2021 End-of-Year Highlights
Dear Friends,

As we continue to navigate the “new normal,” what gives us confidence to continue into the year ahead are things that have never changed: our commitment to the dancers of tomorrow and your unwavering support for the future of dance.

YAGP is the only major student ballet competition that has kept its stage open against all odds – of course, with strict adherence to all local health and safety guidelines. 

After finishing an extensive season of LIVE international semi-finals, we can’t wait to start the U.S. live auditions tour in just a couple of weeks. 

In the meantime, we wish you and your family all the very best for a warm and wonderful New Year.

With heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation,

Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev
Youth America Grand Prix
As stages around the world reopened in 2021, numerous YAGP Alumni in the leading dance companies worldwide were recognized for their outstanding artistry and talent. Our warmest congratulations to these extraordinary artists on their well-deserved promotions.
M A Y A R A | M A G R I
Principal Dancer
The Royal Ballet
R O C Í O | A L E M Á N
Principal Dancer
The Stuttgart Ballet
C E S A R | C O R R A L E S
Principal Dancer
The Royal Ballet
K A T L Y N |
Principal Dancer
Ballet West
E L L E | M A C Y
Principal Dancer
Pacific Northwest Ballet
C H Y R S T Y N |
M A R I A H |
Principal Dancer
Boston Ballet
Ballet West
Katlyn Addison and Hadriel Diniz promoted to Principal Dancer

Boston Ballet
Chyrstyn Mariah Fentroy promoted to Principal Dancer
Michaela DePrince joined the company as Second Soloist

Colorado Ballet
Jennifer Grace Tavard promoted to Principal
Leah McFadden promoted to Soloist
Ever Larson and Christopher Mitchell joined the Company

Bayerisches Staatsballett
Shale Wagman promoted to Soloist
Antonio Casalinho and Margarita Fernandes joined the Company as Soloists

Dresden Semperoper Ballett
Kanako Fujimoto and Julian Amir Lacey promoted to Principal Dancer
Jennifer Hackbarth promoted to Coryphée

Houston Ballet
Skylar Campbell will join the Company as a Principal Dancer in 2022
Ryo Kato promoted to Soloist
Chandler Dalton, Yumiko Fukuda, and Elivelton Tomazi promoted to Demi-Soloist

Mariinsky Ballet
May Nagahisa promoted to First Soloist
Miami City Ballet
Steven Loch joined the Company as a Principal Dancer
Sean Miller and Lily Maulsby joined the Company

National Ballet of Canada
Koto Ishihara promoted Principal Dancer
Calley Skalnik promoted to First Soloist
Genevieve Penn Nabity promoted to Second Soloist

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Elle Macy promoted to Principal Dancer
Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan promoted to Soloist

The Royal Ballet
Mayara Magri and Cesar Corrales promoted to Principal Dancer
Meaghan Grace Hinkis promoted to First Soloist
Letícia Dias promoted to First Artist
Viola Pantuso joined the Company

Royal Swedish Ballet
Madeline Woo promoted to First Soloist 

San Francisco Ballet
Jasmine Jimison promoted to Soloist
Olivia Brothers joined the Company 

Staatsballett Berlin
Yuria Isaka promoted to Demi-Soloist

The Stuttgart Ballet
Rocío Alemán promoted to Principal
Mackenzie Brown and Gabriel Figueredo promoted to Demi-Soloist
Jolie Rose Lombardo, Edoardo Sartori, and Tristan Simpson joined the Company

Tulsa Ballet
Jami Cullen promoted to Soloist 
Jun Masuda promoted to Demi-Soloist 
H A D R I E L | D I N I Z
Principal Dancer, Ballet West
K O T O | I S H I H A R A
Principal Dancer, National Ballet of Canada
S H A L E | W A G M A N
Soloist, Bayerisches Staatsballett
J E N N I F E R | G R A C E | T A V A R D
Principal Dancer, Colorado Ballet
K A N A K O | F U J I M O T O
Principal Dancer, Dresden Semperoper Ballett
M A D E L I N E | W O O
First Soloist, Royal Swedish Ballet
YAGP Alumni continued to grace the covers of publications worldwide in 2021, including PointeDance Magazine, and even Forbes. YAGP Alumni Skylar Brandt and May Nagahisa were both recognized on Forbes' "30 Under 30" lists in the U.S. and Asia, respectively.
M A Y | N A G A H I S A
First Soloist
Mariinsky Ballet
S K Y L A R | B R A N D T
Principal Dancer
American Ballet Theatre
Dance Magazine "25 to Watch"

