Photo credit: Sylvain Gaboury
Youth America Grand Prix’s (YAGP) First Position Club gathered on Monday evening to celebrate the promotions of two New York City Ballet dancers. Zachary Catazaro has been elevated from soloist to principal dancer and Indiana Woodward from corps de ballet to soloist. Both are YAGP alumni and had much to share about the scholarship program. Board member Suzanne Hall kicked off the evening explaining, “Youth America Grand Prix and its representatives travel the world searching for talented young ballet dancers. Our mission is to provide a platform showcasing their skill and artistry to the world’s most renowned professional ballet companies. The experience and opportunity they receive as a result of their hard work and determination is unparalleled. It is for these reasons I decided to join the organization.” The program then turned to vintage video of each dancer’s YAGP audition back when they were 14.
Board member Susan Gluck Pappajohn moderated a conversation with the dancers, sharing YAGP’s ongoing success in sending talent to the world’s most prominent ballet companies, “In American Ballet Theatre 58% of its dancers come from YAGP, San Francisco Ballet 37%, and the Royal Ballet in London 24%. Even at New York City Ballet 18% of its dancers having gone through YAGP.”
Dance enthusiasts attending included Maria-Christina Anzola and John Heimann, Valentino Carlotti, Lane Harwell, YAGP Board member Judith M. Hoffman, Caroline Hyman, Julia Lourie, Emily Reifel, George Vanderploeg, and Hal Witt.