YAGP’s mission is to support and develop world-class dancers ages 9 to 19 of all ethnic, economic, and geographic backgrounds by providing scholarship auditions and educational and performance opportunities, and serving as the world's largest global network of dance, connecting students, teachers, schools, dancers, dance companies, and audiences.
YAGP reaches over 7,000 dance students annually, fulfilling its mission of dance education through scholarship auditions, master classes, alumni services, educational and outreach activities, performances, and films in approximately 15 U.S cities and 5 international locations. Each season culminates in the week-long New York City Finals, where more than 1,200 of the world’s most promising dancers receive in-depth mentoring and greater scholarship, professional, and performance opportunities. The New York Finals closing night “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala, taking place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, features the students showing the most potential alongside the stars of today’s leading dance companies.
Some of Youth America Grand Prix’s significant achievements are:
- Over 50,000 dancers have participated in YAGP’s workshops, scholarship auditions and master classes worldwide.
- Over the past 15 years, YAGP has awarded over $3,000,000 in scholarships to the world’s leading dance schools.
- Over 300 YAGP alumni are now dancing with 80 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Washington Ballet, among many others.
- To identify promising young dance talent, YAGP conducts auditions in 15 cities in the United States and in Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Japan, among others.
- YAGP’s bi-annual Job Fair is a special audition program giving YAGP participants and alumni a chance to be seen and hired by the directors of the world’s leading dance companies.
- YAGP’s Emerging Choreographer Series provides an opportunity for upcoming choreographers to present their work to the international dance community. The series has featured Camille A. Brown, Marcelo Gomes, Adam Hougland, Susan Jaffe, and Justin Peck, among others.
- YAGP’s educational Gala series, Legends In Dance, celebrates artists who have helped shape dance history. Honorees have included Ballerina Assoluta, Natalia Makarova, Master Teacher Peter Pestov, and Danc Legend Vladimir Vasiliev.
- In 2005, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized YAGP’s contribution to international dance education with a membership in UNESCO’s prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID).
- In 2007, YAGP became the first organization in the 50-year history of Italy’s prestigious Spoleto Dance Festival to present performances by dance students.
- In 2011, YAGP was featured in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series. YAGP’s presentation, “How Judges Judge,” gave audiences a rare insight into professional evaluation of dance artists.
- YAGP aims to develop new audiences by bringing dance into mainstream culture. In 2010, it became the subject of First Position – an award-winning documentary which followed six YAGP participants on their journey to YAGP’s New York City Finals. In 2013, YAGP produced “Ballet’s Greatest Hits” – a filmed Gala performance showcasing excerpts from six of the most beloved classical ballets. Narrated by Nigel Lythgoe, the film combines live performances with exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with dancers, historical background and rare archival footage.