|Hannah Bettes, former NGB student, at a YAGP competition.|
Students of Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet (NGB) will be participating in their first round of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) auditions this weekend.
On Saturday morning, advanced ballet students will participate in a warm-up class followed by the audition that will decide who will qualify to go to the YAGP regional competition held at the Straz Center in January.
This year, qualifying students will be selected by an outside panel of judges rather than Patel Conservatory faculty.
“This is a new initiative to have outside eyes select they recommend to compete at YAGP,” said Claire Olson, dance manager at the Conservatory.
The judges for the auditions will be Bruce Marks, Andrew Carroll, Robert de Warren and Jack Clark. Judges will use the same judging sheet used at YAGP, so students will have an accurate assessment of how they'll be judged at the competition.
Historically, NGB students have placed well at YAGP competitions, winning scholarships from prestigious ballet schools around the world. Many have gone on to compete at the finals in New York City, where Patel Conservatory received YAGP's Outstanding School Award in 2011.
The YAGP competition in January will include a final gala, featuring the best competitors alongside international ballet stars. The Gala will be filmed and broadcasted through Emerging Pictures Dance and Cinema Series.