Once again, YAGP Alumni were among those selected as Dance Magazine's "25 to watch" in 2022. Congratulations to Sierra Armstrong (American Ballet Theatre), Genevieve Penn Nabity (National Ballet of Canada), and Adriana Wagenveld (Grand Rapids Ballet).

For the full list, click here.

Sierra Armstrong
Genevieve Penn Nabity
Adriana Wagenveld
S K Y L A R | B R A N D T
Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
C H I S A K O | O G A
Soloist, Boston Ballet
M I C H A E L A | D E P R I N C E
Second Soloist, Boston Ballet
E S T E B A N | H E R N A N D E Z
Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet
Hamptons September Soiree
At the elegant Amagansett residence of 
Elizabeth Jacoby and Richard Brand
More than 450 YAGP alumni dance in over 80 companies around the world – but the company that benefited the most from YAGP’s pipeline of talent is American Ballet Theatre. Hundreds of YAGP Alumni have joined ABT and ABT II over the years, and the evening celebrated two spectacular ABT dancers who came from YAGP: Katherine Williams and Calvin Royal III.

Katie Couric, a guest, delighted everyone with an impromptu Q&A highlighting the dancers’ path from participating in YAGP to becoming stars of America’s national ballet company. Katherine put it best: “When you come from a small school, the opportunities are limited. YAGP helps put one on a bigger stage.”

The evening ended with a candlelight dinner and the guests’ new appreciation for a dancer’s journey.
Katie Couric with YAGP Alumni Calvin Royal III and Katherine Williams (American Ballet Theatre)
Richard Brand and Elizabeth Jacoby
Michele Cohen, Michael Schultz, and Joanna Fisher
Sarasota Friends Gathering
Hosted by Melanie Hamrick, Adrienne Vittadini and Joe Volpe
This evening for YAGP supporters and friends was one of the first public gatherings in Sarasota since the beginning of the pandemic – and the guests enjoyed every moment of it.

Christine Shevchenko, a YAGP Alumna who is now a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater, delighted everyone by performing a new piece of choreography specially created for the occasion by another YAGP Alumna and co-host of the evening, Melanie Hamrick.

The guests enjoyed the elegant setting and truly appreciated a rare opportunity to experience the beauty of dance and the joy of getting to know the dancers in an up close & personal, friendly atmosphere.
YAGP Alumna Christine Shevchenko
Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
YAGP Alumna Melanie Hamrick
Choreographer; former dancer, American Ballet Theatre
Joe Volpe
Executive Director, Sarasota Ballet
Adrienne Vittadini
Fashion Designer
YAGP 2021 Season Finals Gala in Tampa, FL
As part of the YAGP 2021 U.S. Season Finals in May, YAGP was thrilled to present its signature annual “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL.

The YAGP 2021 Gala was presented as a two-part series, with both performances featuring talented young dancers of the YAGP 2021 Finals alongside a stellar cast of professional guest artists from the nation’s leading dance companies – with every single piece featuring either YAGP Alumni or YAGP judges.

Those who did not get a chance to see the performance in person had the unique opportunity to see a specially filmed and edited Digital Edition of the Gala – enjoying a virtual front row seat, offered by YAGP for the first time in its history.
YAGP Alumna WanTing Zhao & Benjamin Freemantle (San Francisco Ballet)
YAGP Alumni Skylar Brandt & Aran Bell (ABT)
YAGP Alumnus Giuseppe Bausilio (Hamilton on Broadway)
YAGP Alumnus Calvin Royal III (ABT)
“Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala in Genoa, Italy
As part of its mission to deliver exceptional education and performance opportunities to talented young dancers worldwide, over the years YAGP has partnered with Galas and Festivals around the world to give its participants a chance to perform before international audiences.

