WOLCOTT – Five Ballet Wolcott dancers, ages 13 to 16, each completed two solos at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Boston on February 10 to February 12. They were Eliana Carlson, Valerie Grivalsky, Elly Budliger, Flora Esteban-Holliser and Amanda Gurley. In the junior division, Flora Esteban-Hollister placed 24th while Valerie Grivalsky, placed in the top-12 and was invited to the finals in Tampa, Fla.
According to Ballet Wolcott artistic director Joanne Whitehill, weekly rehearsals started in late September with ballet instructor Steffi Thomas Seibeir. Whitehill said the rehearsals were added on top of the dancers training, and finished as late as 9 p.m. on school nights and weekends.
Whitehill said the grand prix is the world’s largest nonprofit international student ballet competition and scholarship program, open to dance students, ages 9 to 19. More than 10,000 dancers compete each year at roughly 25 locations over the world. Around 1,200 dancers are invited to the finals at Tampa in April.