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Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP)

What is the Youth America Grand Prix? Hint: It has nothing to do with racing! According to Tutu Etoile (, the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is an international student dance contest that is the biggest of its kind on the planet. It also provides a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships to dance schools both inside of the U.S. and internationally. Held internationally every year, the Youth America Grand Prix features a final contest that takes place in New York City. Open to students of dance between the ages of 8 and 19, it features both contemporary and ballet styles of performance.

Interestingly, the Youth America Grand Prix is not just a contest, but also the name of a non-profit 501(c)(3) based in New York City. Its mission is quite straightforward: to offer professional as well as education chances to budding dancers so that they may one day achieve a professional dance career. That is why this organization provides the young dancers with scholarship chances and job possibilities.

The history of this contest and nonprofit does not go that far back at all. The Youth America Grand Prix was established only back in 1999 by 2 ex-dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet, Gennadi and Larissa Saveliev. In just a short period of time, this contest exploded into the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The contest, in its short history, has already reached a few noteworthy milestones. For instance, it started the Emerging Choreographer Series to offer a chance for young choreographers to show their craft to the international dance community. The Youth America Grand Prix has already given greater than $2 million dollars to various dance schools all over the world. Finally, greater than 25,000 dancers all over the planet have taken part in various audition classes, contests and international workshops that have been put on by the Youth America Grand Prix.