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‘American Idol’ of ballet makes its way to central Indiana

‘American Idol’ of ballet makes its way to central Indiana – Part 1

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Ballet dancers across the state gathered in Carmel Sunday morning to compete for a chance to win prestigious dance scholarships.

It’s all part of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Regional Semi-Finals, which is a traveling competition that kicked off Thursday at the City Center for Performing Arts.

“We go from city to city to find the best dancers in over 26 cities and 13 countries, and then we bring them to the final competition in New York City next month,” said Alexei Moskalenko, assistant artistic director of YAGP.

‘American Idol’ of ballet makes its way to central Indiana – Part 2

After winning in New York, many students go on to dance for American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and the New York City Ballet to name a few.

Indianapolis is the competition’s last stop in America and competition in the state is steep.

Out of the 360 ballerinas all vying for a spot to the big apple, Moskalenko says not many of them will make it.

“We are very competitive. I would say about 15 or 20 will pass to New York,” he added.

‘American Idol’ of ballet makes its way to central Indiana – Part 3

Katie Casavan trains at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory in Carmel and is a senior at a completely online school. She spends about 15 hours a day dancing.

“The plan next year is to join a pre-professional ballet school that’s connected to a company so that I can look to a career there afterwards,” said Casavan.

Casavan also says that while scholarships and the prize is good, the YAGP is also about being recognized by master teachers from all over the world and finding your place within the ballet community outside of your home state.

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