Hannah - PatelHi everyone.  Travis back with some really cool arts and culture news in Tampa Bay.  Hannah Bettes, 15-year-old Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory/Straz Center for the Performing Arts (NGB) dancer, was selected as top dancer in her division at the World Ballet Competition (WBC) at the event held May 30 through June 4, 2011 in Orlando, Fla.

Dancers competed from all over the world, including from Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Australia and Ukraine. Bettes danced three classical solos and two contemporary solos in addition to the Coppélia pas de duex with 15-year-old NGB new artist, Drew Nelson.

AND, at the international Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) held in New York in March, Bettes beat out all other dancers in her division to win first place in the category of “Junior Women.” Although she received scholarship offers worldwide, including from Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla, Princess Grace of Monaco School in Monte Carlo, Monaco and Kirov Academy in Washington D.C., Bettes has decided to stay with the Patel Conservatory to continue her training.

Bettes’ accomplishment is the latest in a string of successes for Next Generation Ballet at The Patel Conservatory/Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The school received endorsements from YAGP and the School of American Ballet when the organizations moved their Florida events to Tampa in support of the program. Patel Conservatory student Ethan Fuller was cast as “Billy” in the national tour of the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical and the Next Generation Ballet produced successful productions of The Nutcracker this past December and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in May. 

Congratulations to Hannah, and everyone else at the Patel Conservatory, for all of their great accomplishments.  And there's more, just head over to www.patelconservatory.org to get the latest news and announcements.  And as always, keep checking back here for more great things to do in Tampa Bay, and great Tampa Bay area events.