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Youth International Ballet Competition Celebrates 9th Season

American Dance Competition ADC Founder & Director, Audrianna Broad awards Maggie Chadbourne, Primary Gold Medalist. Jury member Christopher Ruud, representing Ballet West, looks on. Photo by Mark W. Miller.

By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.

This March, American Dance Competition (ADC|IBC) celebrates its 9th successful season. Looking towards its 10-year anniversary, Founder and President Audrianna Broad is proud of her achievements, having started the competition straight out of college.

“Honestly, I graduated May 2005, and I founded it later that year. I think at that age you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into, you just have all this energy and go for it,” she recalls.

Broad started the competition to give young dancers a chance to be seen by industry leaders and a greater chance at a professional career. Looking back at her own dance career, Broad says, “We put so much energy into our daily training and our education, and on top of it, you had to make an audition video, assuming you could get performance footage. Back then it was so hard to get performance footage and put it together, and then you had to mail it in, follow up and personally audition – it was just such an ordeal.”

“Basically, I wanted to take several steps out of that process and while doing that, provide dancers a chance to further learn and perform, and help the young dancers get a name for themselves so they can build their own career. ADC|IBC allows dance students to meet top-notch directors and teachers.”

Francisco Serrano of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

Francisco Serrano of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School. SR Male Gold Medalist, 2013 Fernando Bujones Recipient. Photo by Mark W. Miller.

Held in Florida every year, the competition continues to grow in popularity. Last year’s event saw over 600 dancers compete. “We are seeing as much as we can,” says Broad. “It’s packed! The week is non-stop and we’re offering classes as well as competition. We’ve had to keep adding days but we’re getting to the point where if we keep adding days, I don’t know if it’s going to be accessible to all the dancers. Right now we’re at five days, and that might have to be our cap. We are fitting in as much as we can in that time frame.”

Talking about fitting as many opportunities in for dancers as possible, this year ADC|IBC is adding a Scholarship Expo to its line-up of events, with over 100 scholarships to award. There will be local industry leaders from Orlando Ballet and Sarasota Ballet teaching classes and offering scholarships, in addition to stars from American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Boston Ballet, NYCB, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

“It’s kind of like a job fair, but it’s more scholarship based,” explains Broad. “I want to keep creating these new programs, because I have so much to give and a growing list of contacts. That sets us apart from other competitions that I’ve seen. It’s great to win, but we are trying to create a long-term vehicle for dancers too, where they can market and promote themselves moving forward. That’s our objective here.”

It’s obviously an objective that is dear to the hearts of aspiring dancers across the globe, with 40 percent of the competitors coming from cities outside of the USA, with many dancers travelling from China, Hong Kong, Brazil and Central America.

ADC|IBC

Alberto Blanco Perez of Orlando Ballet School taking part in ADC|IBC. Photo by Scott Gill.

At this year’s event there will be many prestigious judges on the panel. Judges confirmed so far include: Amanda McKerrow, former principal of ABT; John Gardner, former soloist of ABT; and Charles Askegard, former soloist with ABT and a current New York City Ballet principal. Edward Ellison, the founder of Ellison Ballet in New York City; Duncan Cooper, former Dance Theatre of Harlem Principal; and Mei-Li Zhu, the Dean from the State Ballet School from Shanghai, will also be judging.

To inspire the competitors there will also be guest performances from professional artists, including Joseph Gatti and Adiarys Almeida.

Broad is very grateful to Capezio for its ongoing support. “What they do is a humongous help. They offer competitors clothing apparel for free! That’s a huge value for us and we just appreciate it so much.”

“Capezio is a huge retail giant, I’ve known them ever since I was a little kid, they are a household name and everybody knows them. They have great products,” she adds. “I personally love their warm-up gear!”

To learn more about American Dance Competition, visit www.adcibc.com.