Friday, October 15, 2010
Patel Conservatory students compete in regional YAGP
Students from our PCYB and Next Generation Ballet trainee program are gearing up for a major competition next week.
Ballet dancers have been training hard, preparing for the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) regional competition being held Oct. 22-24 at Blake High School and the Patel Conservatory.
“YAGP brings in judges from all over the world who are affiliated with famous ballet schools,” said Melissa Stafford, PCYB principal. “It’s an opportunity for students to be seen and to consider whether they want to pursue a professional dance career.”
Student who qualify at one of the regionals will go to the prestigious final YAGP in New York City next spring.
“If you make it to the final round in New York, it’s a chance to be seen by various schools and professional dance companies for consideration for their summer programs, and who may want to hire them someday,” said Stafford.
This year, the Patel Conservatory boasts 18 students participating in next week’s YAGP regionals, a substantial increase from last year.
“This shows the advanced level of training available here at the Patel Conservatory,” said Stafford.
This includes both students from the youth ballet program who’ve started with us as young students and are now ready to compete, as well as trainees with Next Generation Ballet, the new professional dance company at the Straz Center.
Historically, students of Peter Stark, the dance chair for the Patel Conservatory and artistic director for Next Generation Ballet, have done exceptionally well at previous YAGP competitions, regionally and nationally. Hannah Bettes received a scholarship two years in a row for the summer program at the School of American Ballet (affiliated with the New York City Ballet).
The competition is a great experience for students, not only because they get to be seen by professionals in the industry, but also because they’ll get to train with them and other exceptional dancers. Following two days of competition, students will then participate in master classes here at the Patel Conservatory led by YAGP’s judges.
“Students are inspired by other great dancers from around the state, and around the world,” said Stafford.
This is the first year for Tampa to host a YAGP regional, and students from around the state will come to participate.
“We’re excited to showcase our facilities. We have state-of-the-art facilities that are only six years old. And we have the theaters right here as well.”
Congratulations to the following students who will compete next weekend: