaware Dance Festival held at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington on February 14. Juliana received $100 and Jilly received a $200 cash scholarship to the summer dance program of their choice. Both young ladies will use their scholarships to further their dance education at summer programs offered by prestigious dance schools.

Ariana Knowles, 13, a student at Milford Central Academy and an advanced ballet student at TADA, brought home one of the Delaware Dance Festival’s largest and most sought after awards, a full three week scholarship to Delaware’s professional dance company, First State Ballet Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. Ari is excited to further her dance education at their program this summer and bring back her newly acquired skills to Diamond Dance Company for its 18th season. All three young ladies are students at Tatiana Akinfieva Dance Academy in Milford.


In addition to the audition and scholarship award process, audiences were treated to performances from dance companies throughout Delaware and New Jersey. TADA students Thomas Vasquez, Brittany Poore, Alayna DeBaca, Olivia Caraballo, Emily Dittman, Aidan Robbins, McKenzie Dee, Emma Moorman, Jenna Gibbons, Jillian, Kerr, Juliana Warnock, and Ariana Knowles performed a breath taking contemporary piece called “Truth”, choreographed by DDC alumni Tori Brown at the festival to a packed house.

TADA students will next travel to the Priscilla Payson Foundation Scholarship auditions on March 12 at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, where they will perform solos in ballet, contemporary, and tap and compete for additional scholarships to further their dance education.


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