Advice from Kali Kleiman on Competing at YAGP
As many bunheads already know, the 2017 season of the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) has already begun. This international student dance competition boasts a reach of 7,000 dancers annually has already held its International Semi-Finals in South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Japan and France. Soon, the U.S. Regional Semi-Finals will kick off in January and run through March, concluding before the New York Finals on April 7–14, 2017.
Student dancers ages nine through 19 compete in Regionals for the chance to advance to the week-long New York Finals, where more than 1,200 of the world’s most promising dancers receive in-depth mentoring and various scholarship and performance opportunities. YAGP is a proven gateway for many dancers seeking professional careers, as more than 300 YAGP alumni now perform with 80 companies around the world.
Our very own Audition Dancewear Ambassador, Kali Kleiman, offers advice to dancers who are participating for the first time.
1st Place in Pre-Competitive Contemporary at YAGP 2014; Hope Award at YAGP 2015; 1st Place in Contemporary and Classical at YAGP 2016; Invitation to study at Houston Ballet Academy and Full Summer Scholarship to Ballet West at YAGP 2016 Finals in NYC.
So where will you compete this year for regionals?
“I will be competing again in the Dallas Regional! I can’t wait to take classes and perform!”
What advice do you have for dancers competing for the first time?
“It’s important to stay focused. My first year, I lost my focus during ‘Open Stage’, when they allow small groups of competitors to test the floor before performing, so we can feel the Marley underneath our pointe shoes. With so many great competitors, it can be very distracting! Just remember that you’re there to do your best, so before you get there, train as much as possible and don’t skip the basics. Oh, and never skip breakfast; you’ll need all the energy for your performance!”