Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Local Ballet School Dancing This Weekend in Grand Prix

Matisse Love and Eli Gruska dance Swan Lake

Dancers at Marat Daukeyev Ballet School on La Brea and Wilshire are hard at work preparing for Youth America Grand Prix 2013,(YAGP)  the worldwide ballet competition made famous by the award-winning 2012 documentary First Position.  Dancers have been  preparing all year for the semi-finals this weekend in Huntington Beach, CA.  Students from MDBS are slated to enter 71 pieces: solos, pas de deux and group dances, with dancers ranging in age from 9 to 18.  Most dancers compete in both classical ballet and contemporary dance.  Last year  there were 53 entries, out of which 13  MDSB students progressed to the finals in NYC where many of them placed.  Park La Brea resident Isabella Franco won a 2nd place medal in the under 12 category.

Isabella Franco
Isabella Franco

Additionally,  Andy Schermoly, MDBS’s  contemporary teacher, won the Outstanding Choreography Award and MDSB won the Outstanding School Award.

Priscilla Duggan
Priscilla Duggan






Larchmont Village competitors include Isabel Murr, Mikhael Kinley-Safranoff and Matisse Love, who placed in the top 12 Women’s Junior Classical last year.  Joely Maples, Judith No, Priscilla Duggen and  Emma Daukayev are all competing this year for the first time.

Marat Daukeyev, the founder and director of the school, and his staff teach Vaganova style ballet to 450+ boys and girls, ranging in age from 3 to 18.  Many of the school’s former students have gone on to have ballet careers. Spring registration is currently underway.

Marat believes that competitions offer students the immediate and concrete goal of preparing a variation to perform before a panel of judges and that it is a great incentive for their advanced dancers’ growth.  At YAGP they are exposed to peers from other schools, giving them a glimpse into the ballet world outside of their own.  Ballet is a very demanding art form – experiencing the international dance community first hand can help students formulate realistic expectations and inspire the motivation necessary to pursue a professional career.  YAGP also offers an opportunity for dancers to seen by ballet companies and schools from around the world.  Scholarships and are awarded to outstanding competitors.

Isabel Murr
Isabel Murr
Marat Daukayev was for twenty years a star of the famous Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Ballet) in St. Petersburg.  He received his professional training at the Vaganova and Perm Ballet Schools and won the Bronze Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition. 
Marat Daukayev School of Ballet
731 S. LaBrea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
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Lindsay Gallagher
Lindsay Gallagher
Lindsay is a transplant from New York City who has lived in Larchmont Village for all of her 20 years in Los Angeles. This “walking neighborhood” is perfect for her and her family, who consider themselves very blessed to have discovered such a charming small town in the heart of a sprawling metropolis. Lindsay travels often with her kids and writes reviews and blogs for the family travel website, and the Larchmont Buzz, Content for City National Bank's online magazine, News&Insights, is a member the editorial team at Marriott Traveler, and is a published novelist (pen name).

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