YAGP Finals 2019

ECC Huge Results in New York!

Still pinching ourselves! What an INCREDIBLE week at YAGP Finals! The 20th anniversary was only Elite Classical Coaching's second year as a company attending the finals! This year we had 6 soloists attend, 2 pas de deuxs, and 2 pas de trois.
So excited to say that Ava Arbuckle, 14 WON SECOND PLACE JR FEMALES and was also named the 2019 Grishko Model Search Award Winner and will be the new face of Grishko! Aubri Parker, 11 placed TOP 12 PRE COMPETITIVE FEMALES! And Zander Magolnick, 13 placed TOP 20 JR MALES!
To put all of this into perspective, YAGP regional events consist of approximately 15,000 participants worldwide, vying for about 1,000 spots in the finals. A large, strong school MIGHT get 1-2 soloists invited to finals and then just to make it to Final Round is near impossible, let alone actually placing! In the last 20 years of YAGP, you can count on one hand how many people from DFW have ever made Final Round or placed in the Top 20 or higher and we did it with 3 of our 6 soloists! Our entire company only consists of 9 dancers and we had 7 attend the finals plus our alumni guest Kade Cummings. These results are unprecedented!
We are so blessed to have this opportunity and are so grateful for the ability to be here with the top talent in the entire world! It is beyond humbling to be a part of and to watch these hard working students achieve the impossible is ridiculously rewarding!
The second part of this competition is the ability to network and be connected with some of the leading ballet schools and companies in the world. Our students received the following official offers and also left with many connections and future job offers that have set them up for a professional career at an extremely young age!
Ava Arbuckle received scholarships/offers to: @balletoperadeparis, @johncrankoschool, @academieprincessegrace, @abtofficial, @abtstudioco, @denationaleballetacademie, @nationalballet
Aubri Parker received scholarships/offers to: @bolshoiballetacademysi and @staatsballettberlin
Zander Magolnick and Graceanna Mackaron received scholarships/offers to: @houstonballet
Skylin Helms received scholarships/offers to @rockschooldance 



Success in St Pete!

What an incredible experience we had at our very first ADCIBC! The entire week was fulfilling and inspiring with surprises around every corner. Thank you to all the judges and sponsors and directors of this incredible competition! We feel blessed beyond measure to be a part of this! 

Unbelievable Final Results for all of the students of ECC:

  • To start with, ALL OF OUR DANCERS were awarded Gold or better on every performance and a majority of the performances received ADC ratings, the highest possible award!
  • Aubri Parker won the Grand Prix award in the Primary Division and a cash prize of $500
  • Ava Arbuckle won the Gold Medal (1st place) in both contemporary and classical and was the highest scoring solo in contemporary and classical of the entire division and a cash prize of $1500
  • Zander Magolnick won 3rd place in Jr Men’s Contemporary
  • Aubri Parker and Zander Magolnick won 2nd place in the Pas De Deux category
  • Graceanna Mackaron, Aubri Parker and Zander Magolnick won 1st place with their trio
  • Savannah Cummings placed Top 25 in Sr Classical females
  • Marissa Kordish placed Top 25 in Jr Classical females 
  • To top it all off, our director, Catherine Livengood Lewellen was honored with the Outstanding Coach award!

Thank you to all of the partner schools who gave our students such generous scholarships and acceptances:

  • Zander Magolnick received full scholarships to Houston Ballet, Boys Ballet Summer Intensive, International Ballet Academy and The Washington School of Ballet
  • Marissa Kordish received a full scholarship to Boys Ballet Summer Intensive partnering intensive and acceptance to ABT Summer Intensive
  • Ava Arbuckle received full scholarship to Boys Ballet Summer Intensive partnering intensive
  • Graceanna Mackaron received acceptance to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and ABT Summer Intensives

Thank you to our costumers that keep our dancers looking so beautiful and professional! @paulahester @momma.joy25 and @etoile_brillante_tiaras @whitneylh

#adcibc #grishkogirl #dreambigpraybigger #eliteclassicalcoaching #grishkonyc309 #grishkogems


YAGP Regionals 2019

ECC Wins Outstanding School Honors in Dallas and so much more...

TULSA Regionals

Amazing weekend in Tulsa! Congratulations to now TWO TIME YAGP HOPE AWARD WINNER Aubri Parker! Also a huge round of applause to Zander Magolnick for winning FIRST PLACE JR MENS WINNER! Blown away and so supremely humbled and proud of these two. They danced so beautifully and we could not be more in awe of their talent, dedication, discipline, and artistry! We are so blessed to call them Elite Classical Coaching company members! 

