YoungArts Applications Are Open Now. Here's Why You Should Apply
2019 YoungArts finalist Kali Kleiman. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy YoungArts.
If you're looking for something to add to your summer to-do list alongside "wash smelly ballet bag," or "burn heinous recital costume," consider adding "apply to prestigious national arts competition" as a line item. Now through October 11, the National YoungArts Foundation is accepting applications for its annual YoungArts competition.
Each year, the foundation seeks out talented teenagers between 15–18 in order to honor their creative capabilities in categories like writing, theater, film and, most excitingly, dance. And in case you high school bunheads are worried that hip-hop or modern dance might be the focus of the dance category, note that former YoungArts finalists include Royal Ballet principal Sarah Lamb, American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane, Royal New Zealand Ballet principal Katharine Precourt and countless other ballet stars around the world.
Besides joining the ranks of notable YoungArts alumni, winners have the chance to attend regional workshops in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Selected finalists are even given the opportunity to attend National YoungArts Week at the foundation's campus in Miami, an all-expenses-paid week of workshops and master classes with artistic legends, which in the past have included ballet greats like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Wendy Whelan.
Throughout the week, finalists perform for the public, and have the chance to be considered for further recognition and monetary awards of up to $10,000. As an added bonus, a few outstanding performers at YoungArts Week are nominated each year to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts (one of the most major honors a high school senior can be given, complete with award presentations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.)
If you've entered ballet competitions before, the application should be relatively simple. The video requirements only ask for a few minutes of technical work, one classical solo and one contemporary solo—and, best of all, you can apply easily online.
As long as you're between ages 15-18, or grades 10-12, and a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident), this competition is for you. Applications opened today, and you have the whole summer ahead of you. Why not check one item off that to-do list? Learn how to apply to the 2020 YoungArts competition here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe
It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.
But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.