LINDON, UTAH, July 2021 – Utah Metropolitan Ballet dancer and Pleasant Grove High School class of ’22 Senior, Sylvie Squires, won the top individual honor of “First Place,” at the Youth American Grand Prix North America Finals, inTampa, Florida on May 26, 2021. The Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest global network of dance and its premier dance competition provides opportunities for dancers to perform, learn, and receive scholarships. The field was narrowed down from thousands competing at regional competitions earlier this year to 132 finalists in the senior division(ages 15-20). 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 of Utah Metropolitan Ballet. Located in Lindon Utah, Ms. Colledge oversees the school she founded in 1985, Ms. Squires is the Director, and Ms. Gray is Co-Director of the Pre-Professional division. Ms. Colledge is also the artistic director and founder of Utah Metropolitan Ballet, one of only two professional ballet companies in Utah.
Competing against 234 schools from around the world, Jacqueline’s School of Ballet, earned the top honor of “Outstanding School.” Through regional competitions, the school qualified to send 7 dancers and 2 ensembles of 14dancers 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. The school also won second place in the ensemble division with the piece, “Cortex,” choreographed by Ms. Grey.
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, andCOVID, 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.”
Sylvie plans to continue dancing with Utah Metropolitan Ballet while she finishes her Senior year at Pleasant Grove High School.