Jun 19, 2024

Calgary ballerina Briana Del Mundo started dancing at the age of four.

A Victoria, B.C. - based arts organization has recognized a young dancer from Calgary with a 2019 Emerging Artists award.

Dance Victoria, a group that supports the development of new dance for the international stage, announced on June 24 that it is supporting Briana Del Mundo, who is going to study dance at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.

Del Mundo was one of 24 applicants selected by the performing arts school for its four-year dance program. She is to start her training this fall.

Each year, Juilliard holds auditions for 500 applicants around the world. Only 24 are chosen.

According to Dance Victoria, it is giving Del Mundo $3,000 toward her tuition.

The Victoria arts group recalled that Del Mundo’s previous training includes three years with the School of Alberta Ballet.

Dance Victoria is home of Canada’s Chrystal Dance Prize, named after the late arts benefactor and pediatrician Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman.

The Chrystal Dance Prize is awarded to emerging and independent artists.

Kleiman wanted dance artists from western Canada have the opportunity to learn from and work with the best professionals in the world. It was also her desire to see these dancers bring new influences and works back to Canada.

A report by the local Mabuhay Calgary newspaper noted that Del Mundo set her sights at Juilliard at the age of nine when she first visited the New York school.

“I was going to New York for Broadway Intensive, where I got to perform on Broadway with a set of dancers,” Del Mundo related in the newspaper’s report. “We visited Juilliard and I promised myself that I would go to that school when I grew up.”

 According to the report, Del Mundo started dancing at the age of four.

“At the age of nine she won a scholarship through a dance competition, and just two years ago she was chosen to backup dance for Justin Bieber at his concert in Winnipeg,” noted the report last month.

Mabuhay Calgary shared the 17-year-old dancer’s excitement about Juilliard.

“I can’t wait to meet people from around the world and share my art with them,” she said. “Juilliard brings in world-renowned guest choreographers to teach and I’m eager to learn from them. There’s so many opportunities for me to explore and discover who I am.”

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