Approximately 60 dancers are selected from hundreds of entries worldwide.
Gusti and Bleck were two of only 10 from the United States to be accepted into the competition, which will be Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2014 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Bleck, 15, is one of only three American males accepted into the Prix de Lausanne.
The six-day event offers dancers scholarships to world renowned ballet schools.
Bleck moved to Tampa from Kentucky last year to train with NGB. He started ballet at age seven at Bluegrass Youth Ballet in Lexington, KY, and continued at Bluegrass School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Tanner has received scholarships and attended summer intensive programs at the Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Jose Carreño Dance Festival and Next Generation Ballet. He recently placed second in the Classical Senior Men category and in the top 12 in the Contemporary Senior Men at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Tampa.
St. Petersburg native Gusti, 15, has been with the Patel Conservatory’s dance program for several years. She began dancing at age 6 with Ballet Pensacola before moving to the Tampa area and training at Florida West Ballet under the instruction of Povel Fomin. With NGB, she’s danced feature roles including Godmother in Cinderella and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. She has also performed with the Moscow Ballet in St. Petersburg. Most recently, she won the Grand Prix award at the YAGP semi-finals in Tampa.
Former NGB dancers Hannah Bettes and William Dugan are now training abroad through opportunities at the Prix de Lausanne.
Best of luck to Bleck and Gusti as they embark on their journey!