The ‘American Idol of ballet’ returns to Atlanta

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

From Jan. 27-28, hundreds of young dancers will audition for Youth America Grand Prix. These young hopefuls will compete for the chance to be scouted and receive scholarships for schools and companies in this competition deemed the “American Idol of ballet.” Dancers from ages 9 to 19 will audition before judges like Claire Baulieu of Paris Opera Ballet School and James Fayette of New York City Ballet.

Auditions will be held at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ferst Center for the Arts (349 Ferst Drive, Atlanta) at 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28. The auditions are available to be viewed for free on YAGP’s website and social media platforms. On Saturday, the awards ceremony for the competition will be held at 9 p.m.

On Jan. 29, YAGP will host several masterclasses from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Atlanta Ballet’s Michael C. Carlos Dance Center at 1695 Marietta Blvd. in Atlanta.

YAGP was founded by Larissa Saveliev in 1999. Over the last 24 years, YAGP has awarded over $4.5 million in scholarships to the top dance schools in the world. Dancers from ages 9-19 participate in auditions, workshops and other events held by the organization.

Over 450 YAGP alumni are currently with professional companies around the world, including the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. Many of these alumni are principal dancers and soloists for their companies.