Gabriel Figueredo via Instagram @biel_figueredo

The 7 Youth America Grand Prix Competitors You Should Have Your Eye On

Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition, is coming up on the end of its 20th-anniversary season. As aspiring pre-professionals gear up for this year's New York Finals, we're taking a look at a handful of YAGP participants who are already generating major buzz.


Gabriel Figueredo

Age: 18

School: John Cranko School

Awards & Accolades: 2019 Prix de Lausanne winner; 1st Place in the Senior Men's Classical Dance Category at 2019 YAGP Barcelona; Só Dança Ambassador; Junior Men's Youth Grand Prix at 2013 YAGP New York Finals (age 12)

The Brazilian dancer has the kind of regal charm and crazy facility—the extension, that turnout, those feet—that bring to mind hyper-talented stars renowned for their refined classicism, like Vladimir Malakhov. His controlled legginess also makes him an ideal vessel for choreography like Wayne McGregor's.

António Casalinho

Age: 15

School: Conservatório Internacional de Ballet e Dança Annarella

Awards & Accolades: Senior Grand Prix at 2019 YAGP Paris; 2018 Special Distinction Award and Emil Dimitrov Prize for Young Talent from Varna International Ballet Competition; winner of "Got Talent Portugal" 2017; Youth Grand Prix at 2018 YAGP Paris and 2016 YAGP New York Finals; Hope Award at 2015 YAGP New York Finals and 2014 YAGP Paris

The precocious Portuguese dancer has been competing (and racking up awards) steadily since 2012, and in 2017 he won reality competition show "Got Talent Portugal." But the ease with which he's dominated since stepping into senior categories—and the cool confidence with which he pulls off bravura variations and impossible turning combinations—suggests that this prodigious dancer won't flame out anytime soon.

Mackenzie Brown

Age: 16

School: Académie Princess Grace

Awards & Accolades: 1st First Prize/Gold Medal Winner, Contemporary Dance Prize and Audience Award at 2019 Prix de Lausanne; Miss World Dance 2016–17; Finalist and scholarship winner 2016 YAGP New York Finals

Although Brown hasn't competed at YAGP since she landed her scholarship to Académie Princess Grace at the 2016 Finals, we couldn't leave off the only American prizewinner at this year's Prix de Lausanne. Her technique is refined without being precious, with generous épaulement and exquisite attention to detail—and she's got a knack for contemporary rep, too.

Jake Roxander

Age: 16

School: Studio Roxander

Awards & Accolades: Senior Grand Prix at 2018 and 2019 YAGP Las Vegas; Youth Grand Prix at 2016 and 2017 YAGP Seattle

Roxander grew up training at his parents' studio in Oregon (where he and his dad occasionally get into light saber duels during Nutcracker season). He's walked away with the Grand Prix at regional YAGP competitions for the last four years. His solid technique and exceptional talent for turning caught the eye of Pennsylvania Ballet director Angel Corella, who offered Roxander a spot in PA Ballet II next season.

Joaquin Gaubeca

Age: 17

School: Cary Ballet Conservatory

Awards & Accolades: Senior Grand Prix at 2019 YAGP Winston-Salem; Bronze Medal, Senior Male Classical Division and 5th Place, Senior Male Contemporary Division, at 2019 American Dance Competition | Youth International Ballet Competition

A relative newcomer to the American competition scene, Gaubeca's stage manners are as generous as his plié. While his ballet performances need more technical refinement, his rawness and abandon make him a compelling mover in both classical and contemporary choreography.

Jonacy Montero

Age: 16

School: Westlake School for the Performing Arts

Awards & Accolades: 1st Place in the Senior Contemporary Dance Category and 2nd Place in the Senior Classical Dance Category at 2019 YAGP San Francisco; 2nd Place in the Senior Contemporary Dance Category at 2018 YAGP San Francisco; 1st Place in the Junior Men's Classical Dance Category and 2nd Place in the Junior Men's Contemporary Dance Category at 2017 YAGP San Francisco; 2015 New York City Dance Alliance National Junior Male 1st Runner Up; 2014 NYCDA National Junior Male 2nd Runner Up

A capable, gracious partner, Montero frequently teams up with his classmates (usually, Mahalaya Tintiangco-Cubales) to compete with pas de deux. But his contemporary chops equal, if not exceed, his classical capabilities, marking him as a truly versatile dancer on the brink of coming into his own.

Mahalaya Tintiangco-Cubales

Age: 15

School: Westlake School for the Performing Arts

Awards & Accolades: Youth Grand Prix at 2018 and 2019 YAGP San Francisco; 1st Place in the Junior Women's Contemporary Dance Category and 3rd Place in the Junior Women's Classical Dance Category at 2017 YAGP San Francisco; New York City Dance Alliance National Junior Outstanding Dancer 2016

The petite dancer's sunny persona and clear lines when dancing classical variations bely the intensity and articulation she brings to the table in contemporary work—a duality reflected by her back-to-back Grand Prix wins at YAGP San Francisco.

