Veronica Atienza (left) and Nicole Klaudine Barroso both received the Jury Award of Encouragement at the USA International Ballet Competition. Photos: USA International Ballet Competition
Veronica Atienza (left) and Nicole Klaudine Barroso both received the Jury Award of Encouragement at the USA International Ballet Competition. Photos: USA International Ballet Competition

Two Filipino ballerinas received special awards at this year’s USA International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi last month. On June 22 during the competition’s Awards Gala, Veronica Atienza, who represented the Philippines in the competition’s senior women’s category, received the Jury Award of Encouragement, Rappler reported.

Veroniza Atienza. Photo: USA International Ballet Competition

Another Filipina, Nicole Klaudine Barroso, who competed in the junior women’s category, also received the Jury Award of Encouragement.

Nicole Klaudine Barroso. Photo: USA International Ballet Competition

Atienza and Barroso made it through to the third and final round of the competition, where they competed with 30 other finalists for the gold medal. As finalists, Atienza and Barroso each received a US$1,500 travel stipend.

The competition had a total of 119 dancers from the United States, Japan, South Korea, Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Along with Atienza and Barroso, two other dancers, Denise Parungao and Joshua Ray Enciso, represented the Philippines in the senior women’s category and junior men’s categories respectively.