Russian Pointe® sponsors the YAGP

Every year, I look forward to attending the Youth American Grand Prix dance competition and black-tie gala in New York City. It’s always an opportunity to see some of the most outstanding young dancers from all over the world.

This year was even more special because both the completion and gala were held at Lincoln Center for the first time.

Russian Pointe® was a proud sponsor of this year’s Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition, which awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide.

On April 26, I had the opportunity to see the final stage of the dance competition, and once again, international dancers ages 9 to 19 dazzled the audience with their artistry and athleticism.

Then on April 27, I attended the gala, which featured performances from an impressive line-up of international ballet stars from companies such as the The Mariinsky Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the New York City Ballet, The Dutch Ballet and the Royal National Ballet.

Finally, on April 28, I had the privilege of attending a tribute to Natalia Makarova, a legendary Russian-born prima ballerina who emigrated to the West and danced with the American Ballet Theater and the Royal Ballet in London.

This historic evening of dance illustrated Ms. Makarova’s contribution to the art of ballet by presenting some of her most iconic roles performed by today’s leading dancers. Performers include Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre), Natalia Osipova (American Ballet Theatre/Mikhailovsky Theatre St. Petersburg), Sergei Polunin (formally of The Royal Ballet), Tamara Rojo (The Royal Ballet), Yuan Yuan Tan (San Francisco Ballet), Ivan Vasiliev (American Ballet Theatre/Mikhailovsky Theatre St. Petersburg) and Diana Vishneva (American Ballet Theatre/Mariinsky Ballet).

Each year, more than 5,000 dancers take part in the YAGP at semi-final competitions, and only 300 students make it to the finals in New York City, and I am so proud that Russian Pointe® was able to help this younger generation of dancers succeed.