Junior Company


Keara Nichols accepted a contract for the Colorado Ballet Studio Company

Mira Larsen spent 2 years studying at the Royal Ballet School in London

Mia Benitez went on to study at San Francisco Ballet School on scholarship

Reid Bryant accepted a contract with Houston Ballet II

Heather Ludlow accepted a contract in the Studio Company at Colorado Ballet

Macie Rowe accepted a contract to dance with Eugene Ballet


ABA Dancers have also received scholarships to train at places including:

Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis School, official school of American Ballet Theatre

School of American Ballet, official school of New York City Ballet

Princess Grace Academy in Monaco

San Francisco Ballet School

Houston Ballet School

Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Ballet West 

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Colorado Ballet

…and more!

junior company auditions, academy of ballet arts
2023-24 Junior Company Auditions
Petit Jr. Company (ABA Levels 1B/1A or ages 8 to 11)
Friday June 16th 6:30-7:30pm
Audition Fee: $35
Junior Company (ABA Level 2B and up or ages 12 and up)
Friday June 16th and Friday June 23rd*
*Please pre-register for an individual audition time. Bring a prepared classical variation of your choice. The audition will consist of performing the variation followed by a short interview.
Audition fee $35
What is Junior Company? Junior Company is ABA’s elite performance group. Placement in Junior Company is by audition only and once accepted dancers are expected to attend a full schedule of ballet technique, pointe, contemporary, and conditioning classes as well as private lessons and/or group rehearsals to work on classical and contemporary pieces for competition.
Dancers compete at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix where they have received many top places, scholarships, and awards including the Outstanding School Award two years in a row. ABA dancers have been invited to the Youth America Grand Prix Finals every year that we have competed since 2014.
Dancers also compete at California Dance Classics and have opportunities to audition for the Prix de Lausanne and Music Center Spotlight Awards.
Junior Company members perform in all ABA productions and several community performances such as fundraisers and collaborations with the California Chamber Orchestra.
Junior Company members are held to a high standard of excellence and many have gone on to receive acceptances and scholarships to major ballet schools around the world including the Royal Ballet School in London, Princess Grace Academy in Monaco, Houston Ballet, JKO School, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Arizona, Colorado Ballet, and more!

2022 Competition Season:

YAGP Finals: Hiro Ikeda, Noe Lynds, Ava Whitehurst, Dawn of Faith ensemble

YAGP San Diego and Los Angeles:

Outstanding Teacher Award

Hope Award: Ava Whitehurst

1st Place Senior Classical: Noe Lynds

2nd Place Senior Contemporary: Carly Allyn

2nd Place Small Ensemble: Bluebird Pas de Deux (Ava and Lane Whitehurst)

2nd Place Senior Contemporary: Joshua Bean

3rd Place Junior Men: Lane Whitehurst

Senior Classical Top 12: Carly Allyn, Ivy Lanhardt

Senior Contemporary Top 12: Noe Lynds, Ivy Lanhardt

Top 12 Pre competitive: Kate Weeg

Senior Classical Top 24: Hiro Ikeda, Misae Lee

Junior Classical Top 24: Brooke Anderson, Dominika Pedras

Top 12 Large Ensemble: Dawn of Faith

Spotlight Music Awards:

Classical Dance Semi-Finalist: Noe Lynds

2020 Competition Season:

Prix de Lausanne 2020: Keara Nichols

YAGP San Diego and Los Angeles:

Outstanding Teacher Award

Grand Prix Award: Keara Nichols

Full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet: Keara Nichols

1st Place Junior Contemporary: Carly Allyn

2nd Place Junior Classical: Carly Allyn

Finals invitations: Carly Allyn, Keara Nichols, ensemble

Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Emily Porges, Catherine Ventura


YAGP San Diego:

Outstanding School Award!

1st Place Junior Classical: Bergundi Loyd (NY Finals)

2nd Place Junior Contemporary: Bergundi Loyd

3rd Place Junior Contemporary: Sabrina Huang

Top 12 Junior Contemporary: Ciara Cardinal, Sabrina Huang, Bergundi Loyd, Keara Nichols, Catherine Ventura

Top 24 Junior Classical: Bergundi Loyd, Lydia Murphy, Keara Nichols, Sabrina Huang

Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Hannah Ivester

Top 12 Senior Classical: Mia Benitez

Top 24 Senior Classical: Mia Benitez, Kassie Coon, Hannah Ivester, Heather Ludlow

YAGP Los Angeles:

1st Place Senior Classical: Mia Benitez

3rd Place Junior Classical: Bergundi Loyd

Top 12 Junior Classical: Bergundi Loyd, Keara Nichols

Top 12 Junior Contemporary: Ciara Cardinal, Sabrina Huang, Bergundi Loyd, Keara Nichols

Top 24 Junior Classical: Sabrina Huang, Bergundi Loyd, Lydia Murphy, Keara Nichols, Catherine Ventura

Top 12 Senior Classical: Mia Benitez, Hannah Ivester

Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Kassie Coon, Heather Ludlow



YAGP SAN DIEGO 2014 & 2015

Madeline Davis, Jefferson Reid Bryant and Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux (Jackson Pierce Bryant and Elisa D’Carpio) are qualified for New York FINALS!!!!!

