2017 Kozlova Int’l Ballet Competition Winners

2017 Valentina Kozlova International Ballet CompetitionThe Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (VKIBC) hosted just under 200 dancers from countries around the world for the June 6-10 event at Symphony Space in New York City.


The display of international talent was rich as dancers in four categories, ages 11 to 26, performed for medals, scholarships to dance academies around the world, and company contracts with the Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Columbia Classical Ballet. 


On Saturday, June 10, all the judges and dancers convened on stage for the announcement of the winners, followed by a Gala Performance that was emceed by Margo Sappington. The spectacular evening opened with VKIBC Founder Valentina Kozlova presenting a medal to Arthur Mitchell, a renowned dance pioneer that founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Continuing her commitment to acknowledge artists who have made significant contributions to dance over the years, Kozlova gave a heartfelt speech in appreciation of Mitchell’s barrier-breaking accomplishments and his generosity as an artist. His award was accepted by Eddie Shellman, a longtime principal of his Dance Theatre of Harlem. 


The Gala evening continued with performances by medalists, including those who were awarded Grand Prix for the first time in the VKIBC’s history. There was even a guest appearance by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. 


See the full list of 2017 award winners below. Visit www.vkibc.org for more information on this annual ballet competition.




Bakhtiyar Adamzham, Kazakhstan – Classical 

Sungmin Kim, South Korea – Contemporary




Youth Division (Ages 11 – 12): Female

Gold Medal: Seehyun Kim, South Korea 

Silver Medal: Katya Saburova, Russia 

Bronze Medal: Lilly Fridlyand, USA 

Bronze Medal: Chloe Colter, USA 

Bronze Medal: Delaney Hart, USA


Youth Division (Ages 11 – 12): Male

Gold Medal: Kangwon Lee, South Korea

No Silver and Bronze Medals Awarded


Student Division (Ages 13 – 14)

Gold Medal: Alesia Astashonok, Belarus

Gold Medal: Catherine Parker, Switzerland 

Silver Medal: Nattalia Tiemi Nakamura, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Jillian Schubert, USA

Bronze Medal: Natasha Snogren, USA


Junior Division (Ages 15 – 17): Female

Gold Medal: Rheya Shano, USA

Gold Medal: Yuyu Ichikawa, Belgium 

Silver Medal: Mari Bell, Canada                  

Bronze Medal: Talia Egge, USA

Bronze Medal: Madison Holdsworth, USA


Junior Division (Ages 15 – 17): Male

No Gold and Silver Medals Awarded 

Bronze Medal: João Paulo Jezler, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Marco Marongiu, Italy


Senior Division (Ages 18 – 26): Female

Gold Medal: Yu Jeong Choi, South Korea 

Silver Medal: Eunhye Lee, South Korea 

Bronze Medal: Francesca Loi, Italy


Senior Division (Ages 18 – 26): Male


Gold Medal: Jinsol Eum, South Korea 

Gold Medal: Koyo Yanagishima, USA 

Silver Medal: Justin Valentine, USA

Silver Medal: Jun Kyoung Kim, South Korea 

Bronze Medal: Serik Nakyspekov, Kazakhstan 

Bronze Medal: Marcos Silva, Brazil


Best Interpretation of the Classical Compulsory Female 

Iliana Yotova, Bulgaria


Best Interpretation of the Classical Compulsory Male 

Christian Pforr, USA


Best Interpretation of the Contemporary Compulsory Deep Mirror

Alice Lunedei, Italy

Camila Rodrigues, USA


Best Interpretation of the Contemporary Compulsory In the Wake

Marcos Silva, Brazil




Division I (Ages 12 and Under)

Gold Medal: Sadie Weintraub, Ireland 

Silver Medal: Lilly Fridlyand, USA 

Bronze Medal: Maria Loberto, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Katya Saburova, Russia


Division II (Ages 13 – 14)

Gold Medal: Noh Youn Kim, South Korea

Silver Medal: Jillian Schubert, USA

Bronze Medal: Giuliana Maria Tavarelli Nunes, Paraguay


Division III (Ages 15 – 17): Female

Gold Medal: Nikita Boris, USA

Silver Medal: Yul Ui Kim, South Korea 

Bronze Medal: Alexia Duff, USA 

Bronze Medal: Semi Lim, South Korea


Division III (Ages 15 – 17): Male

No Gold Medal Awarded

Silver Medal: Gabriel Barbosa, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Roberto Santos, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Khevyn Sigismondi, Belgium


