Local dancer Angela Zielen will be performing at the YAGP Job Fair on Thursday April 18 and Friday, April 19. Initiated in 2011 in New York, the YAGP Job Fair is an extension of Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students nine to nineteen years of age.
The YAGP Job Fair is a special audition for young dancers to be seen in one place by many Artistic Directors from companies from around the world and was attended last year by over 25 directors as over 35 jobs were offered. Traditionally, dancers that score a ninety-five or above are invited to participate in the Job Fair. Angela, who did not receive that score, was spotted by officials of Youth America Grand Prix the day after last year’s competition at the held classes, and was invited to join the Job Fair the following year.
“I am so excited for this, it is such a unique opportunity,” commented Angela. “I wasn’t expecting the invitation at all so it has been a lot to take in.”
Angela is planning to double her ballet classes, spend twice as long in the gym and mentally prepare before the competition on April 18. Nineteen years old, Angela has been dancing with local dance studio, First State Academy of Dance, for ten years and has worked with Director Michele Xiques closely for several years.
“There are two things that make a good dancer, technique and artistry,” commented Ms. Xiques. “Angela’s artistry, the way she performs and the way she relates to the audience is what makes her stand out.” Last year Angela won the Artistry Award during the Delaware Dance Festival that saw over 300 dancers from the Tri-state area.
This will be Angela’s last chance to perform for the YAGP as she dances for dance companies and artistic directors from around the world. If successful she will receive a contract and continue her love for dance as a career.
“I would like to dance professionally overseas or here at home but attend school at the same time,” commented Angela. Angela is currently a Freshman at the University of Delaware studying Cognitive Sciences and Linguistics and is preparing for a career as a Speech Pathologist.
“I really want to thank my Director Michele,” commented Angela. “She has helped me so much along the way and has been a prominent figure in my life.”