Today would have marked the start of the YAGP 2020 Finals. More than 1,500 of the most promising young dancers from 36 countries would have gathered in New York to audition for up to $500,000 in scholarships to the world’s leading dance academies. The world’s largest dance homecoming event would have begun, with dancers flying in from all 5 continents to see their longtime friends. And stars of today’s most celebrated dance companies would have started to arrive for the YAGP 2020 Gala at Lincoln Center.
Instead, we are facing a new reality. As the world grapples with the pandemic, we are reminded of just how fragile and interconnected we all are. We are also reminded of how strong we are as a family.
The world’s largest dance homecoming is still happening – online – and not just for NYC finalists, but for the entire YAGP dance community worldwide. Judges and ballet stars are still connecting to students and audiences via online classes, discussions and expert advice. And scholarships will find their recipients.
Coordinating scholarship offers and acceptances between dozens of preeminent dance schools and hundreds of talented students across the globe is no small task – but our artistic team is ready for the challenge. We have launched a Virtual Scholarship Survey to create the world’s largest database of dancers, whom we will continuously match with existing scholarship opportunities.
In the meantime, we invite you to join us in taking a look at the highlights of the incredible journey that was YAGP’s 2020 Semi-Final Season. Starting in August 2019 and finishing this spring, we traveled the world in search of promising young dancers representing all geographic, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, with a singular purpose: to help these dancers develop their talent through performance and education opportunities, scholarship auditions, and master classes.
Since its inception 21 years ago, YAGP’s mission has always been – and will always be – to connect students, teachers, schools, dance companies, dancers, and audiences worldwide. This year alone, YAGP awarded hundreds of scholarships to renowned dance schools throughout its international audition tour. We now continue to serve our mission through digital scholarship placement, online classes, and other programs designed to inspire and educate dancers worldwide.
Stay well – and remember: together, we can overcome any challenge and ensure the future of dance for years to come.
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