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Surrey, Delta dancers shine at International Ballet Grand Prix Vienna competition

Online event in October attracted 193 competitors from 23 countries
Delta-based dancer Emma Tomlinson in video of her winning “Coppélia” dance at International Ballet Grand Prix Vienna, a virtual competition this year. (submitted video)

Dancers from Surrey and Delta were winners during the recent International Ballet Grand Prix Vienna.

This year’s virtual competition saw Goh Ballet Academy students place in 10 categories of the prestigious event.

Delta’s Emma Tomlinson won a Classical category in the junior age group with her “Coppélia” dance, and placed second in a Contemporary category for “Waiting … I Finally Fall,” for which she also won an “Outstanding Execution” award.

Meantime, Surrey’s Mackenzie Hebein earned first place with her “Dystopia” dance, in the Contemporary category for Private Schools, adults ages 19-27.

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With 193 competitors from 23 countries participating, the International Ballet Grand Prix Vienna competition took place online from Oct. 27-30. The competition was open to professional and student dancers, ages 8-27. Participants had the choice of performing in classical ballet, contemporary dance or both fields, for 12 judges from around the world.

“The International Ballet Grand Prix Vienna was one of the recent virtual competitions that have highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic may have forced dancers to find new ways to keep going and compete,” says a news release from Goh Ballet, which operates studios in Vancouver and Toronto.

“Fortunately, it did not stop Goh Ballet and its most driven students from working hard, overcoming barriers, and showcasing what they can do. Goh students have placed in many competitions over the last four decades, and recent virtual competitions, such as last year’s Tanzolymp and this one.

“Now, with two studios in major cities representing, and a virtual platform, Goh has seized the pandemic’s silver lining: the opportunity to get more of the world-class dancers it trains in front of international judges.”

Back in 2017, Hebein was a Sands Secondary senior in North Delta when she trained for the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition, held in Portugal.

“(I’m) basically living here,” she said at the time, gesturing to the Newton dance studio, Flora Pigeau Dance Academy, where she’d spent countless hours over the past decade. “During the summer we usually get a little bit of a break, but not too much because right now I’m doing like eight hours a day.”

• READ MORE: Surrey dancer headed to Portugal for prestigious ballet competition

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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