Monday, November 7, 2011

An Evening With Anne Polajenko: "Y.A.G.P."


    It’s that time of year again! Thousands of dancers all over the globe are traveling to the Youth America Grand Prix semi - finals in Brazil, Europe, Japan, Mexico and the United States in the hope of qualifying for the New York finals in April 2012. In its thirteen - year existence, Y.A.G.P. has become the definitive place to be seen and, more importantly, it is the one place where a future career can be made.

     Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old.

   Youth America Grand Prix has become an internationally known meeting place for dance students and teachers, where they can exchange ideas, share their experience and learn the most up-to-date information on a variety of issues in ballet and contemporary dance. YAGP's level of reputation as a showcase for dance students from America and abroad is such that even passing the preliminary round to be selected to participate in the New York City Finals gives a participant an important distinction and a boost to their professional dance career. Over 25,000 dancers worldwide have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, competitions, and audition classes. Over 200 YAGP alumni are now dancing with 50 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others. YAGP’s contributions to international dance education were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with a membership in UNESCO’s prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID).

Photo: Isabella Maylart, 13, wins 2004 Youth Grand Prix


  So”Dança has been involved as a major Y.A.G.P. sponsor for a number of years both in Brazil and the United States. Our commitment to the advancement of the art form and its aspiring performers has assisted many a young dancer achieve their dream of being seen by the directors of the major schools and companies in the world. Currently, countless Brazilian dancers are studying or performing with major schools and companies after receiving coveted scholarships through YA.G.P. A few of these success stories are:

Isabella Gasparini – Gold Medal 2003  (scholarship to National Ballet of Canada)
Daniel Deivison –   Full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet, now a company Soloist
Paulo Arrais Neto – Full scholarships to Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet and now
                                Soloist with Boston Ballet
Isabella Maylart –  Winner Youth Grand Prix 2006. (Full scholarship to School of the 
                               Stuttgart Ballet)
Irlan Santos -         Full scholarship to ABT II and star of the film Only When I Dance
Mayara Magri –     Winner Y.A.G.P.  2011 Grand Prix and Prix de Lausanne

   For more information and results of the recently completed 2012 semi-finals in Brazil, go to and click on the Brazilian flag

         -- Anne Polajenko


    We hope you have a fantastic week, and make sure to check out the YAGP website for info, pics and more!

  Love from your humble blogger,

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