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White Plains Dancer Competes In World's Largest Ballet Contest

Sophia Romagnoli, 8, of White Plains will compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition in the world
Sophia Romagnoli, 8, of White Plains will compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition in the world Photo Credit: Natasha Romagnoli

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Sophia Romagnoli, an 8-year-old dancer from White Plains, will compete in the finals of the world's largest ballet competition beginning April 12.

She has studied ballet since the age of 6 at Scarsdale Ballet Studio and had to get special permission to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix because she is under the age requirement. The competition is for kids ages 9 to 19.

The annual competition is in its 14th year and awards more than $250,000 each year in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide.

Romagnoli will perform a classical variation from “Sleeping Beauty” and a contemporary piece choreographed by Diane White, her private coach. White is a former soloist with the New York City Ballet who worked for George Balanchine and Carmen Banu.

The home-schooled girl is one of about 300 to be invited to the finals competition in New York City this year. The competition draws about 5,000 entries worldwide. Romagnoli takes classes six days a week and dances about 16 to 18 hours a week.

The competition is from April 12 to April 16 at the Jack H. Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

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