19th Annual International Performing Arts Championships Comes to Long Beach

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Singers, musicians, dancers, actors and models are ready to compete before 75 judges from the entertainment industry at the 19th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts®, July 10 – 19, 2015 in Long Beach, California. This international meet is often cited as the official “Talent Olympics” for aspiring performers.

Selections for contestants have been held in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. “Contestants from over 50 countries are expected to participate,” says Griff O’Neil, competition CEO and a former executive of the Miss Universe Pageant, “vying for ‘the gold’ PLUS a total of $380,000 in scholarships: $30,000 from the Millennium Dance Complex, $150,000 from the New York Film Academy, and $200,000 from the New York Conservatory for Film and Television!”

A popular highlight of the international meet is the spectacular Opening Ceremonies and WORLDSTARS Parade of Nations. Similar to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, ‘thrilled’ contestants from over 50 countries parade in beautiful costumes representing their nations. Along the parade route, stages are set-up for a variety of international entertainment. The WORLDSTARS Parade of Nations is free to the public and takes place Sunday, July 12, 2015, starting at 10:00 am outside of the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 90802 and ends at 12:00 pm at Lighthouse Park near the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Adding to the fun, a WORLDSTARS Village – much like an “Olympic Village” where you can meet teams from around the world, will be set-up in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, July 13, 14, and 15 from 7:00PM to 10:00PM. Monday-July 13: DJ Dance Party; Tuesday- July 14: Champion Circle featuring the Philippines: and on Wednesday– July 14 finalists in the World Championships of Performing Arts will be announced with live entertainment rounding out the evening. International talent, food trucks and fun! Entrance to the WORLDSTARS Village is free and open to the public.

The week of competition culminates with the exciting World Championships of Performing Arts/ WORLDSTARS Grand Finale Competition – a live global webcast staged in the beautiful Terrace Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, on Friday evening, July 17, 2015. The pre-show starts at 6:30PM, followed by the 6:45PM – 9:00PM show and live webcast where the best of the best vie for World Championship titles. Jed Madela, multi-platinum recording artist and 2005 Senior World Champion from the Philippines, will perform. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

Entertainment industry greats from Hollywood, Nashville and New York, have been honored with induction into the Performing Arts Hall of Fame® at this prestigious global competition. Previous honorees include: Debbie Allen, Ann-Margret, Jaclyn Smith, Justin Chambers, Liza Minelli and Dolly Parton. The 2015 honoree is international entertainer Engelbert Humperdinck.

This year’s judges include Cirque du Soleil’s Head Artistic Director Pierre Parisien, world renowned casting director Harriet Greenspan, Anita Mann -Emmy Award-winning choreographer and live show producer, Janet Alhanti – one of the most sought after acting coaches to the stars, Bob Garrett – vocal coach to some of the most respected singers and actors in Hollywood, LA Models’ Crista Klayman considered the #1 runway agent in America, and Lang Elliott – the original founder of TriStar Pictures, a two-time Academy Award nominee who has produced and distributed over 125 motion pictures. Other final judges include Victoria Morris, James Charles, Bob McKinnon, Keith Naisbitt, Jennifer Tomiko Kohatsu, and Kenya Clay.

For more information about World Championships of Performing Arts visit www.wcopa.com.

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