JACKSON, MS (WLBT ) 100 dancers took part in the two-week competition, vying to be named the best in individual and pairs, classical and contemporary ballet. But in the end, just 20 dancers would receive medals, scholarships, and cash awards, including just one American.
15-year-old Derek Dunn of Glen Burnie, Maryland, won a gold medal in the junior men's division. He says he came to IBC without big expectations.
"I was just coming for the experience, I wasn't expecting anything to come out of it. It's just such a great experience, to be here, I just wanted to take it one step at a time," he says. "So when I heard I got a medal, I was really excited."
A 21-year-old from China won gold in the senior women's division. We asked Cao Shuci what's next in her future. Through an interpreter, she says, "I love to dance, but I will be very careful to make each step the right way".
No gold was awarded in the senior men's division. "The dancers who receive the gold medal must meet the standard of those who came before them, such as Baryshnikov," says Sue Lobrano, Executive Director of the IBC.
Choosing the winners was difficult for the 13-member jury, Lobrano says. "One of the reasons we were up to the wee hours of the morning with the jury is because the level was so consistent. It was such a difficult decision. You have so many on the same playing field," she says.
The IBC continues Saturday night with the AT & T Awards Gala at 7 pm. Tickets range in price from $40-$70. Sunday night at 7:30, an Encore Gala performance will be held. Tickets range from $25-$50. Both events take place at Thalia Mara Hall.
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