Princess Grace Academy graduates are Monaco’s cultural ambassadors around the world

Mission accomplished: 100% employment target rate!

In the trying times we are living Coronavirus has flooded the news outlets around the world, with little or no room for other coverage. So I have chosen to report on a very positive story happening in the heart of the Principality of Monaco.

The Princess Grace Dance Academy, founded in 1975 and currently lead by Luca Masala, who was appointed in 2009 by Princess of Hanover, is a top-level multidisciplinary dance school in the Principality and a hub for talent. The Academy has a 100% graduates employment target rate! (Photo insert: Luca Masala @David Herrero)

Under the Presidency of Princess of Hanover, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the Monaco Dance Forum and the Princess Grace Academy are governed as a single structure. Overseen by Jean-Christophe Maillot, this entity now boasts the excellence of an international company, the benefits of a multi-disciplinary festival, and the potential of a premium school to transform Monaco into a hub in which all activities related to choreographic art meet.

Since its inception, the Academy has trained several generations of dancers, many of who have become soloists or principal dancers with leading international dance companies. Luca’s final objective is for his students to join reputable dance companies all over the world, and every year he reaches his target 100%!

I asked Luca Masala to put it in his own words: “The mission of the Princess Grace Academy is to educate and train young students to become dancers. When students reach the end of their training, there is only one goal left; find a job to be able to put into practice everything they learned during these years of education. For 11 years, the Princess Grace Academy has achieved 100% results.” He enthusiastically added: “With employment contracts at stake, and I’m happy to announce that the 11th year is a success, our recent 11 graduates have all found jobs!”

(Photo: Luca Masala surrounded by the 11 graduates 2019/2020, during his 10th year anniversary at the Academy @Princess Grace Academy)

Meet the 2019/2020 graduates of the Princess Grace Academy 

Mackenzie BROWN (USA), Prix de Lausanne 2019 – Stuttgarter Ballet, Germany  

Anna Cecilia MEYER (USA/Sweden) – Royal Swedish Ballet, Stockholm, Sweden 

Greta CALZUOLA (Italian) – Junior Company Ballett Zurich, Switzerland

Giovanni D’AGATI (Italy) – Ballet Royal de Flanders, Belgium  

Luca FERRO (Italian) – San Francisco Ballet, USA 

Yuika FUJIMOTO (Japan) – Junior Company Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma, USA 

Juliette KLEIN (Monaco) – Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Monaco  

Giulia Gemma MANFROTTO (Italy) – Ballett Dortmund, Germany  

Marco Pio MASCIARI (Italy), Prix de Lausanne 2020 – Royal Ballet, London, UK  

Bruno SERRACLARA (Spain) – Northern Ballet, Leeds, UK 

Kotomi YAMADA (Japan) – Studio Company American Ballet Theather New York, USA 

A prestigious dance institution

Each year around 40 to 50 dancers from all over the world join Princess Grace Academy under the direction of Luca Masala. During 4 years, students 14 to 18 years old take courses in classical, contemporary and character dance, composition, Pilates, music, and dance history. In parallel, the dancers follow standard school instruction, and foreign students take language courses. The teaching staff at the Academy is comprised of professors and artists with international careers that helped reach excellence in teaching.

The Academy has gained prestige and international recognition for its multi-disciplinary training excellence by accomplished teachers and caring staff attentive to the wellbeing of the students in a loving atmosphere. The young dancers blossom to become not only expert dancers but, at the same time, versatile individuals. In this school of life, students learn the importance of responsibility and are encouraged to build their own careers

The Academy’s goal is for students to learn to live together, away from their country of origin and their families, thanks to the help of professional teachers and staff who are really caring human beings. This is a school where students flourish not only into accomplished dancers but also into cultured, well-rounded individuals.

Luca scouts young dancers all over the world by attending reputable contests and selecting the most gifted youngsters. Not an easy task as most academies compete for the same talented dancers. The students of the Academy work very hard in a friendly ambiance and learn the trade that will enable them one day to make their dream come true.

It costs approximately Euro 6,500 for the tuition of each student, who are all granted a scholarship on their merits, only paying for food and lodge. The Princess Grace Academy counts with a partial subvention from the Monaco Government but relies heavily on donations to offset their total yearly costs. In making a contribution, you will help talented students make their dreams come true and become professional dancers!

Students recognized with the illustrious Prix de Lausanne

Both Mackenzie Brown and Marco Pio Masciari, both recent graduates of the Academy Princess Grace, won the Prix de Lausanne in 2019 and 2020, respectively, following the Academy’s trend since 2014.

  • 2014 – David Yudes, Spain, 4th Prize, and Public Prize
  • 2014 – Mikio Kato, Japan, 6th Prize
  • 2015 – Rina Kanehara, Japan, 5th Prize
  • 2017 – Marina Duarte 2nd Prize and Audience Favorite Prize
  • 2018 – Shale Wagman Gold Medal and Nureyev Prize
  • 2019 – Mackenzie Brown Gold Medal, Contemporary Dance Prize, and Audience Favorite award
  • 2020 – Marco Masciari Gold Medal and Contemporary Dance award

The Prix of Lausanne is a contest for non-professional talented ballet dancers between the ages of 15 and 18, aiming to measure their future potential. In this year’s 48th edition that run from February 2-9, 2020, 77 out of the 84 initially selected candidates participated in the competition, and 21 reached the Finals in front of a full house at the Auditorium Stravinski in Montreux. At the end of the Finals, the jury, presided this year by Frederic Olivieri, Director of the Ballet Teatro Alla Scala in Milan and Prizewinner of the Prix de Lausanne 1977, selected 8 Prize Winners.

Thanks to their scholarships, these 8 promising dancers will have the opportunity to enter one of the prestigious partner schools and companies of the Prix de Lausanne.

Finalists who did not won a scholarship receive the sum of CHF 1.000 (approximately 800 Euros). This contest is known for launching the career of most excellent ballet dancers, opening the doors to the best companies.

Today’s Quote

 “The Academy is not only a dance school, but it is also a school of life that will help the students integrate into a complex universe. Because to dance is not a job, it is a real way of life!” Luca Masala.


2 thoughts on “Princess Grace Academy graduates are Monaco’s cultural ambassadors around the world

  1. Poter entrare a studiare presso l’accademia Princesse Grace è il sogno più grande per chi desidera fortemente diventare una ballerina professionista. A maggio nostra figlia avrà l’opportunità di fare uno stage audizione presso il DAW di Firenze e speriamo che il suo sogno si possa realizzare. Ringraziamo sin da ora per il tempo che il Direttore Masala dedica a tutti i ragazzi e li prepara ad essere dei future Etoile.

    Liked by 1 person

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