Young dancers compete in ‘American Idol’ of ballet

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — This weekend, hundreds of ballet dancers from across Nevada will audition for the Youth America Grand Prix. Organizers call it the “American Idol” of ballet.

Dancers nine to 19 years old will take the stage hoping to “wow” the judges. Dancers that pass through this round will head to New York City to compete for top scholarships.

One of the dancers competing is 17-year-old Las Vegas native Amadeus Luevanos.

“I’ve been dancing since I was basically in the womb,” Luevanos said. “I came out dancing, I always knew I wanted to.”

On Saturday, he took classes with renowned ballet instructors who will be judging the auditions this weekend.

“It’s a good starter to get a feel for the competition,” Luevanos said. “Tomorrow, we present our solos and group pieces.”

Saturday morning 8 News Now was able to see some younger age groups audition. Most of the dancers have spent their entire young lives preparing for moments like this.

“On stage it looks so easy and beautiful, but because of that there’s a lot of hard work, time, and effort that goes into that,” Luevanos said.

These auditions are all about opportunity. Thousands of dollars in scholarships will go to aspiring dancers whose families have sacrificed a lot to get them here.

After this weekend Luevanos will focus on his final audition for the prestigious performing arts conservatory Juilliard. He tells 8 news now it’s a dream come true.

“This is just the start,” Luevanos said. “I’ve put in the time, effort, work, everything to get here. But I know from here it’s just going to take off.”

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