Five local dancers competed this month in Pennsylvania and Maryland, earning themselves honors and scholarships to further their pursuit of dance. Talyor Hogan, Savannah Nagy, Glory Tucker, Katie Field and Owen Lawson performed at international competitions, making Milford proud of their accomplishments.
Taylor, Savannah and Glory performed at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) two weeks ago in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The annual competition is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. Started in 1999 by world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP is a non-profit organization that aims to “provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers, acting as a stepping stone to a professional dance career.”
Savannah Nagy performed in the pre-competitive auditions at YAGP in front of a world-class audience. Savannah, who danced in the nine to eleven year old group, has been taking ballet lesson since the age of four. She performed a kitri variation of Don Quixote.
“I really like to do Spanish dances because you can add your own attitude into it,” commented Savannah. Locally she has performed with both the Diamond Dance Company and the First State Ballet Theatre, dancing in The Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz.
Glory Tucker, student at the First State Dance Academy performed a classical dance of Princess Florine from Sleeping Beauty. Eleven-years-old, she has been dancing for three years.
“It was very exciting and scary on stage,” commented Glory. “I really love it.”
While there, Glory and Taylor auditioned and were accepted into the Rock School of Dance Education in Pennsylvania, a school known for developing dancers for the premier dance companies of the United States. Taylor received a full scholarship to their five week summer program, from the Director Bo Spassoff.
“I was excited and nervous but relieved when it was over,” commented Taylor. “The other dancers were very competitive.” Taylor placed top 12 in the Junior Division in the Youth American Grand Prix competition performing a ballet and contemporary piece.
Two additional students of First State Dance Academy in Milford, Katie Fields and Owen Lawson, competed at the New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) competition in Baltimore, Maryland. Incorporated in the early fall of 1993, New York City Dance Alliance was founded by Executive Director, Joe Lanteri, and invests in the future of young dancers helping them to “take the next step in their lives.”
Katie has danced with First State Dance Academy for eleven years. “I love being up on stage because I get to present myself to the judges,” commented Fields. “Everyone was good so it was nerve-racking. I think my performance was good.” Katie received a High Gold ranking for each solo performance, only .5 points away from the highest honor of platinum.
Owen Lawson’s solo performances at the NYCDA earned him High Gold, the Triple Threat Award and acceptance to their Summer Dance Intensive in New York City.
“I was a little nervous to begin with but I was fine, I love to perform,” commented Owen. “It was a lot of work and I am glad it is over.”
Four of these award-winning dancers will be showcased during a free public performance of First State Dance Alliance’s Mid Year Dance Concert, at the Milford Senior Center in downtown Milford on Sunday, January 26 at 3 pm. For more information, please contact Director Michele Xiques at 302-422-2633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.