Ballet academy

Greenwich Ballet Academy wins Grand Prix honors

Greenwich, Conn. – The students of Greenwich Ballet Academy (GBA) demonstrated professionalism, talent, style and grace as they won honors at the Boston Youth America Grand Prix. Out of more than 100 highly accomplished dancers from across the country competing in each category, GBA students and faculty won awards in four categories.

Aidan Buss, 13, from Old Greenwich, won first place in the men’s and women’s junior ballet category. GBA’s Lee Melton, 14 from Darien, placed in the top 12 in the junior ballet class. Aidan also placed in the top 12 in the contemporary dance category.

GBA’s artistic director, Yuri Vodolaga, was also recognized in Boston, winning the award for best teacher. Mr. Vodolaga is a graduate of the State Ballet Academy in Ukraine and obtained his master’s degree in teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, and he was a member of the Kyiv State Ballet Theatre. “It is a great honor for me to receive this recognition,” Mr. Vodolaga said. “It gives me great pleasure to be able to offer instruction and guidance to these very talented dancers, and I know they will continue to enjoy great success in the future.”

Aidan, Lee and 12-year-old Ruth Schultz of Ossining, NY, have received the coveted invitation to travel to New York for the final YAGP competition, which will be held April 22-29. to be able to dance at the YAGP finals in New York,” Aidan said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the best dancers in the world as well as leaders from some of the biggest ballet schools in the world. I am thrilled and honored to have this chance to represent Greenwich Ballet Academy.”

“It was such a precious experience for me to be able to dance at John Hancock Hall in Boston,” Lee said. “Everyone was so talented, and it was inspiring to be a part of it.”

The long-awaited event in New York will welcome the best ballet students from all over the world. Competitors in the final are watched by directors and representatives from some of the world’s leading dance companies, and more than 250 YAGP alumni have joined more than 50 dance companies around the world. At the New York competition, grand prize winners will receive scholarships and valuable contracts with some of the most prestigious dance companies in the world.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of Aidan, Lee and Ruth, and are thrilled to have them represent the community of Greenwich, Westchester and Fairfield Counties,” said Marisol Thurman, GBA Board Chair. “Students from across the region are blessed with access to world-class ballet training, and the fact that our students can compete at an international level is an incredible achievement for our dancers as well as our renowned faculty.”

The Youth America Grand Prix holds competitions in 17 US cities and six international locations, each season culminating in the week-long finals in New York, where more than 1,200 of the world’s best dancers compete for the top honors.

About Greenwich Ballet Academy

The Greenwich Ballet Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution that encourages talented dancers, ages 4-21, to pursue careers in classical ballet and contemporary dance with a unique emphasis on the method of ballet. Russian teaching Vaganova. GBA is the only school in Lower Fairfield and Westchester County to offer this type of specialized training. The professional faculty also offers courses in modern and character dance and contemporary ballet. GBA students have won awards at international ballet competitions and joined professional ballet companies. For more performance and training information, please visit the GBA website: