University to host student ballet scholarship competition
The University of South Carolina will host some of the Southeast’s most graceful and talented ballet dancers for the Youth America Grand Prix ballet scholarship competition Jan. 15 – 17 at Drayton Hall theatre.
Tickets are $5 at the door. USC students will be admitted free with a valid student ID.
For dance students ages 9 – 19, the YAGP awards more than $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. Dancers in three divisions – pre-competition (ages 9 – 11), juniors (12 – 14) and seniors (15 – 19) – will compete for scholarship prizes. The competition includes both classical and contemporary ballet for both solos and ensembles.
Regional winners travel to New York City in March to compete for national titles.
Ballet schools from across the southeast will be represented. William Smith, a freshman engineering major from Beaufort, will represent the university’s dance program.
Susan Anderson, director of Dance USC, has been a lead judge for the Southeast Region in recent years and was responsible for bringing the competition to Columbia.
“I convinced them that this would be a prime area because of the wealth of local dance studios and ballet companies already competing in this prestigious competition,” she said.
Since it was established by two former dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet who launched the YAGP in 1999, it has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships and offered workshops, competitions and audition classes to more than 25,000 dancers. More than 200 YAGP alumni are dancing with 50 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others.