Award winners at the 2019 Prix de Lausanne (Gregory Bartadon, courtesy Prix de Lausanne)

Meet the 10 Americans Going to the 2020 Prix de Lausanne

Though we haven't even gotten to The Nutcracker yet, competition season is just around the corner. Yesterday, the Prix de Lausanne announced the names of the 84 young hopefuls who will be competing in Montreaux, Switzerland next February, and the list includes 10 dancers from the U.S.

While eight candidates were pre-selected earlier this year, the majority of dancers applied via video submission and were chosen by a jury of nine dance-world professionals last week. The panel had a tall task: 377 dancers from 44 countries applied for a spot in the lineup. The 84 selected competitors hail from 26 countries including Japan, Australia, Belarus, South Africa and Cuba. Get to know the 10 U.S. dancers below, and stay tuned over the coming months for more updates on Prix de Lausanne.


Ava Arbuckle

Ava Arbuckle, 14, trains at Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, TX. She's no stranger to competitions; last year she took home second place for Junior Women at the Youth America Grand Prix New York Finals and won the Grishko Model Search Contest.

Max Barker

Max Barker seems to have ballet in his blood. His father, Charles Barker, is American Ballet Theatre's principal conductor, and his mother, Miranda Coney, is a former principal with The Australian Ballet. Barker trains at ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and attends New York City's Professional Performing Arts School.

Keara Nichols

Any "Dance Moms" fans out there? Keara Nichols appeared in three episodes of the hit show back in 2014. Today, Nichols dances at Academy of Ballet Arts in Murrieta, CA. Nichols is 16.

Joshua Nunamaker

Joshua Nunamaker is a student at Orlando Molina Ballet Training Center in Suwanee, Georgia. His teacher, Orlando Molina, is known for coaching former Cincinnati Ballet principal (and comp star) Joseph Gatti. In the past few years, Nunamaker has received scholarships to summer intensives at the Harid Conservatory, Ballet West and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in CT.

Ekaterina Panchenko

Ekaterina (Katya) Panchenko studies at Bayer Ballet Academy in Mountain View, CA. Last summer she attended the Prix de Lausanne's first-ever Summer Intensive-European Preselection in Switzerland. Panchenko also came in second at Youth America Grand Prix's San Francisco semi-finals last January.

Evelyn Robinson

A Texas-native, Evelyn Robinson, 18, is a student at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. This past summer, Robinson completed summer intensives at both Houston Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

Eric Snyder

This year's competition marks Eric Snyder's second time at the Prix de Lausanne. In 2018 he competed as a student at the Arizona-based Yuma Ballet Academy; now he's training at the English National Ballet School.

Alina Taratorin

Like Ekaterina Panchenko, Alina Taratorin trains at the California-based Bayer Ballet Academy. Taratorin was Dance Spirit's April 2019 Cover Model Search Editors' Choice video winner, and was featured in a story we shared last August about competitiveness. Taratorin won first place at Youth America Grand Prix's San Francisco regional semi-finals in 2018, and was a gold medalist at the World Ballet Competition in 2015.

Clara Thiele

Clara Thiele, 15, is a student at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY. In addition to being a current Gaynor Minden Gaynor Girl, Thiele competed in Youth American Grand Prix's 2019 New York Finals, and is one of New York City Dance Alliance's 2019 Outstanding Dancers.

Katelyn Yang

In training at International Ballet Academy in Kirkland, WA, Katelyn Yang spent last summer at Ellison Ballet's summer intensive. Last year, Yang placed at the Taiwan Grand Prix and Tanzolymp Berlin. She is 15.

Latest Posts


Nathan Sayers

From "Dance Moms" to Complexions: Ballerina Kaeli Ware's Unconventional Path to Success

Take one look at Kaeli Ware's Instagram page and you'll be captivated. The elegant, impossibly long-limbed ballet dancer has over 110 thousand followers hooked on her every polished move. But the 19-year-old phenom isn't just a social media sensation. Having already conquered the competition scene and the world of dance reality TV, Ware recently joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet as a trainee. These days, she splits her time between NYC and Philadelphia, PA, where she continues to beef up her classical training at The Rock School for Dance Education.

She's not a traditional bunhead, and she's not a run-of-the-mill social influencer, either. Instead, Ware is creating her own hybrid career path—and it's taking her to impressive places.

Keep Reading
(From left) Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, and Lauren Graham in "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," courtesy NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Mandy Moore Puts Dance in the Spotlight in NBC's Newest Series, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist"

Imagine living in a real-life musical, where spontaneous song-and-dance breaks happen as often in the street as they do onstage. After a series of unusual events, every dancers' dream becomes an unexpected reality for computer coder Zoey Clarke (played by Jane Levy) in NBC's newest series, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist." Although at first her new powers catch Zoey off guard, when she learns to embrace them, she's able to connect with the world around her like never before.

And the best part? Every musical mashup puts incredible dancing front and center, thanks in large part to series choreographer and all around dance-for-the-screen extraordinaire, Mandy Moore. Dance Spirit chatted with Moore about choreographing for the dance-driven series, which returns to NBC with all-new episodes this Sunday, February 16 at 9/8c.

Keep Reading
Boston Ballet principal Seo Hye Han as Cinderella in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet)

5 Principal Dancers on the Ballet Steps That Still Challenge Them

Their technique might seem effortless onstage, but even the most seasoned ballet professionals have that one step that still drives them crazy. We asked five principal dancers to open up about the skills they still find challenging, and how they're working to finesse them.

Keep Reading
contest
Enter the Cover Model Search