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The Youth America Grand Prix: Filipina duo stands out in Olympics of ballet

MANILA, Philippines — Tiffany Jocelyn Ong and Chloe ZiQian Chen stood out in this year’s The Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) held in Tampa, Florida in April, as they landed in Top 12.

In addition to this extraordinary feat, Ong emerged among the Top 24 in the Contemporary Dance Category, making her one of the top performers among the 1,700 young dance students from 35 countries at the world’s largest dance gathering.

Chen, meanwhile, won second place during the YAGP regional competitions (semi-finals) conducted in the Philippines in September 2022.

Ong also won the Hope Award, which is given to the best overall performance in the Pre-competitive Age division (ages nine to 11). This award is given to dancers who exceed all other dancers in their age division in both classical ballet and contemporary/open dance categories.

YAGP is the world’s largest non-profit international student ballet competition and scholarship program that supports and develops world-class dancers. It annually conducts regional auditions around the world and is open to dance students of all nationalities, aged nine to 19 years old.

The final round of the competition is held every April in the US. It reaches over 12,000 dance students annually through its workshops, scholarship auditions, master classes and auditions in 25 US cities and eight international locations.

Last July, the Singapore Dance Alliance held the International Ballet Grand Prix for the first time in the Philippines at The Maybank Theater in BGC, Taguig City.

Once again, Ong reaped the top awards, namely, second prize in Youth 1 Classical Ballet, first prize in Youth 1 Contemporary Ballet and first prize in Youth Grand Award. Chen got the first prize in Youth 1 Classical Ballet.

The two promising young ballerinas are represented by Hope Academy of Dance in Salcedo Village, Makati, which is headed by Mark Christopher Simbiling.

The dance school hopes that, someday, Ong and Chen will join the ranks of over 450 YAGP alumni who grace the stage of prestigious dance companies, such as Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

For more information about Hope Academy of Dance, call (0966) 960-6500 or visit its Facebook page.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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