Are you thinking about competing at the US Prix de Ballet 2020?  Here are some logistical and artistic notes to help make your experience graceful!

Before you Start

  1. Make sure that you know your studio’s policy and protocol about approaching your teacher for participation.

  2. If you are used to competing in commercial dance competitions, you must know the difference between a commercial dance competition and a ballet competition.  Not everyone receives a trophy.  In fact, only the top few dancers out of hundreds receive an award.  The mindset is: Participate for the experience.

  3. ...

Body awareness is an early skill you began developing as a young dancer … you learned how to coordinate movements together and understand which parts of your body were essential to certain steps.  Now as a more advanced dancer, you’re going beyond basic body awareness to understand the deeper knowledge of your anatomy, which leads to stronger dancing!

Keeping an open mind for this new knowledge is essential for grasping key elements of kinesiology and injury prevention.  Today in the ballet world, we have a wealth of knowledge and tools available to help us understand how to dance to our highes...

Social media is everywhere!  It’s one of the primary ways we communicate with family and friends, and an amazing tool for both entertainment and education.  You probably check your accounts multiple times a day and spend time exploring on different platforms.

Here at US Prix de Ballet, we love social media for so many reasons, including the exposure of ballet to more and more people.  Because professionals and students alike can post on social media, there is inspiration at nearly every click, tap, or swipe. But social media can have its drawbacks too, as you are probably aware.

When it com...

A ballet competition brings to mind images of well-rehearsed performances, intense master classes, and personal connections between the dancers and faculty.  As a participant, you might find yourself visualizing all of these exciting components as you prepare your mindset for the big day. But what you might not picture right away is what comes at the end of the event: receiving your score and feedback from the judges.

For some dancers, facing the reality of the judges’ opinions can feel like a challenge at first, but there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your results.  Here’s...

Dancers learn from a young age that there is a certain etiquette that accompanies ballet lessons.  You learn how to stand at the barre, how to accept corrections, ways to pick up combinations, and when to ask a question.  From the moment you greet your classmates to reverence at the end of class, the etiquette of ballet becomes ingrained in your mind and body!

But what about your etiquette during an event?  At a ballet competition, for example, dancers gather from miles away into one place, getting ready for their moment in the spotlight … and most of the time, there are no governing etiqu...

Save the date! We are excited to announce the dates for the next US Prix de Ballet competition and workshop.

USPDB will take place February 22 & 23, 2020 in San Diego, California.

Location announcement and online registration coming soon.

With a history dating back more than four hundred years, ballet has progressed from Renaissance court pageantry to royal entertainment to full-fledged performing art.  It is often misunderstood as a form of dance meant for girls and women only, but nothing could be further from the truth!  To understand why, let’s take a brief look back into how ballet got its start and how men continued to be involved today.

“Dance masters” in 15th and 16th Century Italy and France were the originators of ballet, and King Louis XIV of France is commonly known as the royal influencer who put ballet as we k...

You already know that ballet training demands a body that is in good health.  That’s why you’re always striving to take care of yourself with smart nutrition, proper hydration, extra conditioning, and adequate sleep.  Those are, of course, the most obvious ways you might set yourself up for successful training, but your intensive studies in ballet also demand something else; something that is often underestimated and taken for granted: You need great vision.  

Putting your best body forward in your training means that your eyes need to see clearly and without obstruction at all times,...

At many dance events, applauding after a performance is the norm.  Sometimes you just can’t contain your excitement!  But a ballet competition can feel different, with its air of seriousness and underpinnings of formality.  It’s common to wonder, “Should I applaud after each dance to show that I enjoyed it?” 

It may surprise you that for ballet competitions, the answer is often no, don’t clap!  Unlike many other dance performance events, ballet competitions often request that you not applaud the dancers after each piece.  But why is that? 

Well, typically clapping at a d...

Photo credit: Brad Matthews 

When you sign up for a ballet competition, one of the first things you feel is excitement: you now have a seriously significant goal to work towards!  The effort you’ll put in to preparing for the big day is extensive.  From extra classes to private coaching, your mind is probably set on honing your technique and artistry so you can perform at your peak.

But what about the workshops at the competition?  What kind of value do they hold and why are they so important?

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the learning process in ballet holds as much be...

Dancers, if you’ve attended a ballet competition and not “placed” while there, take heart!  At a ballet competition, you enter knowing that not everyone will place or earn a scholarship.  But it can still be disappointing when you do not earn that coveted recognition.

So what’s the best way to deal with that nagging feeling?  Above all else, remember that participation in a ballet competition isn’t about just that one day; it’s also about the intense amount of preparation you’ve put in and the experience you attained during the event.  The outcome is important, yes, but so is the pathway t...

July 28-29, 2018 Final Results
Awards, Scholarships, and Direct Entries


1st: Garland Waltz from Sleeping Beauty
2nd: Small Swans from Swan Lake
3rd: Ocean & Pearls


Solo - Children’s Division Winners and Direct Entry to Japan Grand Prix
1st: Leanne Van Der Hilst
2nd: Amandine Isidro
3rd: Bella Sor


Solo - Junior Division Winners and Direct Entry to Japan Grand Prix
1st: Caroline Sowers
2nd: Jade Conner
3rd: Tie: Angelina Alcala and Eduardo Cazarez


Solo - Senior Division Winners and Direct Entry to Japan Grand Prix
1st: Emily Hood
2nd: Rina Takikawa
3rd: Teresa Castaneda


The HARID...

As a patron of the arts, you’ve probably experienced a wide variety of audience conduct at live performances.  At a dance recital or competition, you may have heard quite a lot of excited cheering in the audience, sometimes even in the middle of a routine.  Even at Broadway performances or concert dance shows, you’ve probably experienced widespread audience applause, and perhaps even audience participation!  

At ballet competitions, however, the audience etiquette is a bit more reserved out of respect for the art, the performers, and the judges.  Here are four of the differences in au...

Being properly fitted for pointe shoes is both smart and necessary!  It’s not an exaggeration to say that detrimental, lifelong problems can occur without the proper fit.  

Use this checklist to ensure you are able to achieve the best possible result from your next fitting:

  • Do your homework!  Choose a store that your teacher has recommended, or that you have researched well.  Call ahead and inquire about their pointe shoe fitters’ qualifications. Fitters should have completed a rigorous training process and understand that pointe shoe fittings require a full assessment of the dancer’s f...

Parents, you may know already that it’s common for young ballet dancers to express interest in summer intensive programs, but how do you go about deciding when it’s the right time to send your child farther away from home?

There are several factors to consider of course, but the standard in the ballet industry is for dedicated students to begin traveling away from home around age 13.  Age 13 may or may not be the best time for your child’s progress and personality; it will be helpful for you to consult with their teacher and discuss your child’s goals in order to determine the right time....

Please reload

​© 2019 US Prix de Ballet