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American Wins at Varna Competition

by Marian Horosko
August 8, 2008
Varna, Bulgaria
Whitney Jensen, 16, a student of Valentina Kozlova at her Dance Academy in New York, has won the Varna, Bulgaria first and highest award: "Special Distinction-Grand-Varna 2008-Grand Prix" in the junior category. This award has only been given to one other junior male and three other senior competitors in the last 43 years. Whitney is the only American to be awarded this highest honor which included a diploma and medal.

Her second award as the sole winner at Varna was the "Ballet International Award," a bronze statue for highest achievement in ballet classics and the highest classically trained dancer overall.

Coached by Kozlova, Jensen's prodigious repertoire at the July 15-30 competition included variations from "Diane and Acteon," "Harlequinade," "Le Corsaire," and "Black Swan." For her contemporary entry she performed a short work by Igal Perry and one by Chantelle Collier.

The jury was a daunting group of former dancers that included Vladimir Vasiliev, Elisabeth Platel, and other jurists from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Japan, Turkey, Japan, Italy, China, Turkey, Romania and Switzerland.

Jensen's numerous other competition awards, places her as the foremost American, female, junior contestant. Coaches are born, not made and Kozlova draws upon her former career as a principal dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet.
Whitney dances

Whitney dances

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown


Whitney Jensen, Vladimir Vasiliev and Valentina Kozlova

Whitney Jensen, Vladimir Vasiliev and Valentina Kozlova

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

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