Youth America Grand Prix performers pirouette and plie in Salt Lake City, vying for a ballet scholarship

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hundreds of aspiring ballet dancers - ages 9 to 19 - from all over Utah participate in the Youth America Grand Prix student ballet scholarship auditions at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020.

Hundreds of young aspiring dancers from Utah descend on Salt Lake City for the “American Idol” of ballet this weekend for the Youth America Grand Prix ballet scholarship auditions. Gathered at the Capitol Theatre, ballet dancers ages 9-19, attend workshops, dance classes and go before judges in hopes of making finals week in New York City in April — and eventually landing scholarships with top companies and schools from around the world.

Founded in 1999, more than 100,000 young dancers of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds have participated in the nonprofit program’s international workshops with 12,000 young dancers auditioning annually. This year’s international auditions were held in Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, France, Italy, Japan Australia, Brazil and Korea, along with multiple North American stops, including Salt Lake City.

The auditions continue through Sunday from 9:00 a.m-5:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. The auditions are open to the public for viewing.