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by Michael Morain
DeMoine Register
May 4, 2012

Ballet Des Moines‘ 11-year-old Drew Minard of Clive recently competed in New York against dancers from more than 55 countries and was recognized as the best in his age division.

Not too shabby.

You may remember his name from the recent story about his successful efforts to found an anti-bullying club at Crossroads Park Elementary School. The move was inspired by the documentary “Bully” and his own encounters with teasing at school

But in the meantime, he won the so-called Hope Award at the annual Youth America Grand Prix, which hands out scholarships to some of the best dancing schools in the country.

“I knew Drew would win something because he is a very talented and natural entertainer but to win the Hope Award is an amazing achievement. We are all just delighted,” BDM artistic director Serkan Usta said in a press release. “Our community should be very proud of how well this young man represented his city.”

Minard has been dancing since he was 3 and, for the past year, has been coached by Usta in the School of Classical Ballet and Dance in West Des Moines.

Last month’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” featured three professional dancers (and Minard as a flying monkey), and the company is now in the process of developing a full professional lineup for an upcoming 26-week season. Under the direction of Usta and his wife, BDM ballet mistress Lori Grooters, the team will consist of dancers recruited from across the country.

Copyright © 2012

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