top of page

Press Release

Local Odasz Dance Theatre Dancers Set Guinness World Record with Youth America Grand Prix

April, 22nd 2024


Rochester, NY — Four talented dancers from Odasz Dance Theatre in Rochester, NY, joined forces with 349 other dancers from around the world, to set the Guinness World Record for ‘Most Ballet Dancers En Pointe Simultaneously’ at the Plaza Hotel in New York.


Arabella Murphy #17 (12), Gabija Jankauskis #18,(13), Mia Worthington #22 (14), and Emmie Whyte #24 (11) proudly represented their local dance community during the record-setting performance on April 17th. Under the watchful eye of Tina Shi, a Guinness World Records adjudicator, these dancers maintained their en pointe positions for a breathtaking 60 seconds, accompanied by the timeless melodies of Tchaikovsky.


"I am immensely proud of Arabella, Gabija, Mia, Emmie, and all the dancers who contributed to this historic moment alongside YAGP. It's an honor for our dancers and our community," expressed Jessica Odasz, Artistic Director of Odasz Dance Theatre.


This landmark achievement took place as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), the premier international student ballet competition. Each year, YAGP provides a platform for aspiring dancers to showcase their talents and pursue their dreams. The record-breaking event served as a fitting finale to the competition final rounds, held at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater in New York City.


Also at this year's YAGP finals competition, Odasz Dance Theatre made an impression with three Contemporary Ensemble groups: 'Ivory Towers', 'Shadows in the Attic', and 'Subject to Noise'.  The latter achieved an impressive Top 12 ranking competing against dancers from 40 different countries and across the US. Additionally, Pre-Competitive Soloists Emmy Whyte (11) and Daisy Gullett (9) showcased their talents as finalists. Moreover, Andrea Astuto was honored with the Outstanding Choreographer Award.


Arabella, Emmie, Gabija and Mia also graced the stage during The Grande Defile at the prestigious YAGP 25th Gala on April 18th and 19th. They shared the stage with Macey Herbison and Kara Schenk who showcased their talent as part of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble).



About Odasz Dance:

Odasz Dance Theatre, in Rochester, NY, offers award-winning classical training and professional performance experiences for students aged 3 and up. Our comprehensive dance education, centered on ballet's technical precision, forms the foundation for diverse dance styles. Students undergo rigorous ballet training and explore jazz, musical theatre, contemporary, modern, improvisation, and dance conditioning in classes and private lessons.


Founded in 2003 by Jessica Odasz, Odasz Dance Theatre stands as a beacon of excellence in dance education. The school has consistently achieved recognition, receiving the Outstanding School award at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023. Outstanding teacher 2015.


Under the guidance of Andrea Astuto, who joined Odasz Dance Theatre in the summer of 2012 as the Contemporary Program Director and Assistant Artistic Director, Ms. Astuto's exceptional creative contributions were further acknowledged with the 'Outstanding Choreographer Award' at Youth America Grand Prix Chicago semi-finals in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and Finals 2022, 2023 & 2024


Odasz Dance Theatre continues to be a nurturing ground for talent, fostering creativity, discipline, and a passion for the art of dance. As the school looks towards the future, Odasz Dance Theatre remains committed to shaping the next generation of dancers and contributing to the artistic diversity of the Rochester community.



Founded in 1999 by Larissa Saveliev and her husband Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP has evolved into the largest international student ballet competition, shaping the futures of aspiring dancers worldwide. Over the past 25 years, YAGP has awarded over $2 million in scholarships, empowering thousands of young artists to pursue their dreams on prestigious stages across the globe.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica Odasz

Artistic Director


bottom of page