PBT School Student Advances to Final Round of Youth America Grand Prix

Sophie - YAGP 2013.jpg

After receiving multiple awards at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) semifinals this weekend, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School student Sophie Silnicki, 16, will advance to the final round of the international student ballet competition from April 12-17, in New York City.

Silnicki’s performance at the YAGP Semi-Finals – held March 8-10, 2013 in Indianapolis – earned her first place in the Contemporary Category and third place in the Classical Category for the Senior Division, which included 177 competitors from the United States and abroad of the 15-19 year-old age range.Silnicki’s winning solos included Gone, a contemporary piece choreographed by Adrienne Canterna (1st Place) and the variation from Raymonda Act II (3rd Place) for her classical piece.

The 2013 YAGP marks Silnicki’s sixth consecutive year performing in the competition. In 2012, Silnicki received the Grand Prize in the Junior Division of the Semi-Finals in Torrington, CT, with top awards for both her Classical and Contemporary Solos.This April, Sophie will go on to compete in the finals competition from April 12-17, at the Jack H. Skirball Center for Performing Arts in New York City.

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition and annually awards more than $250,000 in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities from 9-19 years old. Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP is also a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization created with a mission to provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers, acting as a stepping stone to a professional dance career, according to the YACP website.

“The Youth America Grand Prix brings together the most accomplished students from the across the country and abroad, so we are extremely proud that Sophie has been recognized so highly among her peers. These awards speak to the remarkable artistry, discipline and commitment that we see Sophie dedicate every day to her ballet training,” said PBT School Director Marjorie Grundvig.

Silnicki has trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School for four years under the direction of School Directors Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. Prior to enrolling at PBT School, Silnicki trained at the dance studio of her mother, Stephanie Lopez, where she continues to dance regularly.  A full-time student in PBT School’s High School Division, Silnicki has been featured in PBT company productions, including The Nutcracker, as well as PBT School’s annual spring performances.

Now in its 14th Season, YAGP has awarded over $2 million in scholarships to the leading dance schools worldwide. Over 25,000 dancers worldwide have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, competitions, and audition classes. Over 300 YAGP alumni are now dancing with 50 companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, among others. YAGP’s contributions to international dance education were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with a membership in UNESCO’s prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID).For more information, please visit www.yagp.org

Sophie Silnicki Places among Top Competitors at Semi-Finals of International Student Ballet Competition

In first international tour in years, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to dance in Israel


Dancers with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre headed back to the studio a bit sooner this summer to prepare for a pre-season performance, but it won’t take place at the Benedum, Byham or any of the troupe’s other regular venues.

This week, the company will present a mixed repertoire program in Israel at the 25th annual Karmiel Dance Festival, which will feature about 5,000 dancers from across the world. The trip will mark the first time PBT has toured overseas in nearly 20 years.

“We’re very excited about it,” artistic director Terrence Orr said.

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