Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Celebrates Susan Jaffe, Next Artistic Director Of American Ballet Theatre 

“My friend Larissa Saveliev is one of the most important people in ballet today.” said Susan Jaffe, the next Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), “What she and her organization, Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), does is vital to the future of Ballet.”

The occasion was a YAGP cocktail party honoring Susan, the first celebration for her new position, on Tuesday evening, September 16th, 2022, at the magnificent art-filled residence of Caroline and Ed Hyman.

Larissa returned the compliment, saying, “Susan has been a dear friend of YAGP since 1999 — our beginning. She has inspired countless young dancers as a YAGP guest artist, adjudicator, master teacher, scholarship presenter, choreographer, and founding Trustee. We are thrilled to have Susan return to New York City as Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre. The dance world is grateful for her and her talent.”

The sentiments were echoed by YAGP Board Chair Richard Osterweil and YAGP founding board member Sergey Gordeev and followed by hoots and applause by guests including  Maria-Cristina Anzola, Afsaneh Akhtari, Peter Bacanovic, Barbara Brandt with daughter Skylar Brandt, Joan Hardy Clark, Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, Linda and Martin Fell, Joanna Fisher, Judith Hoffman, Allen London, Linda, and Ed Morse, Irene Shen, Allyson Tang, Barbara Tober, and Ali Wambold as well as the new CEO of City Center, Michael S. Rosenberg.

YAGP is the world’s largest ballet scholarship organization; a non-profit that scouts talented aspiring dancers all over the globe, connects them with the world’s top schools, and facilitates their careers as professional dancers.

In the 23 years since its inception, over $4.5 million has been awarded in scholarships to the world’s leading dance schools, with up to $500,000 now awarded annually.

Over 150,000 young dancers – ages 9 to 19 – of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, auditions, classes, and dance awareness events. Today, more than 12,000 young dancers audition annually worldwide.

More than 450 Youth America Grand Prix alumni are now dancing with 80 professional companies around the world.

Photo credit: 1) Susan Jaffe, Allyson Tang and Maria Cristina Anzola. 2) Alexander Polzin, Sergey Gordeev, Emily Reifel, Jonathan Rondinelli and Zachary Weese. 3) Dimitri Drone and Krysten Hammond. 4) Maxim Beloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko. 5) Jonathan Beukelman, Larissa Saveliev, Gabe Hoffmann and Mazie Hoffmann . 6) Ed Hyman, Larissa Saveliev, Susan Jaffe, Caroline Hyman and Sergey Gordeev. 7) Ali Wambold and Barbara Tober. 8) Laura Lobdell, Foo and Joanna Fisher. 9) Shannon Caspersen and Arlene Shuler. 10) Caterine Sanchez. 11) Caterine Sanchez. by Patrick McMullan.

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