Major Talent Announced for YAGP’s Night of Shining Stars

Internationally-renowned dancers will grace the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage for a dazzling one-night-only event when Ballet West hosts Night of Shining Stars on February 25, 2017. The evening will be an exciting culmination of Ballet West’s hosting of Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest ballet scholarship audition.

Known around the world for launching the careers of some of the biggest talents in dance, YAGP gives young dancers the opportunity to compete and take master classes from an international panel of teachers, directors, and artists. Night of Shining Stars is an opportunity for those students to share the stage with prestigious international ballet stars.

This year’s confirmed talent for Night of Shining Stars includes:

    • Megan Fairchild and Gonzalo Garcia, both New York City Ballet Principal Dancers. Fairchild is a Salt Lake City-native who started her training at Ballet West Academy before entering the School of American Ballet in 2000. Together, Fairchild and Garcia will perform a pas de deux from George Balanchine’s salute to America, Stars and Stripes.


    • Ballet West Principal Artists Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell will perform Swan Lake’s White Swan pas de deux. From Longview, Texas, Sisk received the Jerome Robbins Scholarship Award in 2007 and joined Ballet West in 2010. She has steadily risen through the ranks, and was made Principal in 2015. O’Connell trained at the Royal Ballet School in London before joining Ballet West in 2012. He was promoted to Principal last year.


    • Viensay Valdes, Premier Dancer with National Ballet of Cuba, and Brooklyn Mack from The Washington Ballet, will perform a pas de deux from Diana and Acteon. Valdes, born in Havana, but raised in Laos, was ranked as one of the top five dancers in the world by Dance Europe magazine. From South Carolina, Mack was the Gold Medal winner of the International Ballet Competition in 2012, and was named one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” by Dance Magazine. 


    • Dancing with the Stars’ Afton Delgrosso Wilson and Ryan Di Lello will perform XXX. Ryan is a Latin ballroom champion, known for his guest appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bones and many others, he has danced in more than 45 countries in the world. Afton is a sought-after choreographer who helped craft Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas. Most recently, she helped produce Gentri’s music video “Lullaby.”


    • Ballet West’s Principal Artist Emily Adams and First Soloist Adrian Fry will perform the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Chaconne. Emily joined the Company in 2007 and steadily rose the ranks to Principal in 2015. She performed in several ballets with New York City Ballet as an advanced student at School of American Ballet. Adrian joined the Company in 2010 and has appeared as a guest artist with Ballet Victoria and Lincoln Midwest Ballet. Prior to Ballet West he trained at Pacific Northwest ballet School and was a dancer at Oregon Ballet Theatre.


    Soloist Skylar Brandt and Corps Artist Gabe Stone Shayer, both with American Ballet Theatre will perform Gulnare Pas d’Esclave from Le Corsaire. Brandt has performed around the world and was awarded the Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship in 2013, she joined ABT in 2009. From Pennsylvania, Shayer won first place for Best Male Dancer at the age of 15

More international stars of ballet and dance will be announced in the coming weeks.

Night of Shining Stars will take place at the historic and beautiful Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre on February 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at just $25, and they may be purchased at