Ballet Training

YoungArts Applications Are Open Now. Here's Why You Should Apply

2019 YoungArts finalist Kali Kleiman. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy YoungArts.

If you're looking for something to add to your summer to-do list alongside "wash smelly ballet bag," or "burn heinous recital costume," consider adding "apply to prestigious national arts competition" as a line item. Now through October 11, the National YoungArts Foundation is accepting applications for its annual YoungArts competition.



Each year, the foundation seeks out talented teenagers between 15–18 in order to honor their creative capabilities in categories like writing, theater, film and, most excitingly, dance. And in case you high school bunheads are worried that hip-hop or modern dance might be the focus of the dance category, note that former YoungArts finalists include Royal Ballet principal Sarah Lamb, American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane, Royal New Zealand Ballet principal Katharine Precourt and countless other ballet stars around the world.

Besides joining the ranks of notable YoungArts alumni, winners have the chance to attend regional workshops in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Selected finalists are even given the opportunity to attend National YoungArts Week at the foundation's campus in Miami, an all-expenses-paid week of workshops and master classes with artistic legends, which in the past have included ballet greats like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Wendy Whelan.

Throughout the week, finalists perform for the public, and have the chance to be considered for further recognition and monetary awards of up to $10,000. As an added bonus, a few outstanding performers at YoungArts Week are nominated each year to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts (one of the most major honors a high school senior can be given, complete with award presentations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.)

If you've entered ballet competitions before, the application should be relatively simple. The video requirements only ask for a few minutes of technical work, one classical solo and one contemporary solo—and, best of all, you can apply easily online.

As long as you're between ages 15-18, or grades 10-12, and a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident), this competition is for you. Applications opened today, and you have the whole summer ahead of you. Why not check one item off that to-do list? Learn how to apply to the 2020 YoungArts competition here.

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

Keep reading... Show less
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:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

Keep reading... Show less