The 24th annual Youth America Grand Prix finals are officially over. This means there were some big wins, big losses, but most importantly: ballet world has chosen their top dancers of the 2022-2023 season.
The big win was no surprise as it went to Prix de Lausanne winner Fabrizzio Ulloa Cornejo (16) from Ballet Theater Basel, Switzerland receiving the Grand Prix Award. Great that he won since his school is closing due to multiple allegations. He dazzled us with his turns, his jumps, his feet and his attack in contemporary dance. So, no surprises on his big win. Questionable whether or not he should have been allowed to compete, or allowing any of the PDL winners to compete, but they were there.
First place senior women went to Ana Luisa Arantes Negrão (18) from Balé do Teatro Escola Basileu França, Brasil, while first place senior men went to Daniel Alejandro Guzman (19) from Fort Lauderdale Youth Ballet, USA who swept contracts to Houston Ballet (apprentice) and ABT Studio Company. If you don’t follow him, start now, he is going to be a star.
A big surprise of the afternoon was no Junior Grand Prix was awarded. However, as predicted Chae Eun Lee (14) from Yewon School, South Korea took first in the women’s category and João Pedro dos Santos Silva (14) from Balé do Teatro Escola Basileu França, Brasil took the first prize in the men’s category.
In the pre-competitive category, the big win, the Hope Award, went to Elite Classical Coaching‘s Morgan Ligon (11).
First place pre-comp women went to Tiffany Emmanuela Tanugraha (10) from Marlupi Dance Academy, Indonesia. First place pre-comp men went to Shinji Mitoma (11) from Watanabe Buber Ballet Academy, Japan.
The Shelley King Award went to Ana Lorenza Blanco Peniche (13) from Chasse Ballet, México.
The Makarova Award went to Sophia Koo (15) from Southland Ballet Academy, CA, USA.
The Outstanding School Award went to Korea National University of Arts in South Korea.