The tension backstage at the final round of Youth America Grand Prix was unmistakable. Frantic relevés alternated with quiet prayers. Each dancer anxiously waited to take her turn alone in front of the judges, knowing that if she did well, it could change her career.
Over 5,000 students from six continents compete in regional YAGP semifinals every year. The 300 finalists invited to the main event in New York City have a chance to make their dreams come true. Even if a dancer doesn’t place in the coveted “Top 12,” the opportunities and connections she can make are unmatched: Over $250,000 is awarded in scholarships annually, and more than 250 YAGP alumni now dance professionally in top companies around the world.