The Edmonds Beacon
May 14, 2015
[Edmonds, Washington, USA] – Eighteen year-old Aeden Conefrey, an Edmonds native and Olympic Ballet School alumnus, placed second in the senior men’s classical category at the 2015 Philadelphia Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition.
He then went on to compete in the New York finals, where he placed in the top 12. The YAGP is the world’s largest international student dance competition and has jumpstarted the careers of many of today’s leading dancers worldwide.
A senior in high school, Conefrey has spent the 2014-15 school year training on scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
For the past several months, he has spent countless hours perfecting his technique in the studio, while completing his academic studies independently. It was his prior training at Olympic Ballet School under Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson that awakened his desire to dance professionally.
“Had Oleg and Mara not shown an interest in Aeden, and provided a great foundation for him, it’s not likely he would have done as well as he has,” said Conefrey’s father Kevin Conefrey, a member of the Edmonds Arts Commission.
Conefrey trained at Olympic Ballet School for three years, performing in Olympic Ballet Theatre productions such as “The Nutcracker,” “Giselle,” “Coppelia,” and even the lead in “Petrushka” with The Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall.
Looking back on his son’s time at Olympic Ballet School Kevin Conefrey said, “In the summer of 2011, Mara and Oleg first asked for permission to have Aeden participate in their upcoming Nutcracker season.
“Aeden had just finished his summer intensive and recital. Dawn-Rene and I were both hesitant – Olympic Ballet seemed like a really big commitment. Very quickly Olympic Ballet Theatre led to attending Olympic Ballet School. For three years Aeden blossomed as a ballet dancer with Olympic Ballet. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to pursue dance as a career.” Conefrey’s success at YAGP has brought offers of scholarships to continue his training at Dutch National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Zurich Dance Academy, as well as the Joffrey Ballet in the U.S.
Though faced with a difficult choice to make, Conefrey is headed on his path, in pursuit of his goal to dance professionally.