Summer 2021
Dear Friends,

Having just finished our last event of the 2021 Season, we invite you to join us in taking a look back at some of the remarkable achievements of the year.

In May, what had seemed like a complete impossibility became possible: over 800 talented young dancers from all over the United States gathered – safely – in Tampa, Florida, for the YAGP 2021 U.S. Season Finals. It was an emotional coming together of dancers, teachers, YAGP judges, guest artists, and other members of the YAGP community more than a year in the making – and became the largest LIVE dance event in the U.S. since the pandemic. 

YAGP is the only major student ballet competition that has kept its stage open during the pandemic. Between November 2020 and July 2021, YAGP conducted LIVE semi-final events at 26 cities across the country and at 10 international locations. This was no small feat, but we felt we owed it to our participants, who have shown dedication and resilience like never before – training in their kitchens, garages, and living rooms through the many months of lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

As a result, more than 5,000 young dancers had the opportunity to perform LIVE throughout the season, and dancers from around the world auditioned for scholarships to the world’s leading dance academies in live or virtual events, all of which were broadcast online - free of charge - to the entire global dance community. 

YAGP was able to keep dancers dancing all over the globe at a time when it mattered most, and we owe it to you: our participants, parents, teachers, schools, supporters and friends worldwide. Thank you for helping us ensure and celebrate the future of dance. Because of you, it has never been brighter.

With heartfelt gratitude,
Larissa Saveliev
Artistic Director, Founder
Gennadi Saveliev
Innovation and determination were the theme of YAGP’s 2021 Season, and the 2021 U.S. Season Finals in Tampa, FL, was no exception. With strict adherence to health and safety protocols, over 800 dancers from across the United States performed LIVE for both live and virtual audiences and attend in-person scholarship audition classes for the first time this season. The YAGP jury panel consisted of judges both present in the audience and those tuning in from around the world.

For a full list of winners, click here, and visit the YAGP YouTube channel for video highlights of this year’s talented 2021 Finalists.
Remi Wagner (Rocky Mountain Ballet Academy, CO)
Isobel Rose Lehman (Master Ballet Academy, AZ)
Brianna Guagliardo (The Art of Classical Ballet, FL)
Styles Dykes (Odasz Dance Theatre, NY)
Amira Hogan (Vitacca School for Dance, TX)
Marcus Taylor (Golden State Ballet, CA) in class with Claudio Muñoz, Ballet Master of Houston Ballet Academy and Houston Ballet II
Corbin Holloway (CityDance School & Conservatory, DC) in class with Alexei Moskalenko, Assistant Artistic Director of YAGP
Alina Novikova (International Ballet Academy, NC) in class with Peter Stark, Associate Director of Boston Ballet II & Head of the Men's Program, Boston Ballet School
In 2020, YAGP conducted the world’s first all-digital international scholarship audition. The 2021 U.S. Season Finals – this time conducted LIVE on stage – built on the success of the all-digital edition and the experience of conducting a full season of live, socially distanced, performance events. The dancers performed on stage of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts as the directors of YAGP international partner schools tuned in to watch the digital livestream from many timezones around the globe. 

And, although this year’s scholarship audition may have looked a little different, what stayed absolutely the same was YAGP’s commitment to its mission of delivering education and performance opportunities to talented young dancers worldwide - resulting in an unprecedented number of scholarships offered by YAGP scholarship-presenting schools worldwide.

Over 200 deserving young dance students received more than $300,000 in scholarships to the world’s leading dance academies, including American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (USA), John Cranko School of the Stuttgart Ballet (GERMANY), Princess Grace Academy (MONACO), The Royal Ballet School (UK), and many other leading dance institutions around the world. Some participants even received invitations to join professional dance companies as an apprentice or accepted studio company positions.

Please join us in congratulating all of the YAGP 2021 U.S. Season Finals scholarship recipients, and see the full list of scholarships offered by clicking here.
Noah Campbell (The Sarasota Ballet's Margaret Barbieri Conservatory, FL), recipient of a scholarship to The Royal Ballet School (UK)
Clara Thiele (Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, NY), recipient of a scholarship to the John Cranko School of the Stuttgart Ballet (GERMANY)
Sienna Morris (Ballet Conservatory at Skyra, FL), recipient of a scholarship to Princess Grace Academy (MONACO)
Gabrielle Miller (Greater Annapolis Ballet, MD), recipient of a scholarship to American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (USA)
As part of the YAGP 2021 U.S. Season Finals, 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.

To accommodate limited audience capacity due to health and safety protocols, 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.

Click here to request your copy of the Digital Edition of the YAGP 2021 Gala.
YAGP Alumni Skylar Brandt and Aran Bell (ABT)
YAGP Alumna WanTing Zhao and Benjamin Freemantle (San Francisco Ballet)
YAGP Alumnus Giuseppe Bausilio (Hamilton on Broadway)
YAGP Alumnus Calvin Royal III (ABT)
YAGP Alumni Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell (ABT)
The complete season of U.S. and international semi-finals culminated in YAGP’s first-ever VIRTUAL Global Finals, which was streamed online for the worldwide dance community.

The YAGP 2021 Global Finals featured the top finalists from all YAGP international semi-finals conducted this season, in addition to American participants who were not able to attend the in-person U.S. Finals in Tampa. 

It was adjudicated by a brand new, all-star panel of judges, who tuned in from every corner of the globe: the first time ever that YAGP participants had the unique experience of being adjudicated by these leading figures and celebrated artists of the dance world.

