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Kensington Macmillen in class at CPYB. Photo by Joel Thomas Photography, courtesy of CPYB

Last year, Kensington MacMillen auditioned for summer programs away from home for the first time. A longtime Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet student, MacMillen had spent previous summers at her home studio, but now she was ready to branch out. After auditioning for three programs, her first response was a rejection from Miami City Ballet.

"A bunch of people from here had gotten in, and I didn't," she says. "So then you just kind of panic." She was still waiting to hear from the other programs and worried that she'd have nowhere to go.

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Madeleine Onne has been named the new director of Houston Ballet Academy. After dancing with Royal Swedish Ballet from 1984 to 2002, Onne served as artistic director of the company for six years. She was then appointed artistic director of Hong Kong Ballet in 2009. She steps into her new position in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 2017, replacing Shelly Power, who has left to join the Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, as artistic director and CEO.

Photo courtesy of Houston Ballet Academy

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Santos in Elena Kunikova's Divertimento

When Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dylan Santos was studying at the Houston Ballet Academy, his teacher Claudio Muñoz gave him the "aha" moment he needed to take his training to the next level.

“I remember doing the cavalier variation from The Nutcracker for him. He looked at me and said, ‘You could be amazing.’ He then called me aside and said in Spanish, ‘You’re a beautiful dancer, but you need to pay attention. You can be bigger than you think. You just need to focus on what’s important.’ Having him let me know that I could get there gave me confidence.”

Claudio Muñoz has been a teacher at Houston Ballet Academy for 17 years. He was a recipient of a 2016 Dance Teacher Award in the category of studio/conservatory teachers.

Catch Dance Theatre of Harlem in Chicago, November 18–20, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Photo by Kent Becker, courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem

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Shelly Power leads class at Houston Ballet Academy.

Houston Ballet Academy’s director of 11 years, Shelly Power, will be leaving to take on a new position: artistic director and CEO of the international ballet competition Prix de Lausanne, effective in September. She is the first in the annual competition’s history to become both the artistic and business leader. She succeeds current artistic director Amanda Bennett, who has held the position since 2012.

The Prix de Lausanne has been showcasing the ballet world’s top young talent, ages 15 to 18, for the past 44 years. The competition takes place each January and February in Lausanne, Switzerland. Prize winners receive ballet school scholarships and company apprenticeships. Past winners include First Position star Miko Fogarty, ballet renegade Sergei Polunin, “So You Think You Can Dance” competitor Alex Wong and American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet principal Maria Kochetkova.

Photo: by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy of Houston Ballet

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