LINDON, Utah (ABC4) – A Utah native is making headlines after winning first place at the Youth American Grand Prix North America Finals in Tampa, Florida.
Utah Metropolitan Ballet dancer and Pleasant Grove High School class of 2022 senior, Sylvie Squires, currently holds the top international ballet dance title and her dance school, Jacqueline’s School of Ballet, earned the label of most “Outstanding School” at premier international competition.
The Youth America Grand Prix is known as the world’s largest global network of dance and provides an abundance of opportunities for dancers to perform, learn, and receive scholarships.
According to officials, Squires was also offered a contract to perform with Ballet West II from Ballet West’s Artistic Director, Adam Sklute.
“Sylvie Squires is part of a long legacy of professional ballet dancers in Utah. Her grandmother (Jacqueline Colledge), aunt (Heather Gray), and her mother (Brittnee Squires), all danced professionally with Ballet West as well as other prestigious professional ballet companies. They are also the very talented team behind Jacqueline’s School of Ballet, the official training school for Utah Metropolitan Ballet dancers,” shares the school.
Jacqueline’s School of Ballet, earned the top honor of “Outstanding School”, by beating 234 schools from around the world.
“Through regional competitions, the school qualified to send seven dancers and two ensembles of 14 dancers each to the finals. Two other dancers, Hallie Jo Johnson and Olivia Newell, also advanced to the final round and were offered multiple scholarships. It is extremely rare for a school to have three dancers advance to the final round,” they add.
At the awards ceremony the dancers were universally praised by the judges. One judge stated, “Ballet is 350 years old. It was invented in the French courts of King Louis the IV. It Survived Napoleon, the French Revolution, World Wars, and COVID, now in part because of you. You are now a part of the history of this art form. Thank you for keeping it alive. Thank you for your dedication, for practicing in your garages, your bedrooms…for taking classes over Zoom and with pets underfoot. You have shown an even greater level of commitment this year and have excelled beyond our expectations.”
According to the school, Squires plans to continue dancing with Utah Metropolitan Ballet while she finishes her senior year at Pleasant Grove High School.