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YAGP Just Announced the 2018 Winners

Elisabeth Beyer. Photo Courtesy VAM Productions.

Congratulations to the 2018 YAGP winners! After months of semi-finals, 1,800 dancers from around the world were chosen to attend a week of finals in New York, competing for ballet scholarships and contracts. We've been following the action all week (you can catch up on our backstage coverage, here). The 2018 competition wrapped up on April 19 with the Stars of Today Meet The Stars of Tomorrow gala which featured performances from pros like American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck. Following today's awards ceremony, YAGP has just announced this year's winners (aka the dancers you're going to want make note of). Check out the full list and highlights from the competition below.

Senior Women

1st Place: Elisabeth Beyer (15), Ellison Ballet - Professional Training Program, NY, USA

2nd Place: Guo Wen Jin (16), Shanghai Dance School, China


3rd Place: Seon Mee Park (18), Korea National University of Arts, Korea

3rd Place: Basia Rhoden (15), Master Ballet Academy, AZ, USA


Guo Wen Jin; Courtesy VAM Productions

Senior Men

1st Place: Yuma Matsuura (15), Endo Ballet, Japan

2nd Place: Sangmin Lee (19), Korea National University of Arts, Korea

3rd Place: Pau Pujol (18), Corella Dance Academy, Spain

3rd Place: Edvinas Jakonis (17), National M.K. Ciurlionis School of Art, Lithuania


Edvinas Jakonis; Courtesy VAM Productions

Junior Youth Grand Prix Winner

Antonio Casalinho (14), Academia Annarella, Portugal

Antonio Casalinho; Courtesy VAM Productions

Junior Women

1st Place: Jolie Rose Lombardo (14), Orlando Ballet School, FL, USA

2nd Place: Yo Nakajima (13), Symphony Ballet Studio, Japan

3rd Place: Remie Madeleine Goins (13), International City School of Ballet, GA, USA


Yo Nakajima; Courtesy VAM Productions

Junior Men

1st Place: Enrique Emmanuel Vidal (14), Independent, Mexico

2nd Place: Masaki Suetsugu (14), Aristo Ballet Studio, Japan

3rd Place: Misha Broderick (12), Master Ballet Academy, AZ, USA

3rd Place: Brady Farrar (12), Stars Dance Studio, FL, USA


Brady Farrar; Courtesy VAM Productions

Special Awards

Outstanding Choreographer Award: Meaghan McHale

Outstanding Teacher Award: Jolanta Valeikaite & Edward Ellison

Outstanding School Award: Korea National University of Arts, Korea

Shelley King Award for Excellence: Darrion Sellman (13), Los Angeles Ballet Academy, CA, USA

Grishko Model Search Award: Lola Crist Ellison Ballet - Professional Training Program, NY, USA

Natalia Makarova Award for Artistry: Lily Turner (14), Southland Ballet, CA, USA

Dance Magazine Award: Sangmin Lee (19) Korea National University of Arts, Korea

For a full list of all the winners and the schools they represented, click here.

The Conversation
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Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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