ROSWELL, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Hundreds of dancers came to Metro Atlanta for the Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition.
The auditions took place at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center during the last weekend in January 2022. They competed for scholarships that can open doors to professional ballet careers.
Young dancers from near and far trained for months for the YAGP, known as the American Idol of Ballet. Isabella Pinkston came to Roswell with a group from Nashville, Tennessee. "I've been training super hard since August, and it's a crazy time, but it's definitely worth it," she said.
Pinkston and the hundreds of other dancers, ages 9 to 19, are competing for scholarships that often lead to careers with top ballet companies around the world. "It's amazing to see YAGP, because you get to see all the amazing talent from all over the world," she said.
"It's still like nerve-racking, but you just have to like take a breath and make sure you're going slow, but it's really exciting," said Orleans Baez, a dancer from Bluffton, South Carolina.
Elizabeth Feng and her family didn't have far to travel for the competition of a lifetime. They live in Alpharetta. "The feeling of going on stage, just the moment you step on, it's like the best feeling in the world, just being able to dance," Feng said.
A panel of judges and a supportive audience watched dancers who could become future ballet stars. "Today is just semifinal, and the best of the best will be chosen for finals," said Assistant Artistic Director Alexei Moskalenko.
They're pursuing their dreams one step and one point at a time, and they're glad to encourage others.
For a list of the winners, click here.
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