Top 12 Junior Contemporary: Madeline Davis

Top 12 Junior Classical Division: Diana Gallegos, Madeline Davis

Top 24 Junior Classical Division: Audrey Cardinal, Madeline Davis, Diana Gallegos

Junior Classical Division 3rd Place: Madeline Davis

Men’s Classical Division 3rd Place: Reagan Bryant

Pre-Competitive Division Top 12: Jefferson Reid Bryant

Senior Contemporary Division Top 12: Elisa D’Carpio, Macie Rowe

Senior Contemporary Division 3rd Place: Macie Rowe

Senior Contemporary Division 1st Place: Elisa D’Carpio

Ensembles Division Top 12: Ciara Cardinal and Isabella Nguyen (Oceans and Pearls)

1st place in Junior Men’s Classical;
Reid Bryant
1st place Senior Contemporary Macie Rowe

Mira Larsen, Reid Bryant, and Marzipan (Reid Bryant, Lauren Clarke, and Catherine Ventura) qualified for New York finals;

Mia Benitez and Diana Gallegos were invited to the YAGP New York Intensive,

Mira Larsen, Diana Gallegos, and Macie Rowe for top 12 in Senior Contemporary;

Mira Larsen, Diana Gallegos, and Macie Rowe for top 12 Senior Classical;

Anaise Blazer for top 24 Senior Classical;

Audrey Cardinal for top 24 Junior Classical;

Marzipan for top 12 Ensembles


Our full time dancers have recently won and placed in the San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and LA YAGP regionals. Many of our dancers have qualified for the New York Finals.  Our dancer Mira placed top 12 in the YAGP NY Finals and is now studying at The Royal Ballet School.  Our dancer Reid attended YAGP NY Finals, and is now studying year round now at Houston Ballet on Full Scholarship.  Our dancers  this year (2017), have been accepted to  San Francisco Ballet (full scholarship),  School of American Ballet (Full Scholarship), ABT/JKO School (Part scholarship), The Rock School for Dance Education, Boston Ballet (Scholarship),  PNB, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater (Full Scholarship), Ballet West (Full scholarship), and many others.  Many of our dancers have also received full and partial scholarships as well as offers to attend year round programs abroad.  Our training is being proven by our results and the many opportunities our dancers are receiving.

2021 Competition Season:

YAGP San Diego and Los Angeles:

1st Place Senior Contemporary: Mariah Harrell

Senior Contemporary Top 12: Alyssa Nichols

Senior Classical Top 12: Mariah Harrell, Alyssa Nichols

Junior Classical Top 24: Noe Lynds

Finals Invitations: Keara Nichols, Sunset ensemble

California Dance Classics:

Classical Ensemble Gold Medal: Sunset

Classical 17+ Gold Medal: Keara Nichols

Contemporary 17+ Silver Medal: Keara Nichols

15-16 Contemporary Honorable Mention: Alyssa Nichols

13-14 Classical Honorable Mention: Noe Lynds

13-14 Contemporary Silver Medal: Ivy Lanhardt

11-12 Classical Honorable Mention: Dominika Pedras

11-12 Contemporary Honorable Mention: Maile Buschmann

8 and under Classical Gold Medal: Ava Whitehurst

8 and under Contemporary Gold Medal: Ava Whitehurst

ICON Dance Awards:

Outstanding Performance: Maile Buschmann

Music Center Spotlight Awards:

Semi-finalist in classical ballet: Keara Nichols

YAGP San Diego and Los Angeles 2019 Winners!!

YAGP San Diego:

1st Place Senior Contemporary: Keara Nichols

Top 12 Junior Classical: Carly Allyn **New York Finalist!**

Top 12 Senior Classical: Keara Nichols, Catherine Ventura

Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Keara Nichols, Heather Ludlow

Top 24 Senior Classical: Heather Ludlow, Keara Nichols, Catherine Ventura

YAGP Los Angeles:

1st Place Junior Contemporary: Carly Allyn

3rd Place Senior Contemporary: Emily Porges

Top 12 Senior Classical: Lydia Murphy, Keara Nichols

Top 12 Senior Contemporary: Angela Morton, Keara Nichols, Emily Porges

Top 24 Senior Classical: Emily Porges

Top 24 Junior Classical: Carly Allyn


Top 12 Senior Classical: Mira Larsen

YAGP SAN DIEGO 2016 and 2017 ABA WINNERS!!!!


