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John-Paul Simoens is the Only US Male National Selected to Compete in Switzerland's Prix de Lausanne

A student of Lauridsen Ballet Centre and South Bay Ballet senior company member, John-Paul Simoens moves on to perform before a jury of world-renowned dance personalities at the famous Prix de Lausanne competition January 29 to February 4, 2012.

Torrance, CA, November 10, 2011 --( John-Paul Simoens, 17, a student of Lauridsen Ballet Centre and South Bay Ballet company member, was selected to compete in the Prix de Lausanne 2012. Simoens was notified November 1 by the Prix’s Artistic Committee of his candidacy. He is one of 80 young dancers, representing 19 different nationalities that will move on to the next stage of the competition, which will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland from Saturday, January 29 to Sunday, February 4, 2012.

Now in its 40th year the Prix de Lausanne is an international competition for young dancers of all nationalities aged 15 to 18 who are not yet professionals. For this year’s competition, 226 candidates (168 girls and 58 boys), representing 30 different nationalities, applied to participate in the qualifying round by video that took place this past October 29 and 30. Of the 32 male candidates selected worldwide for the next level of competition Simoens is the only male of US nationality attending.

Simoens started his dance education at the age of seven training exclusively with Diane Lauridsen, founder of Lauridsen Ballet Centre in Torrance, California and artistic director of South Bay Ballet. In addition to the year-round curriculum provided by Lauridsen, Simoens has been invited to attend summer training programs here in the United States and abroad, including American Ballet Theatre New York Young Dancers Program, two summers at The Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive in London, Houston Ballet’s Summer Intensive, and the International Ballet Competition, all of which he attended on full scholarship. This past summer, Simoens attended the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in New York also on full scholarship.

A senior company member of South Bay Ballet, Simoens has danced a range of corps, soloist and principal roles through the years including most recently Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty and Franz in Coppélia. He is currently in company rehearsals dancing the lead role of the Prince in South Bay Ballet’s Nutcracker to be performed December 16, 17 and 18 at the Marsee Auditorium in Torrance.

Simoens is a student of the California Virtual Academies High School placing consistently on the Dean’s Honor List.

About Prix de Lausanne
Created in 1973, the a Prix de Lausanne is an annual international competition for young dancers aged 15 to 18. Its gol is to discover, promote and support the world’s finest young talents. Over 60 of the world’s most prestigious dance schools and companies, such as the Royal Ballet School of London, the School of American Ballet in New York, and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne are associated with the Prix de Lausanne and support its activities.

One of a kind, the Prix de Lausanne represents an exceptional platform for discovering youthful talents and is open to dance professionals who can observe and establish contacts with candidates, thereby transforming Lausanne into the world’s capital for young dancers during the month of January.

About Lauridsen Ballet Centre:
Lauridsen Ballet Centre is a home for the serious student interested in celebrating the art of dance. The Centre is the lifeblood and foundation of South Bay Ballet, and prepares promising young dancers to a career in dance. Diane Lauridsen, along with the school’s faculty, is dedicated to nurturing, developing, and guiding young dancers through the world of ballet in a professional, caring and healthy environment. They believe wholeheartedly that ballet improves confidence, concentration, coordination, memorization, discipline and teamwork, which are all assets to a well-rounded education.

Ms. Lauridsen has developed a curriculum that has its foundation in traditional classical techniques, enhanced by over thirty years of experience incorporating cutting-edge anatomical and kinesthetic principles. Lauridsen Ballet Centre is internationally recognized for its integrity, strict guidelines and the highest quality training.

About South Bay Ballet:
South Bay Ballet, a non-profit organization, provides quality artistic performances to the community as well as outstanding training to young and pre-professional dancers. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Diane Lauridsen, and Assistant Artistic Director Elijah Pressman, the Company’s mission is to provide a nurturing environment for serious dance students to develop their skills while offering artistic excellence to the community. The Company is dedicated to providing performance opportunities that build character and confidence. The ultimate goal is to carry young dancers into their professional lives.

Contact Information
South Bay Ballet
Lisa Silagy, Publicity

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