The Prix de Lausanne Turns 50 This Year: Meet the 12 Americans Headed to Switzerland for the 2023 Competition

January 24, 2023

The Prix de Lausanne is celebrating its golden anniversary this year, and in honor of its 50-year legacy, the international competition is adding some extra glamour to its itinerary. Running January 29 to February 5, 2023, at the Beaulieu Theatre in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Prix will include a Gala of Stars in addition to other special events.

This year, 429 young hopefuls applied to the Prix. Eighty-seven, hailing from 18 different countries, were chosen to attend, including 12 from the U.S. The dancers will spend four days in classes and coaching sessions before competing before a 10-person jury of ballet world luminaries. This year, the participants took short videos reacting to the news of their acceptance.

Read on to see the American candidates introduce themselves, and get to know them better below!

Madison Bevilacqua, 15

Dancing since she was 3 years old, high school sophomore Madison Bevilacqua trains at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY, the official training school of Rochester City Ballet. A Russian Pointe ambassador, Bevilacqua danced in the final round of the 2021 and 2022 Youth America Grand Prix and American Dance Competition International Ballet Competition finals. “I love ballet because there is always an opportunity to keep learning and growing as a dancer,” she said in a local news article last month.

Anya Donaghy, 15

Originally from California, Anya Donaghy is a second-year company member at Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, TX. She previously trained at California Arts Academy and the Fresno, CA–based Evolve Dance Company. Donaghy is an experienced YAGP alumna: She was a finalist every year between 2019 and 2022 and placed in the final round in 2021 and 2022, ranking in top-three spots in both the contemporary and classical categories. Last summer, Donaghy traveled to Italy to attend a YAGP intensive at the Nervi Music Ballet Festival, and she has received scholarships to the John Cranko School and Princess Grace Academy.

William Gyves, 15

William Gyves channels happiness into his studies at University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, where he trains under Misha Tchoupakov. “I still dance because of the joy I feel while I dance, and I want to share that joy with other people,” said Gyves in a video interview after winning the solo junior ballet category of the International Online Dance Competition in 2021.

Linzi Huang, 15

Ballet has taken Linzi Huang around the country. Though she trains at Atlanta Professional Dance Company in Atlanta, GA, she took home two gold medals from the 2022 Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in New York City, in addition to placing as a YAGP finalist in 2021 and 2022 and winning a silver medal from the World Ballet Competition in 2021.

Julie Joyner, 17

This won’t be Julie Joyner’s first time competing in the Prix de Lausanne, though it will be her first time taking her talents to Switzerland (in 2021, she competed in the virtual Prix). A former student of Dance Arts Centre in Suwanee, GA, Joyner now trains at International City School of Ballet in Marietta, GA. She was a 2022 World Ballet Competition first Grand Prix Award winner and took home a gold medal from the American Dance Competition International Ballet Competition in 2022.

Ivy Lanhardt, 16

Ivy Lanhardt’s excitement over attending the Prix is clear. “When I woke up to the news, I woke up everyone in the house at 5:30 in the morning,” she says in her intro video. Lanhardt dances at Academy of Ballet Arts in Murrieta, CA, and is a 2022–23 Gaynor Girl and an ambassador for The Pointe Shop. According to a local news article, she’s been dancing since she was 2 but started doing ballet full-time at age 13. Lanhardt placed in the YAGP top 12 in 2022.

Ethan Maas, 17

Originally from Lexington, KY, Ethan Maas trains at Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC, under Mariaelena Ruiz. Maas has won scholarships to the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, the John Cranko School, the European School of Ballet in the Netherlands and the Royal Ballet School, where he attended a summer intensive last year. He has participated in YAGP Paris, attended the 2022 YAGP summer intensive in Italy, and placed in the 2021 and 2022 YAGP finals.

Christopher McGowan, 18

At 18, Christopher McGowan trains at Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, FL, a pre-professional dance company in residence at the Straz Center. In 2021, McGowan won first place in senior classical men and second place in senior contemporary men at Dance Open America. “It’s just kind of been a dream of mine, so I’m really honored and I’m thankful,” he says in his intro video of his Prix de Lausanne acceptance.

Isabella Meier, 15

Like Anya Donaghy, Isabella Meier trains at Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, TX. A Grishko ambassador, Meier became serious about ballet around age 10 and joined ECC at 13. Her competition highlights include a 2022 ADC | IBC gold medal, participating in the YAGP finals in 2019 and in the final round in 2021 and 2022, and earning an honorable mention at the 2021 World Ballet Competition. She also received a 2020 Natalie Skelton Scholarship from the Dance Council of North Texas.

Jenna Potvin, 17

A former student at Aiken Civic Ballet in Aiken, SC, Jenna Potvin trains at The Art of Classical Ballet in Pompano Beach, FL. Potvin, a Só Dança ambassador, attended the Master Ballet Academy summer intensive in 2019 and performed at YAGP’s Mexico Gala in 2021. She also competed in the 2022 YAGP Tampa finals.

Killian Rudd, 16

Killian Rudd dances at International Ballet Academy in Cary, NC. His competition experience includes the American Dance Competition International Ballet Competition and YAGP Winston-Salem. He’s a former participant of the Cary-based Boys Ballet Summer Intensive.

Frederick Stuckwisch, 18

One of 10 children, Frederick Stuckwisch dances at Southold Dance Theater in South Bend, IN. Now 18 years old, Stuckwisch started ballet at age 12. “My sister was taking classes with Southold. There was a bring-a-friend-to-class week. I came, and I fell in love,” he said in a news article last year. Stuckwisch is a previous winner of the senior age division at YAGP Indianapolis and competed in the 2022 final round in Florida.