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Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

2020 Stars of the Corps: 10 Dancers Making Strides In and Out of the Spotlight

The corps de ballet make up the backbone of every company. In our Fall 2020 issue, we highlighted 10 ensemble standouts to keep your eye on. Click on their names to learn more!

Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet

A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

Wearing a powder blue tutu, cropped light yellow top and feather tiara, Wanyue Qiao does a piqu\u00e9 retir\u00e9 on pointe on her left leg and pulls her right arm in towards her.

Wanyue Qiao as an Odalisque in Konstantin Sergeyev's Le Corsaire

Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

Wearing a white pixie wig and a short light-pink tunic costume, a female ballet dancer poses in attitude front on pointe with her left arm bent across her ribs and her right hand held below her chin.

Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

Maria Coelho and Sasha Chernjavsky in Andy Blankenbuehler's Remember Our Song

Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

A ballerina in a black feathered tutu stands triumphantly in sous-sus, holding the hand of a male dancer in a dark cloak with feathers underneath who raises his left hand in the air.

Alexander Reneff-Olson (right) as Von Rothbart with San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan in Swan Lake

Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

Wearing a blue dance dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sparkly tiara, India Bradley finishes a move with her arms out to the side and hands slightly flexed.

India Bradley practices backstage before a performance of Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

Wearing a white dress with pink corset, Bella Ureta does a first arabesque on pointe in front of an onstage stone wall.

Bella Ureta performs the Act I Pas de Trois in Kirk Peterson's Swan Lake

Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

Dressed in a green bell-boy costume and hat, Alejandro Gonz\u00e1lez does a saut\u00e9 with his left leg in retir\u00e9 and his arms in a long diagonal from right to left. Other dancers in late 19-century period costumes watch him around the stage.

Alejandro González in Michael Pink's Dracula at Oklahoma City Ballet.

Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

Nina Fernandes, Miami City Ballet

Wearing a long white tutu and crown, Nina Fernandes does a saut de chat in front of a wintery backdrop as snow falls from the top of the stage.

Nina Fernandes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

Quinn Wharton

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Angelica Generosa Shares Her Classic, Comfy Style In and Out of the Studio

"I love the feeling and look of effortless fashion," says Angelica Generosa. Preferring a classic style, the Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist keeps her wardrobe stocked with blazers. But they serve a practical purpose, too. "It tends to get chilly in Seattle, so it's the perfect accessory for layering," Generosa explains.

She's also quite fond of designer handbags. "They're my go-to accessory, and they're also my weakness when shopping," she says, naming Chloé, Chanel and Dior as some of her favorite brands. "I really appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to produce one—they're so beautiful and each has its own story, in a way."

In the studio, Generosa prioritizes comfort, and she'll change up her look depending on the repertoire (leotards and tutus for classical works, breathable shirts with workout pants for contemporary). But she always arrives to work in style. "I really love putting together outfits for even just going to the studio," she says. "It's another way of expressing my mood and what kind of vibe I'm going for that day."

The Details: Street

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue blazer, white blouse and gray jeans, is photographed from underneath as she walks and looks to the right.

Quinn Wharton

BCBG blazer: "It has some shoulder pads and a really cool pattern," says Generosa. "It reminds me of my mom and '80s fashion."

Zara blouse: She incorporate neutrals, like this white satin button-up, to balance bright pops of colors.

Angelica Generosa looks off to her right in front of a glass-windowed building. She wears a blue blazer, white blouse, gray jeans and carries a small green handbag.

Quinn Wharton

Madewell jeans: Comfort is a major factor for Generosa, who gets her fashion inspiration from her mom, friends and people she comes across day to day.

Chloé bag: "I tend to have smaller purses because I'm quite small. Bigger bags overwhelm me sometimes—unless it's my dance bag, of course!"

The Details: Studio

Angleica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool leggings and pink pointe shoes, balances in a lunge on pointe with her left leg in front, facing a wall of windows.

Quinn Wharton

Label Dancewear leotard: "This was designed by my good friend Elizabeth Murphy, a principal dancer here at PNB. Her leotards always fit me really well."

Mirella leggings: "I get cold easily," says Generosa, who wears leggings and vests to stay warm throughout the day.

Angelica Generosa, wearing a blue tank leotard, black wool tights and pink pointe shoes, jumps and crosses her right foot over her left shin while lifting her arms up to the right.

Quinn Wharton

Freed of London pointe shoes: "When sewing them, I crisscross my elastics and use an elasticized ribbon from Body Wrappers," which helps alleviate Achilles tendon issues, she says. She then trims the satin off of the tip of the shoe. "Then I bend the shank a bit to loosen it up and cut a bit off where my arch is."

Getty Images

This New "Nutcracker" Competition Wants Your Dance Studio to be Part of a Virtual Collaboration

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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