Woodinville dancers win top honors at Youth America Grand Prix

600.jpeg Elisa Munson and Ryan Hong WEB previewWoodinville’s McKenzie Wilson and Ryan Hong are headed to the Big Apple to participate in the New York Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix competition.

EDMONDS­—McKenzie Wilson and Ryan Hong were among 54 dancers with the Emerald Ballet Academy (EBA) that performed at the Seattle Semi-Finals of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competition held Jan. 3-5 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

The venue was a qualifier for the New York Finals to be held in Westchester and New York City April 10-17.

Mckenzie took second place in the Senior Classical category and placed in the Top 12 in Senior Contemporary. She also advances as a soloist.

Ryan advances to the New York Finals after capturing second place for his pas de deux, “Diana & Acteon,” with Elisa Munson, and nailing down a Top 12 finish in Senior Classical. His pas de deux performance qualified.

Other local dancers with EBA making the trip to New York include:

Daniel Chernyavskiy of Kenmore, Kaili Kirschbaum of Issaquah, Elisa Munson, Miranda Elder and Kate Cocorocchia of Bellevue, Violet Strehlo of Kirkland, Whitney Ross of Redmond and Sofia Hatfield of Everett.

Viktoria Titova, the owner of EBA and Artistic Director of nonprofit Emerald Ballet Theatre, was ecstatic with the results of the competition.

“I could not be more thrilled for everyone,” Titova said. “Thank you to all our students, teachers, staff and parents for your hard work and great teamwork. This award is very special because it recognizes our love for ballet and support of one another.”

YAGP is the world’s largest student dance scholarship competition, with participants receiving educational opportunities and professional contracts from elite ballet schools and companies.

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