March 2021
Dear Friends,

One year ago, YAGP finished its last semi-final of the 2020 Season in Toronto, Canada, after which North America, like the rest of the world, was completely shut down. While no one could have predicted the full extent of what was to come in the weeks and months that followed, that same Toronto Semi-Final was the very last live dance event of 2020 — and we are proud to have been the very first ballet organization to begin performances again (safely, of course, with strict adherence to local health and safety guidelines) later in the year. 

Now, a full year later, if there is one word that has encapsulated the overwhelming feeling of the YAGP 2021 Season thus far, it is hope

After a prolonged absence from the stage, thousands of young dancers from across the country have begun performing again in a safe, socially distanced environment at the YAGP 2021 Season Semi-Finals. Beyond the U.S., YAGP has continued to reach dance students from all corners of the globe through a series of online master classes, seminars, and other virtual events and educational programs with our international partners.

Dancers around the world have risen to the challenges of the times, exhibiting tremendous dedication, professionalism, and artistry. And, at this time, YAGP remains one of the only ballet organizations offering young dancers a chance to dance LIVE ON STAGE this season. Thanks to you – our participants, parents, teachers, schools, and friends worldwide – we can continue forging new ways of serving the young artists of tomorrow while remaining at the forefront of global dance education.

Larissa Saveliev
Artistic Director, Founder
Gennadi Saveliev
Brianna Guagliardo (The Art of Classical Ballet, FL)
Innovation and determination are the theme of YAGP's 2021 Season.

With social distancing, increased safety protocols, and strict adherence to the latest health and safety guidelines, these live events give dancers performance opportunities and continued access to scholarships at the world's leading dance academies at a time when it matters most.

Young dancers from coast to coast have made their return to the stage at the YAGP U.S. Semi-Finals over the last few months in an inspiring display of resilience, joyfulness, and pure love of dance.
Cypress Schaff (Denver Academy of Ballet, CO)
Ayva Royster (The Dallas Conservatory, TX)
Afina Gosla (Southland Ballet Academy, CA)
Styles Dykes
(Odasz Dance Theatre, NY)
Stella Dipasquale
(Fadeyev Ballet, NY)
Minori De Silva
(MorningStar Dance Academy, GA)
To see more videos featuring the talented young dancers of the YAGP 2021 Season, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the YAGP YouTube Channel.

Beyond offering dancers vital live performance opportunities at a time when such occasions are rare, YAGP’s mission to provide dancers with the chance to be seen by and considered for scholarships at the world's leading dance institutions has remained, as it has since inception, the primary focus of the YAGP 2021 Season.

Hundreds of scholarship offers have already been extended this season through YAGP’s live and virtual events: ensuring that talented young dancers worldwide can further their dance education at esteemed summer intensives and year-round training programs across the globe.
In January, students from all over the world had the unique opportunity to learn original versions of Petipa variations from Alexei Ratmansky, renowned choreographer and the leading master of reconstructing Petipa classics for the world’s most esteemed dance companies, for the very first timeThis special three-part master class series delved into Petipa’s beloved classical works The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Raymonda, complete with rare historical insights and Q&A sessions.

CLICK HERE for a peek behind the curtain of one of these classes, featuring YAGP Alumni Tia Wenkman (pictured below), currently studying at The Royal Ballet School, and Ava Arbuckle, currently studying at the John Cranko School of The Stuttgart Ballet.
As part of YAGP's winter Zoom series, young dancers of the YAGP community also had the unique opportunity to take master classes with some of the most exciting artists performing today, including Mariañela Nunez (Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet), Alejandro Parente (Former Principal Dancer and International Guest Teacher), Maria Khoreva (First Soloist, Mariinsky Ballet), and Xander Parish (Principal Dancer, Mariinsky Ballet).

To help motivate and inspire dance students from around the world, especially those who returned to their "home studios" early in the year due to extended stay-at-home restrictions in many countries, these esteemed artists shared their own experiences and tips on staying motivated, offering invaluable insights and advice to the young dancers.

CLICK HERE to enjoy a glimpse inside a class with Mariañela Nunez & Alejandro Parente.

Maria Khoreva
Mariañela Nunez &
Alejandro Parente
Xander Parish
This February, YAGP Alumnus Antonio Casalinho (Conservatório Internacional de Ballet e Dança Annarella Sanchez, PORTUGAL), age 17, received first prize and the Contemporary Dance Award at the 2021 Prix de Lausanne. Having received the Hope Award, Youth Grand Prix, and Grand Prix in his time as a YAGP participant from ages 10-16, we enjoyed looking back at his journey over the years — and we hope you will too.
Of the 44 talented YAGP Alumni from around the world who were among this year's Prix candidates, Andrey Jesus Maciano (Bale Jovem de Sao Vicente, BRAZIL) and Ashley Coupal (Orlando Ballet II, CANADA/USA) were also named prizewinners. Andrey Jesus was also recognized with the Nureyev Foundation Best Young Talent Award, and Rui Cesar Cruz (Grupo Cultural de Dança Ilha, BRAZIL) received the Contemporary Dance Award.
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Photography credits: Jordan Brown, LK Studio, Chris Moore, Star Action Shots, Carlos Villamayor, Darian Volkova