Local dancers golden in Bulgaria

In Brief

August 01, 1996|By Will Reichel

Two area students attending the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington recently captured gold medals in the 17th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Michele Wiles, 16, of Glen Burnie, and Rasta Thomas, 15, of Severn, were among 207 of the world's most talented ballet dancers who competed in the semi-annual event, held July 17-23.

The International Ballet Competition has long been recognized for the talent and promise of its competitors. Past competitions have included such acclaimed performers as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Fernando Bujones and Alla Sizova.

Participants are divided into junior and senior divisions for the competition.

Wiles, who has trained at the Kirov Academy for five and a half years, earned the gold medal in the junior girls division. Earlier this year she captured the bronze medal at the Nagoya International Ballet Competition in Japan.

Thomas, who earned gold in the junior boys division, placed first in the Masters of America Competition and received a special prize at the Paris International Ballet Competition in 1994. He has studied at the Kirov for six years.

Pub Date: 8/01/96

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