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Kansas City entry representing America in 'Olympics of dance' competition

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KC Ballet Media
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Josh Kiesel (above) said preparing for a major competition like that in Helsinki is exhausting and taking care of his body is "everything."

Kansas City Ballet dancer Josh Kiesel will be the sole American dancing in the senior men's division of the Helsinki International Ballet Competition.

The Helsinki International Ballet Competition takes place every four years and is regarded as one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world. The week-long competition takes place in Finland and requires dancers to prepare six choregraphed numbers.

On top of performing in the 'Wizard of Oz' with the Kansas City Ballet, Josh Kiesel included hours of additional practice to prepare for the honor of representing America on the world dance stage.

"It's such an honor, but at the same time, just, you know, a lot of pressure. But I mean, really such an honor to represent this great country," Kiesel said.

Josh Kiesel, Kansas City Ballet dancer, competitor, Helsinki International Ballet Competition

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz