YAGP Scholarship Opportunities Continue – Virtually

Jerry Hochman

So what do you do when your headlining events, the impetus for your year-round activities and a major source of your operating income for the year, disappear? Well, when you’ve always asserted that your primary raison d’etre is to bring talented ballet students from around the world together and to connect them with representative ballet companies and schools that they would never have been able to connect with on their own, and that providing scholarship opportunities is more important than medals, you keep doing what you’ve been doing.

Elisabeth Beyer
Photo by VAM Productions

Youth America Grand Prix’s signature events, the New York Finals, the Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow annual gala, and (added last year) the International Dance School Festival, were all cancelled in light of international coronavirus restrictions. But the connections and the scholarships that YAGP’s world-wide events enable (YAGP has facilitated more than $4 Million in scholarships to the world’s leading dance institutions over the past 20 years) are still there, and are continuing.

Brady Farrar
Photo by VAM Productions

This past year, over 12,000 aspiring dancers – ages 9 to 19 – auditioned at YAGP semi-final events that were spread among 14 countries. The organization has now announced that this year it will enable a Virtual Scholarship Program open to those dancers who have finished in the top twelve in the solo Classical Category in each of these world-wide 2019-2020 semi-finals. That may not seem like much of a field, but when you take into account that in this past year YAGP has held discrete semi-finals in 34 different cities, and that the solo Classical Category is multiplied by gender and age groupings, it’s a considerable pool of candidates. Do the math.

Madison Penney
Photo by VAM Productions

These candidates will be vying for scholarships offered by YAGP’s global network of partnering schools. This year that amounts to 41 different institutions (including such prestigious schools as American Ballet Theatre JKO School, San Francisco Ballet School, John Cranko School of The Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet School, the Princess Grace Academy, and the Royal Ballet School) providing awards ranging from year-round, short term, and Summer Program scholarships, as well as placement opportunities. The schools are listed below – and if the past is a guide, many of them will be offering multiple scholarships. That’s a sizeable potential number of awards. And again if the past is any guide, these scholarships often serve as stepping-stones for career opportunities. A few of previous scholarship award winners are included here.

Madison Brown, USA
Photo by VAM Productions

The process that YAGP outlined is as multi-faceted as it would have been had YAGP’s regular programming continued, but under this year’s circumstances appears to be more transparent. A representative from each of the affiliate schools has already relayed specific criteria to YAGP. Qualifying students will be given the opportunity choose the schools or companies to which they will apply, and to create a “personal profile” that will include videos of their recent work, the school they currently attend, and the results from their YAGP auditions. And once more, if the past is any guide, scholarships are awarded without regard to whether the applicant won a medal in any of the semi-final events.

Darrion Sellman
Photo by VAM Productions

No deadline has been provided for the application process, but my understanding that the top 12 in each of the semi-final venues have already been contacted. For further information, check the YAGP web site: www.YAGP.org.

The presenting schools and companies are listed below:


The Ailey School (NY)

American Ballet Theatre JKO School (NY)

Ballet West Academy (UT)

Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive (NY)

Cesar Corrales 
Photo by VAM Productions

Boston Ballet School (MA)

Colorado Ballet Academy (CO)

The HARID Conservatory (FL)

The Houston Ballet Academy (TX)

Joffrey Academy of Dance (IL)

The Juilliard School (NY)

Next Generation Ballet (FL)

Orlando Ballet School (FL)

Peridance Certificate Program (NY)

Antonio Caselinho
Photo by VAM Productions

The Rock School for Dance Education (PA)

San Francisco Ballet School (CA)

The Sarasota Ballet School (FL)

Tulsa Ballet (OK)

University of North Carolina School of the Arts (NC)

The Washington School of Ballet (Washington, D.C.)


Alberta Ballet School (CANADA)

The Australian Ballet School (AUSTRALIA)

Berlin State Ballet School (GERMANY)

Emma Spillane, USA
Photo by VAM Productions

Canada’s National Ballet School (CANADA)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (CANADA)

Dutch National Ballet Academy (NETHERLANDS)

Elmhurst Ballet School (UNITED KINGDOM)

English National Ballet School (UNITED KINGDOM)

European School of Ballet (NETHERLANDS)

John Cranko School of The Stuttgart Ballet (GERMANY)

La Scala Ballet Academy (ITALY)

New Zealand School of Dance (NEW ZEALAND)

Palucca University of Dance Dresden (GERMANY)

Misha Broderick, USA
Photo by VAM Productions

Paris Opera Ballet School (FRANCE)

Princess Grace Academy (MONACO)

Rosella Hightower International Dance Center (FRANCE)

The Royal Ballet School (UNITED KINGDOM)

Royal Ballet School of Antwerp (BELGIUM)

Ballet School of the Basel Theater, Switzerland (SWITZERLAND)

Ballet Academy, University of Music & Performing Arts Munich (GERMANY)

The Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy (AUSTRIA)

Zurich Dance Academy (SWITZERLAND)

YAGP Finalists
in the “Grand Defile” at the 2018 YAGP Gala
Photo by VAM Productions