In July, YAGP was thrilled to present its signature, critically-acclaimed “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala and the Grand Defile – YAGP’s traditional piece d’occasion featuring all participants – at the renowned Nervi Ballet Music Festival in Genoa, Italy.
The Nervi Festival is one of the most prestigious arts events in Italy with a rich cultural history, having welcomed some of the most celebrated artists of all time, including Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and beloved Italian prima ballerina Carla Fracci, to the memory of whom this year’s festival was dedicated. 
Maria Kochetkova (English National Ballet) and Sebastian Kloborg (Royal Danish Ballet)
YAGP Alumna Christine Shevchenko and Thomas Forster (ABT)
Lucia Lacarra and YAGP Alumnus Matthew Golding (International Principal Guest Artists)
YAGP Alumnus Shale Wagman and Giovanni Tombacco (Bayerisches Staatsballett)
YAGP Galas in Berlin, Germany and Orizaba, Mexico
The inaugural YGP Germany Semi-Final in September included a spectacular Gala performance in partnership with Mikhail Kaniskin and Berllett Art Productions. The cast featured international ballet stars Maria Khoreva and YAGP Alumnus Kimin Kim of the Mariinsky Theatre, Lucia Lacarra and YAGP Alumnus Matthew GoldingDorothée Gilbert and Hugo Marchand of the Paris Opera Ballet, and other ballet stars.

In October, YGP Mexico’s 1oth Anniversary was celebrated in the historic town of Orizaba, where a lively festival of dance was held to commemorate the occasion. The Gala celebration, with a cast led by New York City Ballet’s Unity Phelan and Amar Ramasar, included a fiery performance by YAGP’s very first Mexican scholarship recipient (in 2003), Anais Bueno – who is now a leading dancer of the Joffrey Ballet — demonstrating the power of the opportunities YAGP creates for young dancers worldwide. 
Maria Khoreva and YAGP Alumnus Kimin Kim
Mariinsky Ballet
Unity Phelan and Amar Ramasar
New York City Ballet
Anais Bueno and Artists of the Joffrey Ballet
Having completed the live international auditions throughout the globe in the Fall/Winter of 2021, YAGP is now gearing up for a full season of live North American auditions at 28 locations throughout the United States and Canada, which will take place in January – March of 2022.

With the motto of “our stage is open,” YAGP continues to be at the forefront of global dance education by giving dancers a chance to be seen by the directors and representatives of the world’s leading dance academies at each audition event. 

“The world continues to face a worldwide pandemic,” says YAGP’s Artistic Director Larissa Saveliev, “But we continue to do what we are here to do: deliver education and performance opportunities to talented young dancers who need our support. This September, more than 50 talented young artists started their year on full scholarship at major ballet institutions, such as the John Cranko School of Stuttgart Ballet, Princess Grace Academy in Monaco, and The Royal Ballet School in the United Kingdom. They received their scholarships at both live and online auditions – and we are committed to delivering these opportunities to them no matter what.”

For a full schedule of the YAGP 2022 Season North American audition tour, click here.
Sara Astolfi (SAN MARINO)
YGP Italy Semi-Final
Asuka Hara (JAPAN)
YGP Japan Semi-Final
Jorge Lamelas (SPAIN)
YGP Spain Semi-Final
Carola Espadas (MEXICO)
YGP Mexico Semi-Final
Mya Kennel (FRANCE)
YGP France Semi-Final
Felipe Meijueiro Gozález (SPAIN )
YGP Germany Semi-Final
Coming Soon
Happy New Year from all of us at YAGP!
From our sponsors
Dance has the power to inspire, uplift and transform – but when it comes to young minds, its power to elevate goes far beyond the stage. 

Sharing the stage at YAGP with fellow dancers from around the globe creates an environment where diversity and inclusion are not just aspirational goals, but a shared reality – helping students become not only better artists, but better global citizens. 

Photography credits: Erin Baiano, Taylor Brandt, Alex DiMattia, Richard Lewin, LK Studio, Ray Nard, NYC Dance Project, Beau Pearson, Carlos Quezada, Staff TES, Star Action Shots, Janira Tarquini, Lindsay Thomas