Feature Articles

Youth America Grand Prix gala to benefit Ukraine dancers 

Youth America Grand Prix.
Youth America Grand Prix.

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), the world’s largest ballet scholarship competition, will host its 2022 Season Finals and Benefit Gala in Tampa, FL, from April 11-19.

Following live auditions in 29 U.S. cities and nine international locations, the most promising 1,700 dancers (ages nine to 19) will fly to Tampa, FL, to compete in Finals Week (April 11– 18) and the Final Round (April 15 at 8pm and April 18 at 8pm) for a chance to win $500,000 in scholarships to leading dance institutions around the world. Leaders of these institutions will be on-site, as well as ballet company directors to recruit dancers and offer job contracts. YAGP is where the next generation of ballet stars are scouted!

April 19 at 7pm, top talent from the competition will share the stage with the world’s most famous beloved dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet at the annual Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow YAGP Gala. The evening is dedicated to YAGP’s Ukraine Relief Effort; through its international network of dance schools and companies, YAGP has placed more than 100 Ukrainian ballet students on scholarship at dance institutions around the world for safe haven. “For these young dancers displaced by war, dance is their life. By saving their ability to pursue their art, YAGP is also saving their lives,” says Founder and Artistic Director of YAGP Larissa Saveliev. “This demonstrates the power of the arts to literally save lives.”

YAGP presents Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala at Morsani Hall inside the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Headliners include Ukrainian ballet star and YAGP alum Vsevolod Maievskyi (formerly with the Mariinsky Ballet), La Scala Ballet’s newest principal dancer Jacopo Tissi and principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, YAGP alumna Mayara Magri. 

Tickets for the live Gala performances are $75, $100 and $150, and will be available at the Straz Center Box Office. 

Program includes: Chloe Misseldine (American Ballet Theatre), Kotomi Yamada (American Ballet Theatre), Elisabeth Beyer (ABT Studio Company), Yuma Matsuura (ABT Studio Company), Jake Roxander (ABT Studio Company),Gustavo Carvalho (Ballett am Rhein), Derek Dunn (Boston Ballet), Chisako Oga (Boston Ballet), Vsevelod Maievskyi (international guest artist, formerly with Mariinsky Ballet), Daniel Ulbricht(New York City Ballet), Kathryn Morgan (principal guest artist), Seth Orza (principal guest artist), Jacopo Tissi (La Scala Ballet) and Mayara Magri (The Royal Ballet).

From April 11-14, over 1,700 of the world’s most promising young dancers, who have been hand-selected, will audition at the state-of-the-art David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. On April 15 (8pm) and April 18 (8pm) is the Final Round, where they will dance for up to $500,000 in scholarships to the world’s leading dance organizations. Directors of some of the world’s most esteemed dance institutions will arrive from all over the world to select scholarship candidates. Others who are not able to travel to the U.S. at this time will observe the Finals and select scholarship candidates via YAGP’s online streaming services. 

YAGP was the only major dance competition that continued giving dancers a chance to dance live on stage throughout the pandemic. This season, more than 10,000 dancers were seen, taught and professionally evaluated by the world’s leading dance professionals at each venue. Strict health and safety measures were implemented in each city to make this a reality. For those dancers who were not quite ready to take part in live audition events, Virtual Semi-finals were conducted for dancers in North America, Canada, and the Asia Pacific region.

For more information about Youth America Grand Prix, visit yagp.org.

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