Youth America Grand Prix alumna Michaela DePrince. Photo by VAM, Courtesy YAGP

How 20 Years of Youth America Grand Prix Has Changed Ballet, By the Numbers

Since its inception in 1999, Youth America Grand Prix has grown to have an outsize impact on the ballet world, with more than 450 alumni now dancing with 80 companies across the globe.


In the last two decades, the student competition has:

  • facilitated more than $4 million in scholarships.
  • hosted auditions in 15 countries.
  • welcomed 100,000 dancers to competitions, classes and auditions.

Aspiring pre-professionals and alumni will descend upon New York City for YAGP's 2019 Finals, April 12–19. It's the culmination of a banner 20th-anniversary season that saw more than 10,000 dancers participate in 27 regional and 10 international semifinals. This year's "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala will notably feature YAGP alums from American Ballet Theatre in a new work by Melanie Hamrick, set to a Mick Jagger–curated selection of music by The Rolling Stones.

And on April 20, the International Dance School Festival, a performance showcase newly added this year, will give finalists a glimpse of some of the top-tier schools that regularly award scholarships to YAGP competitors.

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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