UNCSA dancer playing 'Nutcracker' Prince selected for prestigious Prix de Lausanne ballet competition

Will Gyves of Winston-Salem, a 10th-grade ballet student in the School of Dance who will be dancing the "Nutcracker" Prince next month, has been selected for the 2023 Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious international ballet competition. Gyves is one of 87 dancers from around the world and one of only 12 American students selected through video auditions to compete in the distinguished competition to be held Jan. 29 through Feb. 5, 2023, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“To be accepted into a globally recognized competition is a huge accomplishment for Will,” said School of Dance Dean Endalyn T. Outlaw. “We have watched him grace our stages and grow into a dynamic dancer from his beginnings at our preparatory program,” she continued. “I am confident that he will bring a strong presence and great representation of UNCSA to the Prix de Lausanne stage that highlights the quality of training our program offers young dancers.”

Will Gyves

Will Gyves

Prior to enrolling in the High School Dance program at UNCSA, Gyves spent five years in the  Preparatory Dance Program. Competing professionally since age 10, Gyves has been a Youth America Grand Prix finalist and semifinalist numerous times and earned first place in the IDANCE International Ballet Competition and the Grand Jeté International Dance Award competition in addition to several other placements. He is the recipient of at least a dozen scholarships, including for the San Francisco Ballet School, Ellison Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Barcelona Dance Center. He has an extensive performance portfolio including playing a variety of roles for the annual UNCSA performances of "The Nutcracker" since 2017. In this year’s "Nutcracker," Gyves will be performing as the Nutcracker Prince and several other roles including Fritz, Mouse, Marzipan and Trepak in the beloved holiday ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s full score performed by a live orchestra.

“Will deserves to be recognized,” said Associate Professor of Ballet Misha Tchoupakov, who has worked with Gyves since 2019. “He is a very hard-working, intelligent dancer who strategically and consistently improves his process. That’s why he cultivates tangible results and continues to grow as a performer.”

For the video audition, Tchoupakov and Gyves worked together to create a 13-minute-long piece which included ballet barre exercises and contemporary dance choreography and exercises. In the 2023 competition he will perform Franz's variation from Act lll of "Coppelia" and a contemporary piece which they will choose from the list of the contemporary variations at the Prix de Lausanne.

In recent years six other UNCSA students have been selected to compete at the Prix de Lausanne: Jett Lecamu of Winston-Salem, in 2021, as a sophomore; Evelyn Robinson of Flint, Texas, in 2020, as a senior; Eric Kim from Chapel Hill, in 2019, as a senior; Daniella Thorne from San Francisco, in 2018, as a sophomore; Brett Coppa from San Pedro, California, in 2017, when he was a senior; and Sierra Armstrong of Advance, in 2014, as a sophomore.

For the 2023 Prix de Lausanne, nine professionals from the international dance world judged the videos of 429 applicants from 39 different countries. A total of 74 dancers were selected via this process to join seven preselected candidates. In total, 87 dancers from 18 different countries were selected to take part in the competition.

Created in 1973, the Prix de Lausanne is an international ballet competition for young dancers aged 15-18 years old. Its goal is to discover, promote and support the finest talents around the world.

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November 10, 2022