Sunday, September 7, 2008

Grand Prix award winner Whitney Jensen

Utah native Whitney Jensen recently won the top honor at the biannual Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria, one of the dance world's oldest and most prestigious contests. The Grand Prix has been awarded five times since the competition began in 1964; sixteen-year-old Whitney is the youngest dancer and first American to win the award. -- Wednesday, August 13, 2008. Photo by Geoffrey McAllister/Deseret News
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The Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria has only given out four Special Distinction Grand Prix awards in its 44-year history.
Those winners are Vladimir Vasiliev, Rolondo Sarabia, Ivan Vasilev and Whitney Jensen.

Out of all those, Jensen is the only female and the only dancer from the United States to be awarded that honor, which was presented to her last month.

Jensen was also the sole recipient of the Ballet International Award, for highest achievement in ballet classics.

In addition, Jensen, 16, who resides and trains in New York, was born and raised in Park City. (Continue reading the related article: Utah ballet prodigy is first American to win global honor)