First State Academy of Dance performer Angela Zielen's fancy footwork has landed her an invitation to the esteemed Youth American Grand Prix Job Fair in New York City later this month.
The YAGP Job Fair is a special audition offering young dancers, between the ages of 9 and 19, the rare opportunity to showcase their skills before many artistic directors of dance companies from around the world for the chance of earning professional work. More than 20 dance companies will be in attendance including: Royal Winnipeg Ballet (Canada), Tokyo City Ballet (Japan), Karlsruhe Ballet (Germany), Dutch National Ballet (The Netherlands) and North Carolina Dance Theater (United States).
Since Zielen is 19, this is the last year the Viola-based dancer can participate in the YAGP Job Fair, though it's also her first. Being that it's difficult for dancers to receive professional work, Zielen is hopeful she can receive her big break at the event, which will be held on April 18 and April 19.
"I'm really excited for her," said First State Academy of Dance Director Michele Xiques, who has been Zielen's dance director since she enrolled at the Academy 10 years ago. "She was born with a special talent and beauty and grace about her that's finally being recognized beyond her state."
Zielen earned her invitation to the YAGP Job Fair after she recently competed in the YAGP's ballet competition in March, where she advanced to the semifinals. Though she lost in the semis, Zielen's dance skills were impressive enough to receive an invitation to the job fair, Xiques said.
The YAGP is the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition and it awards more than $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide.
Reasons why she's great
Zielen displays a dynamic style of dance that's balanced with adagio (or slower movements) and allegro (faster movements) all anchored with fabulous technique, beamed Milford's Xiques.
In addition to her lovely footwork, Xiques says Zielen's stage presence is a great quality that allows her to sparkle.
"When she walks on that stage and smiles, it warms your heart instantly. She connects with the audience so well," Xiques said.
Xiques frequently pays her student with this glowing compliment: "You're the type of girl that could stand on stage, point your foot and [instantly] get a standing ovation."
Zielen will star in the First State Academy of Dance's production of "Alice in Wonderland," opening April 27 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts in Dover.