2017 Press Release


May 30, 2017

2017 Competition Winners

The National Society of Arts and Letters has awarded over $70,000 for Classical Ballet, Visual Art, Classical Voice, and Literature to outstanding young performers in the National Classical Ballet Competition, the Winston Visual Art and Classical Voice Scholarships, the CalArts Award, the NSAL/School of the Art Institute of Chicago Scholarships and the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio.

The Ballet Competition Award Winners are:

Gillian Fitz, representing the Greater New York Chapter won the National Society of Arts and Letters First Place Award of $12,000. Ms. Fitz trains at Ellison Ballet – Professional Training Program in New York City. Under scholarship, she has attended a variety of ballet programs in addition to Ellison – Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The School of American Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Texas Ballet Theater. Gillian has been awarded first place in the Youth American Grand Prix, American Dance Competition and American Ballet Competitions, and has completed in the finals of the World Ballet Competition. Additionally, she holds the honor of advancing to the international finals of the Youth America Grand Prix each year since the age of 10.

Juliet Doherty, representing the Greater Arizona Chapter won the Second Place Award of $8,000. Juliet began her dance training at her mother’s Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She continued her training with a full scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School from 2012-2015. Ms. Doherty is a two-time Gold Medalist at the world’s largest ballet competition, the Youth America Grand Prix. She has performed at the Beijing International Ballet Competition in China. She has performed at Lincoln Center in NYC, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at Radio City Music Hall. She dances principal roles with the
Phoenix Ballet.

Sophie Miklosovic, representing the Florida East Coast Chapter won the Third Place Award of $6,000. Sophie’s early training was in Macomb Michigan and New York City. At age 12, Ms. Miklosovic moved to a pre-professional ballet program in Chicago. Sophie won the NYCSA Junior National Outstanding Dancer title and participated in a 24-city, national tour as a performer and class assistant with New York City Dance Alliance in 2013-2014. She received the prestigious Youth Grand Prix Award at YAGP Indianapolis Semi-finals, (2014) and received ballet training at Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She has performed in Turkey and Cuba where she received a First Place Gold Medal.

Roland Jones, representing the Washington, DC Chapter won the Fourth Place Award of $4,000. Mr. Jones began his ballet studies in 2008 at the age of 8. For many years, his time was split between ballet, Boy Scouts, baseball, performing in musicals and playing the trumpet. In 2014, he spent the summer at Maryland Youth Ballet attending their intensive program. When offered a 50 percent scholarship, he decided to attend MYB full time. In 2015, Roland attended the Pittsburgh Theater summer intensive on a full scholarship. In 2016, he attended the Orlando Ballet School summer intensive on a full scholarship. In 2017, his MYB scholarship was increased to 75 percent. Next, Roland will attend Boston Ballet’s summer intensive on a full scholarship.

Masanori Takiguchi, representing the Pittsburgh Chapter, won Honorable
Mention ($1,000). Masanori began his classical ballet training at the age of six in Shizuoka, on the southeast coast of Japan. He has since attended ballet training programs at Liaoning Ballet School in China in 2019, the Munich International School in Germany in 2014, Dancearts Boris Nebyla EU in Austria, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School in 2012 and 2015, and the Houston Ballet Academy in 2016. Currently, Masanori is a student in the Graduate Program at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, where he spent the previous year in the full-time High School Program. This summer, he will join the Intensive Summer Program at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago.

The judges:

Steven Caras works in many creative fields from dancer/photographer, author, ballet master, repetiteur and development director, to keynote speaker and producer. At the age of 18 Mr. Caras was invited to join the New York City Ballet by its founder, George Ballantine. For the next 14 years, he danced worldwide in numerous works choreographed by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A longtime interest in photography led Mr. Caras to be known as one of the most revered image- makers of dance history. The PBS Documentary, Steven Caras: See Them Dance, places a special emphasis on the artistry and relevance of his photographic work.

Maurice Brandon Curry has directed, choreographed and produced numerous events such as tours and videos for Diana Ross, ballets and theater works of numerous dance companies and universities around the world, and in the fashion industry for Hilfinger, Kenneth Cole, and Armani. Mr. Curry directed and/or choreographed three critically acclaimed Off-Broadway shows in the U.S. and abroad including West Side Story, Nunsence, Sweet Charity, Oliver! and 42nd Street.
He has served on numerous boards and advisory boards of dance companies, and serves as Chairperson of the Dance Program at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Eglevsky Ballet.

Cynthia Harvey is one of ballets most versatile and valued artists. She danced virtually every role with American Ballet Theatre. She has the distinction of being the first American dancer invited to be a principal ballerina for the Royal Ballet and performed as a guest artist for Baryshnikov and Company, Nureyev and Friends and numerous, internationally renowned ballet companies before retiring in 1996.
Ms. Harvey is an international dance teacher and author and in demand as a guest teacher and ballet mistress. She has taught for the American Ballet Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Teatro alla Scala in Milano, as well as The Royal Ballet School in London and School for the Basel Ballet. Ms. Harvey was appointed Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

Christopher Wheeldon, one of the most celebrated choreographers in the world today, won a Tony for Best Choreography for An American in Paris. Born in England, Mr. Wheeldon trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined the company in 1991. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to Soloist in 1998. He served as their first-ever Artist in Residence in 2000-01 and was named its first Resident Choreographer in 2001. In 2007, Mr. Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and was appointed an Associate Artist for Sadler Wells Theatre in London. He choreographed numerous works for the Metropolitan Opera between 2000 and 2012. He has created more than 90 works for many of the world’s major ballet companies in the U.S. and abroad. At the Awards Banquet Christopher Wheeldon was awarded NSAL’s highest honor – the gold medallion for lifetime achievement.