2019 YoungArts finalist Kali Kleiman. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy YoungArts

2019 YoungArts finalist Kali Kleiman. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy YoungArts.

YoungArts Applications Are Open Now. Here's Why You Should Apply

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.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search