Submitted by: Ballet Northwest

Audience members who watched Ballet Northwest’s The Nutcracker at The Washington Center in December were charmed by the young male dancer who couldn’t stop smiling while he performed miraculous jumps, pirouettes, and partnering lifts with ease. That dancer, Giovanny “Gio” Garibay, is turning into a local celebrity because of his hard work, grit and contagious love of dance.

Gio Garibay is 15 years old, lives in Centralia, and is a sophomore at Pope John Paul II High School in Lacey. He has only been dancing for three years but is a valued member of the Ballet Northwest Company, and trains at Olympia Dance Center.

Gio previously attended summer programs at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland, and this summer will be attending San Francisco Ballet School’s summer program.

“He is a promising young dancer with a tremendous work ethic who exudes joy onstage,” said Ken Johnson, co-artistic director at Ballet Northwest.

Gio recently won first place in the Senior Age Division Classical Category at the Youth America Grand Prix regional competition in Seattle, earning him a spot in the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York City in April 2019.

“Kids dream of competing in the Grand Prix. It is an incredible testimony to Gio’s talent that he earned a spot. Everyone in the dance community is cheering him on. His enthusiasm for dance is contagious and already he has inspired a new generation of dancers,” said Josie Johnson, co-artistic director.

Ballet Northwest invites the community to help fund Gio’s airfare, lodging, and participation expenses by donating here.

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