YoungArts Names Dance Finalists

Former NYCB principal Philip Neal leads a ballet class during YoungArts Week.

Twenty-two students have been named dance finalists in the 2015 YoungArts competition. In January, they traveled to Miami to participate in National YoungArts Week, earning awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and taking master classes with the likes of Lourdes Lopez (Miami City Ballet artistic director), Philip Neal (former New York City Ballet principal), Nasha Thomas-Schmitt (former Alvin Ailey dancer) and Carter “Fever One” McGlasson (from the Rock Steady Crew). YoungArts finalists represent some of the nation’s most talented arts students, and many alumni, like Complexions’ Desmond Richardson, have gone on to become leaders in their field.

The dance finalists will now compete with other arts finalists to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. This award, given to only 20 students, is the highest honor an artistically talented high school senior can receive. Those chosen will showcase their work at the Kennedy Center and The Smithsonian Institute in June.

Autumn Steed

Hayden Hopkins

Anagha Prasanna


Andrea Fabbri, Boca Raton, FL

Aaron Hilton, Washington, DC

Sarah Lapointe, Bel Air, MD

Daniela O’Neil, Wellington, FL

Autumn Steed, Downers Grove, IL

Madeline Woo, Huntington Beach, CA


Hayden Hopkins, Puyallup, WA

Myles Hunter, Los Angeles, CA

Nicole Ishimaru, Chino Hills, CA

Eddieomar Gonzales, Lake Worth, FL

Matthew McLaughlin, Silver Spring, MD

Sarah Pippin, Wake Forest, NC

Nicole Smith, Loomis, CA

Jonathan Wade, Miami, FL


Nathan Beech, Manassas, VA

Jacob Clemente, Rensselaer, NY

Hip Hop

Eddie Mandell, Sharon, MA

Kaleb Sims, Jacksonville, FL

Classical Indian

Anagha Prasanna, Elizabeth, NJ

Irish Step

Isabel Kaiser, Saint Charles, MO

Mexican Folkloric

Uriel Ramirez, Norwalk, CA


Jordynn Lurie, Coral Springs, FL






Photos from top: by Katherine Bollens, courtesy of YoungArts; by Pedro Portal, courtesy of YoungArts (3)

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