TAMPA, Fla. – The Straz Center’s Next Generation Ballet (NGB) was named Best School at the semi-final Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP).

This is the competition’s highest honor for a school.

More than 350 young dancers from nearly 50 dance schools across the southeastern United States competed in the four-day event.

Many of NGB students placed highly in the competition and are now preparing to head to New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals.

YAGP, the largest student ballet competition in the world, screens more than 5,000 dance students internationally in regional competitions.

NGB students will join 1,200 dancers from around the globe in the New York finals in April for scholarships and job offers.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Philip Neal, NGB is a stepping stone for great dance talent as the program prepares students for professional employment through instruction, coaching and performance opportunities.

NGB dancers have been awarded scholarships to the world’s leading ballet schools and have been hired by top ballet companies.

NGB is still accepting video applications for the summer intensive program in Tampa.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Straz Center’s Next Generation Ballet school.