Now in its 15th season, YAGP has come a long way from Saveliev's early days of cold-calling ballet schools with invitations.
YAGP, for students ages 9 to 19, takes the opposite approach: School and company directors on the jury and in the audience award scholarships or contracts to promising dancers, whether they win a medal or not.
On the rosters of the world's major ballet companies, you'll find more than 300 YAGP alumni.
Stanton Welch, the artistic director of Houston Ballet who often serves on the YAGP jury (the company's school also awards scholarships), confirms that she is single-minded about this goal.
To his credit, one of Kulev's male students, Tate Lee, recently nabbed third place at a YAGP
event, partly because of his exceptional beats in a variation from La Fille Mal Gardee.