HOUSTON Regionals

CONGRATULATIONS to ECC ballerina, 12 year old Skylin Helms who placed Top 12 Jr Contemporary (already placed Top 12 in Classical in Dallas) and was invited to the NY Finals based on her wonderful performance! Congrats are also in order for 9 year old Adeline Dunlap who was invited to participate in the NY Finals Intensive. Adeline placed Top 12 Classical in Dallas and is on the wait list to perform her solo in the Finals!

DENVER Regionals

CONGRATULATIONS to ECC ballerina Marissa Kordish for placing Top 24 Contemporary and being awarded THIRD Place in the JUNIOR CLASSICAL division at YAGP Denver!

DALLAS Regionals

What a whirlwind of a weekend!! Amazing results for ECC at YAGP!
In our second year of existence we were awarded
1st place Classical-Aubri (11 yo)
3rd place Contemporary-Aubri (11yo)
Top 12-Adeline (9yo)
Youth Grand Prix Award-Ava (14yo)
2nd place Men’s Classical-Zander (13yo)
3rd place Classical-Graceanna (13yo)
Top 12-Skylin and Marissa (12yo)
3rd place Contemporary-Savannah (15yo)
Top 12 Classical-Savannah (15yo) and Katie (16yo)
1st place All Pas de Deux
- Coppelia PDD Aubri and Zander
- Corsaire PDD Savannah and Kade 

2nd place All Ensembles
- Mirlitons Pas de Trois (Aubri, Zander, Graceanna)
- Ocean and Pearls Duet (Adeline and Sophie)
- Shades Pas de trois (Ava, Skylin, Marissa)
- Odalisques Pas de Trois (Ava, Katie, Savannah)

Outstanding School Award

Most students were also offered scholarships to Colorado Ballet Academy, Ballet West and/or Bolshoi and we want to thank these directors so much for your interest in our students! What an honor!
Huge thanks to Jason Ambrose, Allan Kinzie and Brian Stevens for assisting in preparing these lovely students; we are so grateful for your sharing of your wisdom and experience and for supporting us and joining our ECC family! Thank you to other guest faculty including @marcelua, Natalya Lushina Zeiger, @rhythmicribbonoftexas @mgifford1970 and our amazing seamstresses/costume designers @paulahester and @momma.joy25 and @etoile_brillante_tiaras . Thank you to all the families of these dancers for sacrificing so much to help them follow their dreams-thank you for trusting me! #dreambigpraybigger Last but certainly not least thank you to @legacydancecenter who provides the most beautiful studio space for us to work and grow in. It’s truly a blessing to be able to rent such an incredible facility and their generosity and support is second to none-we are so grateful!!!!! Thank you @yagp for such an incredible opportunity and for recognizing our hard work! #yagpoutstandingschool #yagp2019 #yagpfinals2019 #ECCballerinas #ECC#grishkonyc309 #grishkogem #youthgrandprixaward #newyork


ICON Dance Awards 2019

ECC Dancers Recognized as Iconic in First Ever Icon Dance Weekend

Congratulations to our beautiful ECC dancers on a successful ICON weekend! We participated in the first Icon Dance Awards and took some wonderful master classes and performed beautifully! 

Ava Arbuckle was given the Iconic Award, which is the highest award given to an exceptional soloist or group. Aubri Parker and Zander Magolnick also received 1 of the 3 Iconic Awards given out for their Coppelia Pas de Deux. 

Skylin Helms won first place in the JR division and Aubri Parker won first place in the Youth Division. 


YAGP 2018 Finals in New York City

Success in the City!

ECC attended YAGP Finals in NYC and had amazing success! Ava Arbuckle, Aubri Parker, and independent student Gracie Watton who has now joined ECC attended the finals as soloists.  Ava was chosen to move onto the Final Round, which is 30 Junior women that have scored the highest out of 150 dancers. She performed onstage at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, which is home to the New York City Ballet.  It was an incredible experience and one very few students from Dallas have ever experienced.  Even the top winners from Dallas regionals have not made the Final Round, so it is a particularly impressive feat.  The experience was beyond a young ballerina's wildest dreams!

All ECC dancers performed beautifully and had a wonderful experience, taking classes from YAGP master teachers and judges including scholarship classes.  Gracie Watton, was awarded a full scholarship to Orlando Ballet's summer intensive programs and Ava Arbuckle was awarded a scholarship to Academie Princess Grace in Monaco and presented an opportunity for scholarship at The Harid Conservatory. 

