Russian Pointe® sponsors the YAGP

David Hallberg On April 17 and 18, I had the privilege of attending the annual Youth America Grand Prix dance competition and gala at New York’s Lincoln Center ― always one of the highlights of my year. Being surrounded by so many dancers with that much energy and passion for the arts is truly infectious!

Each year, more than 5,000 dance students ages 9-19 from around the globe audition to be part of the Youth America Grand Prix, making it the largest student ballet scholarship competition in the world. Of those, only 350 dancers are selected to attend the finals in New York City, where they compete for the top prize in their age group.

The winners of the competition are awarded scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide, Russian Pointe® was proud to sponsor this event and help so many aspiring dancers succeed.

On April 17, I had the opportunity to watch the final round of the dance competition, and once again, I was astonished to see such outstanding performances by dancers so young. It’s a unique chance to see the ballet stars of tomorrow all under one roof.

As I sat in the theater surrounded by cheering parents, dance teachers and artistic directors from around the world, I was reminded of how many dancers would not be performing if they didn’t have people in their lives who believed in their dreams and who supported the arts. These parents and teachers understand that participating in the arts helps children to develop discipline, problem solving skills and leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

The following evening, I attend the gala, which featured an impressive line-up of international ballet stars from companies such as The American Ballet Theater, The New York City Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The National Ballet of Cuba.

One of the highlights of this year’s gala was a new video documentary that was presented prior to the live dance performances. The videos followed the dancers and choreographers as they created and rehearsed each piece, giving audiences a unique, artistic perspective on the behind-the-scenes process of bringing a dance performance to life.

As one of the sponsors of the Youth America Grand Prix, I am so proud of all of the dancers who participated in this year’s competition, and I hope they all continue to pursue their passions and follow their dreams of dance.