  • Julio Bocca - International Ballet Star, Argentina
  • Ted Brandsen - Artistic Director, Dutch National Ballet
  • Yuri Fateev - Acting Director, Mariinsky Theater
  • Maria Khoreva - First Soloist, Mariinsky Theatre
  • Mayara Magri - First Soloist, Royal Ballet
  • Irek Mukhamedov - Former Principal Dancer, Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Ballet; Ballet Master, Paris Opera Ballet
  • Kevin O'Hare - Artistic Director, Royal Ballet
  • Hannah O'Neill - Principal Dancer, Paris Opera Ballet
  • Madeleine Onne - Artistic Director, Finnish National Ballet
  • Xander Parish - Principal Dancer, Mariinsky Theatre
  • Hee Seo - Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
  • Christine Shevchenko - Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre
Maria Khoreva
First Soloist, Mariinsky Theatre
Kevin O'Hare
Artistic Director, The Royal Ballet
YAGP Alumna Hannah O'Neill
Principal Dancer, Paris Opera Ballet
Fabrizzio Ulloa (Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey, MEXICO)
Liya Fan (The Affiliated Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy, CHINA)
Alberto Gil Vicente (Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Carmen Amaya, SPAIN)
Samantha Maestre Cortez (Nucleo Lapidari, BRAZIL)
Watch the Awards Ceremony below and see the future of dance!
This season, YAGP conducted a series of international semi-finals, including the mainstay locations of Korea, Japan, South America, and Asia Pacific.

In a continuous effort to bring more scholarship opportunities to more dancers in different parts of the world and keep its stage open to dancers worldwide over the past year, YAGP opened two new international locations — in Bucharest, ROMANIA, and Tel Aviv, ISRAEL.

Several hundred Romanian and Israeli participants had the opportunity to perform live onstage in their home countries, while YAGP judges and scholarship presenters took part virtually. Both semi-finals streamed online for the global dance community, and scholarships to leading dance academies around the world were offered to several talented young dancers.
YAGP 2021 Romania participant
YAGP 2021 Israel participant
EUROPEAN Virtual Semi-Final was held in June, with directors of YAGP scholarship presenting schools adjudicating virtually from many different time zones around the world – a welcome reminder that even when circumstances do not allow physical presence, YAGP’s global dance family is always connected.
Earlier in May, YAGP also completed its CANADA Virtual Semi-Final, with dancers taking part in a 100% online event that included solo and ensemble performances, virtual master classes, and the chance to be seen and considered for scholarships at YAGP partner schools worldwide.
For Canadian dancers who had spent months at home under extended lockdowns and training via Zoom, having the opportunity to participate in a virtual YAGP audition provided something meaningful to work towards during this challenging time. As 14-year-old participant Isabel Luke (Johanna Hilchie Ballet, CANADA) expresses, “One thing this experience made me realize is that you really can do anything you put your mind to if you just believe anything is possible. It is true - the journey is what truly matters."
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.

This July, YAGP was thrilled to partner with Live Arts Global to present its its signature, critically-acclaimed Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala and Grand Defilé at the the renowned Nervi Ballet Music Festival 2021 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. 
The featured performers at the YAGP 2021 Gala at Nervi Festival included:

  • Giuseppe Bausilio (Broadway performer), YAGP Alumnus
  • Semyon Chudin (Bolshoi Ballet)
  • Thomas Forster (American Ballet Theatre)
  • Evelina Godunova (Staatsballett Berlin)
  • Matthew Golding (International Principal Guest Artist), YAGP Alumnus
  • Sebastian Kloborg (Royal Danish Ballet)
  • Maria Kochetkova (English National Ballet)
  • Lucia Lacarra (International Principal Guest Artist)
  • Ana Sophia Scheller (National Ballet of Ukraine) 
  • Gabe Stone Shayer (American Ballet Theatre), YAGP Alumnus
  • Christine Shevchenko (American Ballet Theatre), YAGP Alumna
  • Dinu Tamazlacaru (Staatsballett Berlin)
  • Giovanni Tombacco (Bayerisches Staatsballett)
  • Alejandro Virelles (Staatsballett Berlin), YAGP Alumnus
  • Shale Wagman (Bayerisches Staatsballett), YAGP Alumnus
In addition to the above artists, talented young winners of international ballet competitions - such as Prix de Lausanne, Varna International Ballet Competition, and, of course, YAGP - performed, including 18-year-old Antonio Casalinho and 16-year-old Margarita Fernandes, both of whom have just accepted Soloist contracts with Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich, and 16-year-old Ava Arbuckle, student of the John Cranko School of the Stuttgart Ballet. 70 students from three different continents rehearsed for three days to prepare YAGP's signature Grand Défilé, culminating in a thrilling opening to the Galas.
YAGP Alumna Christine Shevchenko and Thomas Forster (ABT)
Lucia Lacarra and YAGP Alumnus Matthew Golding (International Principal Guest Artists)
Maria Kochetkova (English National Ballet) and Sebastian Kloborg (Royal Danish Ballet)
YAGP Alumnus Shale Wagman and Giovanni Tombacco (Bayerisches Staatsballett)
YAGP Alumni Margarita Fernandes and Antonio Casalinho (Conservatório Internacional de Ballet e Dança Annarella Sanchez, Portugal)
We look forward to seeing YAGP participants around the world in 2022!
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Photography credits: James Bort, André Ferreira, DR, Git Photography, Travis Jennings, Hailey Kolker, Anastasiya Livun, Chris Moore, Joe Plimmer, Star Action Shots, Carlos Quezada, VAM Productions, April Wexelman