FAQ

1. How did NYIBC come to exist and when was NYIBC founded?

2. What must dancers do to apply to participate in NYIBC?

3. Where can interested applicants find the list of repertory that participants will perform during the competition?

4. How many dancers participate in NYIBC each year?

5. How are the dancers selected to participate in NYIBC?

6. What do the dancers experience in the first two weeks at NYIBC prior to the juried performances?

7. What is a typical day like for a dancer participating in NYIBC?

8. Where do the dancers stay during the competition?

9. Do all of the dancers receive individual time with the coaches?

10. What awards are given at the competition? Who decides on which dancers are selected to receive these awards?

11. How do the judges score the dancers during the competition?

12. What happens when one dancer in a couple is eliminated and the other dancer is asked to move on to the next round?

13. Who dances in the gala performance?

14. How many alumni does NYIBC have and where are they now?

15. Can dancers participate in NYIBC more than once?

1. How did NYIBC come to exist and when was NYIBC founded?

NYIBC was founded by Ilona Copen in August 1983. Its first Artistic Director was the unforgettable and ultimate danseur noble, Igor Youskevitch. Created as an artistic educational and career advancement opportunity, NYIBC still seeks to mentor and educate young dancers about the art of the pas de deux.

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2. What must dancers do to apply to participate in NYIBC?

Female dancers must be between the ages of 17 and 23 during the official dates of NYIBC and must submit dance education records, three letters of recommendation from ballet school directors, teachers or other well known dance figures, a headshot, a photograph on pointe and videos of one classical variation of choice and one overhead lift with any partner. Male dancers must be between the ages of 18 and 24 during the official dates of NYIBC and must submit dance education records, three letters of recommendation from ballet school directors, teachers or other well known dance figures, a headshot, a photograph of them in the air, and videos of one classical variation of choice and one overhead lift with any partner.

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3. Where can interested applicants find the list of repertory that participants will perform during the competition?

Unlike most other international ballet competitions, NYIBC does not have a list of repertory from which applicants are asked to select a piece to perform. Instead, all the dancers are assigned the same pieces to learn and perform upon their arrival to New York City. The only piece that dancers will have knowledge of prior to the competition is their prepared solo. You can find a list of repertory danced in the past 10 competitions by visiting the NYIBC History.

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4. How many dancers participate in NYIBC each year?

NYIBC invites forty-eight dancers (twenty-four couples) to participate in the three-week program on full scholarship for each NYIBC edition.

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5. How are the dancers selected to participate in NYIBC?

The dancers are selected based on their application submissions, which are reviewed by NYIBC’s Artistic Selection Panel, a group of masterful ballet professionals. The Artistic Selection Committee will choose participants on the basis of their written applications, letters of recommendation, photographs and videos. All dancers must apply with a partner who is also applying to compete. NYIBC does not accept non-competing partners.

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6. What do the dancers experience in the first two weeks at NYIBC prior to the juried performances?

The first two weeks of NYIBC are focused on teaching and coaching the repertory. The world-renowned teachers and coaches pass down their artistry to the younger dancer. The dancers come with the technical base and learn the secrets of partnering, all the while forming an international company of dancers in an extraordinary collaborative environment, during their time at NYIBC.

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7. What is a typical day like for a dancer participating in NYIBC?

A typical day during the first two weeks consists of all the dancers taking class together from 9:30am to 11:00am. The dancers are then split into three groups. The groups rotate every two days. At the end of the first week they have worked with the three coaches and learned the three pas de deux. The rehearsal day is from 11am to 6pm. Week two involves further rehearsal and includes private coaching time. Sunday they rest. On special evenings, cultural and extracurricular activities are organized for the participants to have a more holistic New York experience.

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8. Where do the dancers stay during the competition?

The dancers are provided with housing in Manhattan so that they can easily access their classes and rehearsals held at The Ailey Studios.

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9. Do all of the dancers receive individual time with the coaches?

Yes, NYIBC is proud to provide one-on-one world class coaching and training for all the participating couples. Each couple is given the same amount of time in their coaching sessions, to maintain a fair playing field. This is a ballet training experience that even many companies and schools do not offer.

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10. What awards are given at the competition? Who decides on which dancers are selected to receive these awards?

The illustrious jury has the task of scoring the dancers’ performances and awarding them Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals, and special awards for artistic achievements, all of which are accompanied by a monetary prize. The panel of judges scores each dancer individually and determines who should be awarded each of the prizes. NYIBC also offers a one-year contract with American Ballet Theatre (Igor Youskevitch Award), which is offered at the discretion of Mr. Kevin McKenzie (Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre); Joffrey Ballet (Arpino Award), offered at the discretion of Mr. Ashley Wheater (Artistic Director of Joffrey Ballet); and Boston Ballet II (E. Virginia Williams Award), offered at the discretion of Mr. Mikko Nissinen (Artistic Director of Boston Ballet).

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11. How do the judges score the dancers during the competition?

Participants are judged on an individual basis. All participants will perform exclusively with the partner with whom they arrive. Scoring is on a cumulative numerical basis. Dancers with the highest cumulative scores are awarded medals, monetary prizes or certificates. All participants receive a certificate of participation.

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12. What happens when one dancer in a couple is eliminated and the other dancer is asked to move on to the next round?

All dancers must compete until both dancers in the couple are eliminated. As the dancers are scored individually, one member of a couple may be asked to move on to the next round, while the other dancer is eliminated. In this case, both dancers will continue performing until both participants have been eliminated. If a dancer is eliminated it doesn’t mean they go home; he/she must remain a guest of NYIBC, taking class and participating in all activities organized by NYIBC through the duration of the competition.

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13. Who dances in the gala performance?

Selected current NYIBC participants and guest artists, including NYIBC Alumni, will dance in the gala performance. The program may include any of the following: solos, modern/contemporary duets and pas de deux performances.

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14. How many alumni does NYIBC have and where are they now?

NYIBC is proud to have close to 500 alumni who are working as principal dancers, school and company directors, and choreographers at prestigious ballet institutions and ballet companies such as: American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Danish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Miami City Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Washington Ballet, among many others.

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15. Can dancers participate in NYIBC more than once?

Yes, dancers may participate in NYIBC as long as they maintain their eligibility for the duration of NYIBC. Many of our alumni have competed in NYIBC more than once. Many alumni have also come back to the NYIBC family as guest artists, coaches, counselors and even as judges.

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