YAGP Tour around NYC

  • April 11, 2017
  • by Laura Di Orio

The best thing about coming to New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Finals – besides making it to the illustrious Finals – is that you’re coming to NYC! The Big Apple is quite the inspiring place to be, especially for artists and dancers and people pursuing their biggest dreams. This year, YAGP is held in multiple locations in NYC, so during your stay, be sure to make the most of it and take a little tour of the City of Dreams.

The 2017 YAGP is held April 7-14, and competitions will take place at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, located downtown near Washington Square Park; the Kaye Playhouse of Hunter College, on the Upper East Side; and the David H. Koch Theater, part of the iconic Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Along the way, there are many pit stops you can make.

Hippo Ballerina. Photo by Bjorn Skaarup, Cavalier Galleries.From Skirball, before you head all the way uptown, drop in for a dance class at Peridance Capezio Center, a gorgeous studio offering over 250 classes in all genres! Part of the fun of taking open class in NYC is that you’re in the same room with all different people – students, professional dancers, Broadway stars and even those taking class just for fun. It’s totally part of the NYC experience.

From there, take a hop on the subway. If you’re lucky, you may even see a subway breakdance performer, doing back flips down the very narrow aisle or spins on the subway pole, all the while in a moving train. They’re quite impressive! Take a little video clip on your phone to show your friends back home, or share it on Snapchat or Instagram.

Next stop? Times Square, of course! There’s nothing like this attraction – with all the lights, stores and entertainment. Check out where the New Year’s Eve ball drops, and take a gander at all the theaters showing your favorite Broadway shows. Imagine performing on one of those stages some day!

Head a couple blocks east and pay a visit to Radio City Music Hall, home to those fierce dancing ladies, the Radio City Rockettes. The building and its neon lights will make you want to dance yourself, and right behind it is Rockefeller Center, the historic landmark that holds the extra large Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree each year.

While in the Theater District, you’re so close to the Capezio flagship store, located on 51st Street. Stock up on some of your most beloved dance apparel and shoes. You’ll feel great competing in a fresh pair of tights or rehearsing in a brand new leotard!

As you continue uptown, you’ll head right past Central Park. If you’re lucky, there may be a ballerina “statue” street performer outside of the Columbus Circle entrance. But if not, photo op! Strike an arabesque in front of NYC’s most famous park.

Whether or not you make it to the YAGP Final Round, you’re still a winner if you’re sure to take in the sights at Lincoln Center – the iconic fountain, the gorgeous Metropolitan Opera House and the Koch Theater. Some of your favorite stars have graced those stages and step foot there every single day. And new to the neighborhood is an adorable statue – a bronze hippo ballerina that stands over 15 feet tall. You’ll spot her at Dante Park, directly across the street from Lincoln Center. It’s surely another great photo op.

No matter how you choose to enjoy NYC while you’re here, you’ll easily leave feeling inspired. This city is the home of Broadway, of leading companies like American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. And some day, if you keep at it, you could dance here, too!

But for now, enjoy the experience of YAGP and all of NYC.

Article produced by Dance Informa.

Photo (top): Kali Kleiman. Photo by VAM
Photo (body): Hippo Ballerina by Bjorn Skaarup, Cavalier Galleries. Source:

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