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Why You Need to Apply to YoungArts

Sarah Lamb in Giselle.
Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy of the Royal Opera House.

Are you a dancer between the ages of 15 and 18, or in high school grades 10–12? Are you interested in receiving scholarships (up to $10,000), working with mentors like Mikhail Baryshnikov and having a chance to be named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts? Then the National YoungArts Foundation wants to hear from you. Now through October 13, 2017, the nonprofit organization is accepting applications for students interested in becoming a 2018 YoungArts winner. And just in case you're wondering, past participants include American Ballet Theatre's Sarah Lane, The Royal Ballet's Sarah Lamb and English National Ballet's Precious Adams—so it's a pretty big deal.


All winners are eligible to participate in one of YoungArts' regional programs in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Selected finalists are further invited to National Arts Week, held each January in Miami. This all-expenses-paid week includes master classes and workshops with dance luminaries, as well as performance opportunities. So what are you waiting for? For more information on how to apply, click here. (Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.) Then check out the short film below for tips on how to make a great application video.

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

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There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

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James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

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Roman Mejia in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

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The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

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