World’s Largest Ballet Competition Holds Huntington Beach Regionals – Orange County Register
Their few minutes on stage could have a lifelong impact on their dancing.
Hundreds of ballet dancers, ages 9 to 19, are auditioning at the Huntington Beach High theater this week for the Youth America Grand Prix — success would pave the way to being considered among the elite of the dance world…and scholarship and job offers.
Grand Prix Youth America is the largest ballet educational organization in the world, said April Wexelman, a teacher and choreographer who works with the nonprofit competition and scholarship program, as well as Dance Masters of America. She compared it to the Olympics for young dancers.
Performing in competition for the first time, Silvia Snow wore a tiara on Thursday as she watched the competition with her coach, Amanda Cobb, of Ballet Academy & Movement in San Clemente.
Getting ready to dance the track “Bluebird” from “Sleeping Beauty,” she said, “I’m ready to go,” her voice filled with laughter and excitement. The 11-year-old, who has been dancing for seven years, said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she was older, but wanted to keep dancing.
Dancers competing in regionals that started Thursday and continues through Sunday are performing before the Simon Cowells of the ballet world, Wexelman said of the careers that can be launched.
To reach the final, usually in New York but this year in Tampa, students must rank in the Top 12 of their age category. In the final, top talent from more than 20 other US cities and 10 international cities will compete.