Dancers also enjoyed themselves a bit outside of YAGP participating in classes at Broadway Dance Center with Nicholas Palmquist and at STEPS with WIlly Burmann taking class alongside ECC mentor, Marcelo Gomes, Maria Korowski, Wendy Whelan, and other professionals and private coaching sessions at Joffrey Ballet with Marcelo.  There was not a lot of time to play but impromptu photo shoots around the city are always fun and this year Ava was invited to be in a photo shoot with other Final Round participants by David King, creator of A Ballet Education where she was then featured within an article for the cover of this magazine. All in all ECC's first YAGP finals 2018 was a huge success and we are looking forward to our next adventure at World Ballet Competition in June in Orlando!


World Ballet Competition 2018 Finals

ECC Wins BIG at World Ballet Competition 2018 Finals in Florida!

What a week! ECC competed at World Ballet Competition Finals in Orlando, Florida in June 2018.  After being accepted via video submission back in March, four ECC students spent a week competing in multiple rounds, attending master classes, and rehearsing their solos.  Aubri Parker (age 10) and Skylin Helms (age 11) were in the Introductory Category, Ava Arbuckle (age 13) was in the Preparatory Category, and Katie Kelley (age 14) was in the Pre Professional Category. WBC has a unique scoring system similar to the Olympics where scores are posted online and in a "kiss and cry" area immediately following the solo and all is broadcast live to follow along with.  It was a very exciting and transparent approach to judging! Competing against dancers pre selected from all over the world, our dancers took home Gold, Silver, and Bronze as well as Best School and Best Choreography and performed in the Gala of Stars!

Ava Arbuckle made it through two rounds with two classical variations and a contemporary solo Seize choreographed by ECC Director, Catherine Lewellen.  Seize received a 98, the highest score of the entire competition and a choreography award of $500. Ava won the Gold Medal in Preparatory Division, full scholarships to Kirov Ballet and Ballet West for their year round training program, as well as a scholarship offer to Master Ballet Academy's summer program and performed in the gala.

Skylin Helms was awarded the Silver Medal in the Introductory Division along with full scholarships to Atlanta Ballet and Logrea Ballet as well as a half scholarship to Kirov Ballet and also performed in the gala.

Aubri Parker was awarded the Bronze Medal in the Introductory Category and also was given a full scholarship to Kirov Ballet and danced in the gala!

Catherine Livengood Lewellen was given a Choreography Award for Seize and ECC was awarded a huge honor as BEST SCHOOL after less than one year in existence! What an incredible way to end our first season and head into a summer of training and new experiences and revamping to begin our second year! A huge thank you to World Ballet Competition for believing in us and encouraging and supporting our hard work!  An even bigger thank you to our hardworking students, dedicated coach and director, and all of the sacrifices of our parents to make all of this possible!


YAGP Dallas Semi Finals 2018


In February 2018, ECC company members competed at Youth America Grand Prix and dreamed, prayed, and won BIG! Director, Catherine Lewellen was given the Outstanding Teacher Award.  Senior participant Katie Kelley (age 15) placed in the Top 24 in the Senior Classical division out of over 100 participants.  Junior participant Ava Arbuckle (age 13) was the recipient of the prestigious and coveted Youth Grand Prix Award, which is the award the judges choose to give to the dancer they feel exceeded all others in both classical and contemporary junior divisions. Pre competitive participant Aubri Parker (age 10) was the recipient of the prestigious and coveted Hope Award, which is the equivalent of the Youth Grand Prix Award described above, only for the pre competitive age division! To say we are  proud of these hard working students is an understatement! Katie Kelley will be competing again in a couple of weeks at YAGP Austin and Aubri and Ava will be attending the finals in New York City in April-please continue to dream and pray BIG!!! Congratulations to all!!



Aubri Parker, age 10, rehearsing Cupid.  In her journey, this began on flat as she was not on pointe yet when we started it.  But a mere 2.5 months after starting pointe, she was strong enough to try it on pointe.  We started slow using the barre & increased the amount of hours we worked on pointe each week & 6 wks later she was performing it on the YAGP stage, executing double pique turns & displaying strength, assuredness, & grace. She was awarded the Hope Award, blowing us all away!


Ava Arbuckle, age 13, shown here rehearsing the beginning of her Esmeralda variation just weeks before competing at YAGP Dallas 2018 semi finals where she was given the prestigious Youth Grand Prix Award.  She is now working towards competing in the YAGP 2018 finals in NYC as a soloist for the first time.


Katie Kelley, age 14, performing Pas de Trois Variation from Swan Lake at World Ballet Art Competition-Grand Prix semi finals 2017 where she received 1st place and an invitation to the finals in Canada