Division IV (Ages 18 and Up): Female

Gold Medal: Jooeun Son, South Korea

Silver Medal: Kyungmee Hwang, South Korea

Silver Medal: Scarlet Oliveira, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Yasmine Matos, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Isabella Souza, Brazil


Division IV (Ages 18 and Up): Male

Gold Medal: DongHun Go, South Korea 

Gold Medal: Haneul Jung, South Korea 

Silver Medal: Seungmin Choi, South Korea 

Silver Medal:  Justin Valentine, USA 

Bronze Medal: In Hyeok Jung, South Korea 

Bronze Medal: Jey Santos, Brazil



Gold Medal: Yasmin Matos and Jey Santos, Brazil

Silver Medal: Nicole Soares and Marcos Silva, Brazil

Bronze Medal: Ana Luiza Santilli and Gabriel Barbosa, Brazil

Bronze Medal:  Mima Freitas and Alexandre Lobo, Brazil



Gold Medal: Dedicatoria de um Retrato by Laura Moeckel, Brazil

Silver Medal: Implexus by Flavia  Sà, Brazil

Bronze Medal: Sensibus by Ricardo Scheir, Brazil




Gold Medal: A Thin Line Between by Sunghoom Kim, South Korea

Gold Medal: Delusion by Jungoh Ha, South Korea

Silver Medal: Implexus by Flavia Sà, Brazil 

Silver Medal: Hersperion by Ariel Rose, Brazil 

Bronze Medal: Only… by Flavia Sà, Brazil




Boston Ballet – USA:

Natasha Snogren, USA


Cincinnati Ballet – USA:

Marcos Silva, Brazil


Columbia Classical Ballet – Columbia:

Camila Rodrigues, Brazil 

Mari Bell, Canada

Lily Saito, USA 




Accademia Internazionale Coreutica – Italy:

Rheya Shano, USA 

Iliana Yotova, Bulgaria 

João Paulo Jezler, Brazil


Boston Ballet – USA:

Natasha Snogren, USA


Brussels International Ballet School – Belgium:

Francesca Loi, Italy 

Iliana Yotova, Bulgaria

Catherine Parker, Switzerland 

Marcos Silva, Brazil

João Paulo Jezler, Brazil 

Koyo Yanagishima, USA 

Clément Guillaume, France 

Marco Marongiu, Italy


Cincinnati Ballet – USA:

Rheya Shano, USA


Cinevox Junior Company– Switzerland:

Marcos Silva, Brazil


Columbia Classical Ballet – Columbia:

Natasha Snogren, USA


Conservatoire National Superieur de musique et de danse de Paris – France:

Catherine Parker, Switzerland 

Christian Pforr, USA


K-ARTS – South Korea :

Sydney Hensen, USA 

Madison Holdsworth, USA


Le Atelier Loft – Switzerland:

Alesia Astashonok, USA 

Pauline Gierling, Belgium


Munich National Conservatoire – Germany:

Alesia Astashonok, Belarus


Tulsa  Ballet  –  USA:

Alice Lunedei, Italy Camila Rodrigues, USA


VKDCNY Full Year Scholarship – USA:

Jillian Schubert, USA


VKDCNY Sotogrande Summer Intensive – Spain:

Alesia Ashtashonok, USA 

Alexia Duff, USA

Elodie Lefebvre, Belgium 

Marcos  Silva,  Brazil 

João Paulo Jezler, Brazil




Confederacion Interamericana y Mundial de Profesionales de Danza Gala Tijuana – Mexico:

Clément Guillaume, France


Corporea in the State of Mexico – Mexico:

Koyo Yanagishima, USA


Gala Rudolph Nureyev Moscow March 2017 – Russia:

Bakhtiyar Adamzham, Kazakhstan


Performance at the Ecuador Congress Gala – Ecuador:

Nikita Boris, USA

Justin Valentine, USA


Riga National Gala August 2017 – Latvia:

Bakhtiyar Adamzham, Kazakhstan




Alby Pretty Dancewear Leotards:

Lilly Fridlyand, USA 

Talia Egge, USA 

Francesca Loi, Italy 

Camila Rodrigues, USA


Alby Pretty Cassandra Reentry of ABT T-Shirt:

Katya Saburova, Russia


Photo: Competitor performs at the VKIBC 2017 NYC Finals in her Classical routine. Photo by Katherine Bibilouri.