Calling all high school-aged dancers! On Tuesday, the National YoungArts Foundation announced that the application to become a 2016 YoungArts Winner is now open. Since 1981, the nonprofit has nurtured and supported promising young talent in the visual, literary, design and performing arts.

 

And it really is the opportunity of a lifetime: Winners have had the chance to work with mentors like Mikhail Baryshnikov, receive access to major scholarships, be nominated as a U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts and perform at leading venues like Washington, DC's Kennedy Center and Miami's New World Center. A group of YoungArts alumni, including Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Desmond Richardson and "So You Think You Can Dance" winner Ricky Ubeda, have joined this year's application campaign to encourage young artists to participate. Other alumni include American Ballet Theatre's Sarah Lane and Miami City Ballet's Callie Manning.

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 15 and 18 (as of December 1, 2015) or in grades 1012, and be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or international student studying on a visa. The application is open until October 16 and can be found here.
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During one of Charlotte Nash's first few weeks with Houston Ballet II, she was thrown into a run-through of Balanchine's Theme and Variations. "I had never really understudied before and I didn't know what I was doing," she says. "I fell right away and was quickly replaced." For Nash, now a dancer with Festival Ballet Providence, the episode was a tough lesson. "I was mortified, but then I said to myself, 'Okay, I need to figure out how to learn things more quickly.'"

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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