News & Alumni

YAGP Denver 2021 Congratulations to Ballet Melange Trainees


YAGP Trainees received the first place award at YAGP Denver for La Corsaire an ensemble piece danced Abby, Anaka, Avalon, Echo, Ellie, Kirsten, Lili, Maya, and Téa. The piece was invited to the YAGP finals.

Contemporary Ensemble, Spellbound,  staged and choreographed by Maureen Breeze, was also recognized highly and placed in the top 12 including an invitation to YAGP Finals.

Classical ensembles, Pas de Quatre and Sleeping Beauty Prologue were also received the top 12 recognition making four out of four ensemble entries recognized with this honor!

Soloists Avalon and Echo received individual recognition in the Senior Classical Top 24. 

Photo credit: Katie Grace Shamburek

Congratulations and Bon Voyage to the Kuperus Family


Briscila Kuperus, a founding member of Ballet Melange will be relocating to The Netherlands after living in the Boulder area for 12 years. Ballet Melange will miss her many talents and contributions. including but not limited to,  photography, costume & prop design, event planning & fundraising.

Briscila and her family will be joining daughter and Ballet Melange alumni, Beatriz Kuperus who was recently promoted to the Dutch National Ballet after dancing just one year in the Junior Company.  Former CBA photographer and older daughter, Raquel Kuperus, also studies engineering and industrial design in The Netherlands. We will miss them all, but are happy to see them together again!


While studying under Elizabeth Shipiatsky, Beatriz received prestigious awards at Denver Ballet Guild and YAGP. At YAGP New York in 2015 she was awarded a scholarship to the English National Ballet School in London. She was selected for Prix de Lusianne her final year at ENBS where she was offered a contract for the following year at the Dutch National Junior Company. She performed many soloist and principal roles and toured with the main company. After just one year in the Junior Company, she was promoted to the main company, Dutch National Ballet in 2020.


Katie began studying with Elizabeth Shipiatsky at age ten. Over the years, she received many awards and placements at Denver Ballet Guild and YAGP before studying abroad at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia her last two years of high school. She returned to Denver and entered the Ballet Melange Trainee program dancing soloist and principal classical roles and studying contemporary work. Katie also became a certified Vaganova instructor under Elizabeth Shipiatsky’s tutelage. Katie joined the National Ballet of Ukraine in 2019.


Maggie Mehlman graduated from the CBA program in 2015. As a Boettcher Scholar, she attended Colorado College receiving her degree in Mathematics. She also danced and choreographed in the Colorado College Department of Dance & Theater. Maggie currently works in New York City doing data analytics and underwriting for PURE Risk Management and dances whenever she has the opportunity. 

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2020 Kyiv International Grand Prix Competition & Ballet Festival


We are so proud of Ballet Melange trainees who represented our program, state and the United States at this prestigious international competition. These students gracefully navigated jet lag, many intense rehearsals, and a rigorous competition schedule catching the notice of judges, company directors, school leaders and peers not only for their impressive technique and performance artistry, but also for their work ethic, attitude and manners. 


Competition finalists included Maya, Ellie, Avalon and Anaka.   Trainees Maya, Lili, Avalon and Anaka received special recognition awards and/or international company offers.


Nicole Moyer, born in Boulder, Colorado trained at Boulder Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and completed her Colorado training with Elizabeth Shipiatsky at Classical Ballet Academy.  She began training with San Francisco Ballet School in 2018.  She was named a San Francisco Ballet Apprentice in 2021.

Photo Credit: Francisco Estevez Photography


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Michelle Koppl is a movement and film artist living and working in Washington DC. After completing her ballet studies under Elizabeth Shipiatsky in 2014, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University with the VCU Undergraduate Scholarship and the Carpenter Foundation Scholarship. Michelle was honored to also spend time overseas through the University of South Florida’s Dance in Paris program. She received her BFA in Dance and Choreography, graduating with the Bobby Chandler Award in honor of Chris Burnside in 2018. Michelle's creative work includes pieces for the stage, as well as site-specific and multimedia performances. To see her choreographic and film works, go to


Sydney McCall began her training with Elizabeth Shipiatsky and went on to Texas Christian University with a dance scholarship. While earning her BFA in Ballet, she performed lead roles in Giselle, Paquita, Don Quixote, Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies, and George Blanchine's Valse Fantaisie.  She now dances with Wonderbound in Denver, CO. 

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YAGP 2020


Ballet Melange trainees accepted awards  at Youth America Grand Prix Denver and were thrilled to be invited to the international Finals In New York City. In the Pas de Deux category, Avalon Kirby and exchange student, Ivan Andijevski placed first and were invited to NYC finals with Giselle staged by Elizabeth Shipiatsky and Sergii Sydorskyi.  Paquita, also staged by Elizabeth Shipiatsky and Sergii Sydorskyi and danced by all Ballet Melange trainees and select CBA students, won 3rd place in the Large Group Ensembles Category and was invited to the finals in NYC. The character Small Group Ensemble, Krakowiak staged by Sergii Sydorskyi was also invited to the New York Finals. Soloist, Maya Vought was recognized in the Senior Classical category Top 24.

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Charlotte began her training at the age of 10 at the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day. She then furthered her studies with Michael Bjerknes of the American Dance Institute and Dawei Zhang of the Shanghai Ballet. In 2011 she attended a summer program with Colorado Ballet and started to work with Elizabeth Shipiatsky, focusing on the details and transitions that make ballet an art. She continued to train with Elizabeth and study at the Classical Ballet of Colorado while working with the Colorado Ballet. She then went on to dance with the Victor Ullate Ballet of Madrid, Ballet Spartanburg, and American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles before joining Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in 2016 dancing many soloist roles such as, Paquita (Petipa), Pas de deux Corzi (Gardner), Pas de deux Freedom (Babuska), Big Swans in Swan Lake (Petipa), and dancing the Pas de Deux from La Sylphide (Taglioni) in the European Dance Gala.


Madeline grew up studying under Elizabeth Shipiatsky for nearly a decade. During that time, she was able to study abroad in Moscow, Russia while attending the Bolshoi Ballet Academy through their Summer Intensive Program. After graduation from CBA, she received a degree in Political Science and Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Colorado- Boulder. Madeline has a background in public relations and marketing with the Washington Ballet in DC. She currently serves as the Operations Coordinator for a Member of Congress and sits on the Board of Directors for Ballet Melange.

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Shania has been a company dancer with Sacramento Ballet since completing her training with Elizabeth Shipiatsky in 2014. She has performed numerous corps de ballet, soloist, and principal roles in Sacraments Ballet's repertoire.

Shania is also a dancer with the contemporary company Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, with whom she has performed at the ODC Theater and the Cowell Theater in San Francisco, the Joyce Theater in NYC, and at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She is a founding member of the summer company Capital Dance Project, where she is currently  dancing, directing and choreographing digital series dance films. Also an emerging choreographer: Shania has presented 6 original works for Capital Dance Project and has had the privilege to choreograph 5 pieces for Sacramento Ballet’s Beer and Ballet program. Beyond the stage, Shania enjoys teaching ballet at local dance studios as well as pursuing other artistic endeavors such as creating original music compositions, graphic design, and painting.


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