South Carolina dance competition Grand Jeté attracts national recruiters seeking young dance talent

Christina Vandiver

For dance students, age 10-19, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ student ballet competition, Grand Jeté, not only offers the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and learn from esteemed dance professionals in master classes. They will also get the chance to be seen by some of the nation’s top dance university and trainee program recruiters.

“Grand Jeté is the only event in South Carolina where high school juniors and seniors can share their talents with so many recruiters in one place,” said Josée Garant, Governor’s School department chair and event director. “This is an amazing opportunity for students seeking a summer intensive or university dance program with the potential to earn scholarships.”

The current list of recruiters includes Adelphy University, Dean College, The Hartt School at Hartford University, Marymount Manhattan College, New World School of the Arts, Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins University, Point Park University, Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Aspirant Program, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Oklahoma School of Dance, University of South Florida and University of Utah School of Dance.

Grand Jeté began two years ago as South Carolina’s first student ballet dance competition. Since then, it has grown to include additional awards and cash prizes amounting to $4,000, master classes and several workshops for dance teachers. This year, students will compete virtually by age division and receive valuable feedback from dance industry professionals including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Yazzmean Laidler, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet school director Stéphane Léonard, and The Hartt School’s artistic director and professor of dance, Stephen Pier.

“Our goal with Grand Jeté is to unite our state’s thriving dance community and highlight the incredible talent of these students,” said Garant. “We welcome all dance teachers to participate in the teacher workshops, and our master classes in ballet and modern dance techniques are open to all dance students, whether they choose to compete or not.”

All of the events during Grand Jeté weekend will be held virtually on Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21, 2021. Students can register online at until March 1, 2021.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact the S.C Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Foundation at 864.282.1570 for more details.