Columbia, SC, June 26, 2023 – Columbia City Ballet’s Executive and Artistic Director, William Starrett, was selected to serve as an Evaluator at the prestigious 12th USA International Ballet Competition USAIBC), in Jackson, MS. This is the same global ballet showcase where Starrett was awarded the bronze medal at the 1979 competition. The highly anticipated event once again brought dancers from around the world together to compete and display their exceptional talents. Starrett and former principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, Ravenna Tucker Wagnon, were selected as evaluators due to their extensive resumes and long-term presence in the ballet world. Mr. Starrett was also delighted to be selected as a torchbearer along with 10 other past medalists and alumni of the USAIBC and to participate in the elaborate opening ceremonies of the 12th competition. The opening ceremonies culminated in the lighting of an Olympic-like flame, heralding the drama and energy of the upcoming competition. Having established himself as an accomplished dancer and performer throughout his illustrious career, William Starrett brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the role of evaluator. His personal experience as a competitor added a unique perspective and deep understanding of the dedication and commitment required to excel as a professional dance artist. Interestingly, along with Brooklyn Mack and Joseph Phillips, Starrett is one of 3 male dancers from South Carolina to have been honored as USAIBC medalists. This is an important note on the significance of ballet as an art form in South Carolina. The USA International Ballet Competition is renowned for its rigorous selection process, ensuring that only the most exceptional dancers are invited to participate. As an evaluator, William Starrett was responsible for assessing the technical abilities, artistic expression, and overall performance of the competitors in addition to assisting them in interpreting the scores assigned by members of the competition’s jury. Columbia City Ballet is proud of Starrett’s selection as an evaluator, as it not only acknowledged his individual accomplishments but also recognized the prestige and caliber of artistic and production standards synonymous with Columbia City Ballet. Under William Starrett’s leadership, Columbia City Ballet has become a beacon of ballet in South Carolina and beyond, captivating audiences with its innovative productions and commitment to artistic integrity. “We are incredibly proud of William Starrett and the recognition he received as an evaluator at the 12th USA International Ballet Competition,” said Stephen Manion-Bredesen, Marketing Director for Columbia City Ballet. “His expertise and extensive knowledge of ballet undoubtedly contributed to the fair and comprehensive evaluation of the exceptional talent on display during the competition. This opportunity further highlighted Columbia City Ballet’s standing as a leading institution for ballet in South Carolina.” The 12th USA International Ballet Competition provided an extraordinary platform for emerging dancers to showcase their skills and vie for the highest honors in the ballet world. With William Starrett as an evaluator, participants could expect a fair and insightful assessment that acknowledged their hard work and dedication while encouraging their artistic and technical growth.