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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – February 8, 2010 – For the third year of its four year existence the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana (RBAI) was declared “Outstanding School” in the Mid-West regional portion of the world’s largest pre-professional dance competition, Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). The school was proud to represent Indiana as it shared this prestigious award with another benchmark of excellence in the art world – Joffrey’s Academy of Dance – last Saturday in Chicago.

In a repeat of last year’s stunning results, four of RBAI’s five ensemble pieces won first prize, in addition to the first, second and top twelve placements bestowed on many of its student soloists. As a result of these successes RBAI students will receive the “rare distinction” (Shelly King, Regional Administrator, YAGP) to represent Indiana and the nation as they once again join three hundred of the world’s finest young dancers on an international stage in New York this April.

Alyona Yakovleva, Founding Artistic Director of RBAI and the affiliated Indiana Ballet Company, has had multiple occasions to celebrate as she has observed her students, faculty and school garner awards for “Outstanding School”, “Outstanding Teacher” and “Best Choreographer” over the past four years. “I am really proud of these students and my colleagues,” she declares. “However, I hope Hoosiers will also take pride in, and support what is happening here. Everyone expects great things from faraway places and from world-renowned institutions such as Chicago’s Joffrey. But Indiana needs to realize that we have amazing talent and opportunities right here in our own backyard. This is all about Indiana’s youth and future. I am just proud to be here to help, and to watch it unfold.”

RBAI is the official academy of the Indiana Ballet Company. Understanding the foundational role that dance academies have historically played in the establishment of the world’s greatest ballet companies, RBAI seeks to preserve an opportunity for Indiana’s youth while helping to grow the art of tomorrow. Building upon a 300 years-old tradition, RBAI transfers a legacy that has produced some of the most famous ballet dancers, choreographers and teachers of all time, while equipping future citizens with strength, poise, discipline and sensitivity. For more information on its programs visit,, or call 317-228-1917.

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Elizabeth Audet

Publicity and Outreach Director

Indiana Ballet Company

Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana

317/216-9539 office

317/627-8645 cell