1st Place Senior Classical- Mira Larsen (NY Finals)
1st Place Junior Men’s Classical – Reid Bryant (NY Finals)
1st Place Pre-Competitive Contemporary – Sabrina Huang (NY Finals)
Top 24 Junior Classical – Catherine Ventura, Mia Benitez, Abby DeSpain –
Top 12 Pre-Competitive Classical Sabrina Huang
Top 12 Pre-Competitive Contemporary -Sabrina Huang
Top 12 Senior Classical Diana Gallegos, Mira Larsen
Top 12 Senior Contemporary Hannah Ivester, Mira Larsen


San Diego

YAGP ‘Outstanding School”

Pre-Competitive Contemporary 3rd Place Ciara Cardinal (NY Finals)

Pre-Competitive Contemporary Top 12 Ciara Cardinal

Junior Contemporary 1st Place Sabrina Huang

Junior Contemporary Top 12 Mia Benitez, Lydia Murphy, Sabrina Huang

Junior Classical Top 12 Mia Benitez, Sabrina Huang, Catherine Ventura, Taylor Parent (NY Finals)

Senior Classical Top 12 Diana Gallegos, Hannah Ivester

Senior Contemporary 3rd Place Diana Gallegos

Los Angeles


Pre-Competitive Contemporary Top 12 Ciara Cardinal

Junior Classical Top 12 Sabrina Huang, Mia Benitez, Taylor Parent

Junior Contemporary Top 12 Sabrina Huang, Madeleine Gardner

Senior Classical Top 24 Hannah Ivester


California Dance Classics 2019 Winners!!

Silver Medal Age 15-16 Contemporary: Emily Porges

Bronze Medal Age 15-16 Classical Men’s: Chase Petersen

Bronze Medal Age 17+ Classical: Makayla O’Sullivan

Bronze Medal Age 15-16 Contemporary: Keara Nichols

Honorable Mention Age 13-14 Classical: Alyssa Nichols

Honorable Mention Age 13-14 Contemporary: Alyssa Nichols

Honorable Mention Age 15-16 Contemporary: Heather Ludlow, Catherine Ventura

Honorable Mention Age 15-16 Classical: Heather Ludlow, Catherine Ventura

Full Scholarship to Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive: Keara Nichols

Full Year Round Scholarship to Joffrey Ballet Academy: Chase Petersen

Spotlight Music Center Awards

2019: Mia Benitez was selected for the Semi-final round (Top 14)

2018: Mia Benitez was selected for the Semi-final round (Top 14)

2016: Mira Larsen and Diana Gallegos were both selected to compete in the Semi-final round! (Top 14)


Gold Medal Classical Solo Age 17+: Hannah Ivester

Gold Medal Contemporary Solo Age 15-16: Heather Ludlow

Gold Medal Contemporary Solo Age 13-14: Catherine Ventura

Silver Medal Classical Solo Age 15-16: Heather Ludlow

Silver Medal Contemporary Solo Age 17+: Hannah Ivester

Classical Solo Honorable Mention: Chase Petersen, Catherine Ventura, Rachel Hudson

Contemporary Solo Honorable Mention: Lydia Murphy

CDC Monetary Scholarship: Heather Ludlow

Ballet West Short Term Scholarship: Hannah Ivester

LA Ballet Summer Intensive Scholarship: Catherine Ventura



VIBE Winners 2016-2017

2017 Mia Benitez – Gold -Classical

2017 Taylor Parent – Silver – Classical

2017 Catherine Ventura – Bronze – Classical

2017 Madeleine Gardner  – Silver – Contemporary

2017 Taylor Parent- Bronze – Contemporary

2016 Mira Larsen -Gold – Classical Senior

2016 Mia Benitez -Gold – Classical Junior

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest global network of dance. It fulfills its mission of dance education through scholarship auditions, master classes, alumni services, educational and outreach activities, performances, and films.

Mission Statement: To support and develop world-class dancers, ages 9-19, of all economic, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds by providing scholarship auditions, performance and education opportunities, and by serving as the global network of dance, connecting students, teachers, schools, dance companies, dancers, and audiences.

YAGP reaches over 7,000 dance students annually by holding workshops, scholarship auditions, master classes and audition classes in approximately 17 U.S cities and 6 international locations. Each season culminates in the week-long New York Finals, where more than 1,200 of the world’s most promising dancers receive in-depth mentoring and greater scholarship, professional, and performance opportunities. The New York Finals closing night “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala features the students showing the most potential alongside the stars of today’s leading dance companies.


brings together some of the most outstanding young dancers from around the world and serves as an introduction to an international career.

It is an auspicious occasion on which to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding among its participating candidates and the audience, in the beautiful city of Vienna, the cultural heart of Europe. The Vienna International Ballet Experience is open to professional and amateur dancers, students and performers with and without disabilities. These include dancers with physical disabilities as well as dancers with special educational needs.

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