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Universal Ballet Competition (UBC) is a premier student ballet competition, which has expanded into various major metropolitan cities in the US due to its growing popularity among dancers, studio directors, and the ballet community. UBC is a one-of-a-kind experience that combines competition, education, scouting opportunities scholarships and more. Founding members, Lissette Salgado and David Lucas, former principal ballet dancers at the Joffrey Ballet Company and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, have illustrious careers. Their combined list of professional contacts allows them the privilege to recruit globally renowned dancers, company directors, and ballet school directors to judge, mentor, and teach the master classes during each UBC competition. Since its first season, UBC has hosted and mentored more than 10,000 dancers and awarded over 3 million dollars in scholarships.

As innovators, UBC was the first ballet competition to hold online auditions bridging the gap between talented college-level students and recruitment opportunities. This online platform allowed colleges, university, and professional school directors to observe a class during the competition and award scholarships to dancers that met their criteria for acceptance into their programs.

UBC is committed to creating an event with the most attention to detail and organization, to ensure the most enjoyable and beneficial experience. We pride ourselves in producing a showcase that highlights student talent and hard work. Each entry is adjudicated through our state-of-the-art video judging system. It allows for dancers to listen and watch their performance while the incredible jury panel provides guidance and areas for growth in their performance.

UBC provides Master Classes at every competition which provides all the dancers with individualized attention and mentorship by experienced artists from around the world. The invaluable critiques and instruction they receive will be an important part in the growth of each dancer.

UBC’s main goal in each event is to provide scouting opportunities to all dancers at both intermediate and competitive levels. Talent scouting allows students the chance to be seen by world renowned artists, company and professional school directors.  This exposure is key in helping these young artists pursue a career in dance. The objective is to be a part in participants continuing their education, gaining professional training experiences, and ultimately having the opportunity to perform in a company if that is their dream.

The Grand Prix Finals taking place in Jacksonville Florida in 2020, is the culmination of our season, will provide even more master classes, talent scouts, scholarships, and cash prizes.

Our mission with each class and competition is ultimately the growth of each dancer as an individual. UBC is more than a competition, it is a chance for dancers to reach their goals and we look forward to having you be part of it.

In February 2020, UBC had the insight and quickly pivoted to hold the first-ever virtual ballet competition. Dancers from across the globe registered to be a part of the virtual version of UBC, and because of its success.

Universal Ballet Competition’s aims to connect exceptionally talented dancers of all racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds with quality dance education, opportunities, and professional careers worldwide.

LISSETTE SALGADO-LUCAS

FOUNDER/PRESIDENT

Born in Miami, Florida, LISSETTE evolved her passion for dance while studying with Liana Navarro, Judith Reece Newman and Marianna Alvarez. In 1988, She joined the Joffrey Ballet and danced with the company for seven years.  Some of Lissette’s roles included: Balanchine’s Tarantella, Frederick Ashton’s Les Patinuers and La Fille Mal Gardee, Kurt Jooss’s The Green Table, John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Jiri Kylian’s Return to Strange Land, Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain and Viva Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. In 1995, Lissette joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and danced lead roles in: Bengt Jorgens’s Swedish Song and Anthony Tudor’s Leaves are Fading. She was recognized for her role as Odette/Odile in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Juliet in Rudi van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and Butterfly in David  Nixon’s Beauty and the Beast and Butterfly, Lucy in Mark Godden’s Dracula, the principal role in Mikhail Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Paquita in Petipa’s Paquita, and Kitri in Petipa’s Don Quixote. Lissette is a renowned, international guest artist who has performed with the Daring Project under the direction of Margo Sappington and Valentina Kozlova. She also performed her role of Juliet in Florence, Italy with Teatro de Maggio Dance Company and was a guest artist with the ‘Stars of Canadian Ballet’ Company, touring throughout Canada and performing in the Pan Am Summer Games Closing Ceremonies. Lissette has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts, South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Dillard High School for the Performing Arts, and is the Founder/President of Universal Ballet Competition. Her extensive professional experience and relationships with professionals in the industry allow Universal Ballet Competition to expand on an international platform.

DAVID LUCAS

FOUNDER/DIRECTOR

Born in Chorley, England, and raised in Kelowna, B.C., Canada, DAVID unveiled his passion for dance at age nine. The Canadian School of Ballet is where he began training under the direction of Betty Farrally, the co founder of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. He later trained in Toronto and graduated from the National Ballet School and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. David joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company in 1988 and danced for 14 years before retiring in 2000. He danced many lead roles such as: Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Tarantella, David Nixon’s Beauty and the Beast, Butterfly, Mark Godden’s Dracula, Paquita, Don Quixote’s Pas de Deux and Brian McDonald’s Pas D’Action. It was with the RWB that he met his lovely wife, Lissette Salgado, and was honored to partner and perform many lead roles with her throughout his career. David has also performed in five made for television dance movies as well as the popular Children’s TV show “The Toy Castle,” where he played the Strongman. He has also been invited as a guest artist to perform in Japan with the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet Company. David was also the Artistic Director for the Canadian School of Ballet Summer program, which he and his wife, Lissette, directed for four years. David and Lissette choreographed and staged performances each year for the students. David later founded ‘The Stars of Canadian Ballet’ Company, which brought together the best artists in Canada from the National Ballet Company, The Alberta Ballet Company, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. This renowned group toured in Canada and performed in the closing ceremonies for the Pan Am Games in 1999. In 2012, David co-founded Shake The Ground with his wife, Lissette, and in 2013, Universal Ballet Competition. Both competitions offer over $200,000 in scholarships to inspiring young dancers, annually, to assist each of them in reaching their remarkable potential, catapulting them to the next level of their dance careers.

OUR STAFF

Lynn Mantay Rodriguez

Competition Director

Brandon Lonza

Emcee/Production

Rudy Brambier

Technical Director

Lauraelena Guerrero

Stage/Audio Manager

Emilee Carreras

Social Media/Stage Manager

Mathew Carby

Photography/Videography

Ily Molina

Photo/Video Production

Jacqueline Sims

Boutique Merchandising

Alex Rodriguez

Technical Director

Alejandro Garcia

Technical Director/ Logistics

Miranda Hicks

Audio/Visual

Jose Leon

Audio/Visual

Isabella Lucas

Event Specialist

Isabella Durini

Event Specialist

Rene Lucas

Event Specialist

Jojo Almonte

Event Specialist

Raisa Sires

Marketing Director