IBA is pleased to feature Lydia Acker in its May 2018 Student Spotlight. as our "Director's Choice." Lydia was chosen by the International Ballet Academy Directors for demonstrating excellence of character and in dance and academics. Lydia, who danced the principal role of Swanilda in International Ballet's Coppélia at the Peace Center's Gunter Theatre on April 15, is ranked #2 in her high school's Class of 2018 out of 545 students. Lydia has been a role model for IBA students since she enrolled in the academy at age 4 with her twin sister, Logan, who was featured in last month's Spotlight.
Lydia began her study of ballet at the age of 4 and has studied at International Ballet Academy under Vlada Kysselova, Victoria Yanchuck, Irina Ushakova, Lena Forster, Hennadii Bespechnyi, Alexander Tressor, Juliana Jordan, and others. Lydia was invited to join the International Ballet Junior Company at the age of 11 and the Senior Company at 13. She has danced in numerous International Ballet mainstage, chamber, and community performances, including Holiday at Peace with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Storytime Ballet with the Greenville County Library, and at Greenville’s Artisphere. She performed with International Ballet at the 2015 Southeastern Regional Ballet Association (SERBA) Fall Adjudication in Atlanta and the 2016 SERBA Dance Festival in Durham, NC.
Lydia danced the role of Swanilda in International Ballet’s Coppélia at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre and that of Gamzatti from La Bayadere in IB’s concert La Automne. In International Ballet’s The Nutcracker she performed as Clara (“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”), Columbine, Mirliton, Snow Soloist, Spanish, Chinese, Young Clara, Snowflakes, Waltz of the Flowers, and in numerous children’s roles. She performed “Excerpts from Etudes” and Pas de deux from Don Quixote -Act III at Cincinnati Ballet’s Summer Intensive. Other IB roles includes “Spanish” from Swan Lake,-Act III, Markitenka pas de six, Nayada & the Fisherman Suite, “Toy Soldiers” from Babes in Toyland, the Fairy Doll pas de trois, “Blue Bird” pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, “Odalisques” pas de trois from Le Corsaire, “Masquerade Waltz” (choreographed by Vlada Kysselova), “Freskies” from The Little Humpback Horse, “Cherries” duet from Chipolino, International Ballet’s Giselle (Giselle’s friend, Wili), “Ocean & Pearls” from The Little Humpback Horse, variations from Paquita, and the Concert Class for IB’s Tenth Anniversary Gala. Contemporary works include “To Mother with Love,” “We Regret to Inform You,” “Metropolitan,” and “Playground Paradox” all by Juliana Jordan; and Alexander Tressor’s “Central Park” and “Four Seasonings: Autumn.”
Lydia received additional training at Cincinnati Ballet, the School of American Ballet Summer Course, and Chautauqua Institute (Summer Workshop II in 2014 and Festival in 2015 and 2016), where she received merit scholarships. She also attended International Ballet Academy's summer intensives and has been accepted to other summer programs at Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Ellison Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet, Harid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, Kirov Academy of Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and San Francisco Ballet. She is the co-recipient of the 2016-2017 Cassandra Gary Memorial Scholarship. She is a member of the IBA Chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, was selected as IBA's Student of the Month in April 2015, and she was named "Broadway Bound Student-of-the-Class" at a Broadway Bound Master Class with Pippin star Callan Bergmann.
A senior at South Carolina Connections Academy, Lydia will graduate as Salutatorian of her class this month. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and she was selected for the Duke Tips Program. She has volunteered with IBA summer camps and with Artisphere. In the fall of 2018, she plans to enroll in the University of South Carolina Honors College, where she will study as a dance major. Her parents are Doug and Liz Acker of Simpsonville.
Photo by Jerry Finley Photography