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Sarasota's Youth America Grand Prix results

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  • | 4:00 a.m. April 11, 2014
Eddie Duffy and Olivia Ratner of Sarasota Ballet School
Eddie Duffy and Olivia Ratner of Sarasota Ballet School
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The Youth America Grand Prix is the biggest pre-professional dance competition in the world. It’s the kind of competition that young teenage dancers from across the country spend at least three hours a day, seven days of the week to prepare.

This is why often times at the finals, the young dancers are scouted and receive scholarships to some of the best ballet schools. And, if scholarships and high placing designations in the finals are any indication, Sarasota is producing some of the best talent in the country.

The semifinals took place in Atlanta February, and the finals were held in New York City April 3 through April 10. Both Sarasota Ballet School and Sarasota Cuban Ballet School sent dancers to the finals.

For Sarasota Ballet School, Olivia Ratner and Eddie Duffy placed in the top 12 for their pas de deux. Yamil Maldonado who competed in the solo senior male competition was awarded a scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School. Rachel Silverman who competed in the senior solo competition received a scholarship to Princess Grace School in Monaco.

Educational Director of the school, Dex Honea, couldn’t be more smitten with his talented students’ results. Here are photos of the performance the students gave to their parents before heading to the competition.

For Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, Francisco Serrano and Gabriella Stilo took first place for their pas de deux in the senior division. Serrano also placed top 6 in the men's senior division and Stilo placed in the top 12 women's junior division. Adriana Hitchcock was awarded a company contract to Ballet West II, the only company contract offered at YAGP.

Additionally, Stilo recieved a scholarship to Houston Ballet School and Serrano a scholarship to London Royal Ballet School. Lenin Valladares recieved a summer scholarship to Paris Opera, San Francisco Ballet School and the JOffrey Ballet School. Alvaro Montelongo recieved a summer scholarship to Rock School, Alvin Ailey School and Jacobs Pillow.

Here are photos of the dancers preparing for the semifinal competition.

(Gabriella Stilo and Francisco Serrano — courtesy photo)


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