YAGP 2015 FINALS!!!
We made it to NY, the big apple, for the YAGP 2015 Finals!
Each year, YAGP holds regional level competitions all over the United States, and around the world, auditioning thousands of amateur dancers between the ages of 9 to 19. The competition is fierce, and the level of technical and artistic accomplishment is at the highest, world-class level.
This is the final week of competitions, where hundreds of students from across the globe convene in NYC. Thousands of dollars in scholarships from the most prestigious schools and companies in the world will be awarded, as well as professional employment contracts for the senior division students. Making it to the final rounds in NY is a huge accomplishment—only 10% of all YAGP regional participants and video applications even make it that far….making it into the top 10 is a great achievement….receiving an award or scholarship is the first step to a rewarding and successful, lifelong career.
Brooksher Ballet’s own Emily Garner is one of the 10%…..one of those few selected to compete in the final rounds in NY. She competed against about 30 other youngsters between the ages of 9-11 who were selected from around the world in the Pre-Competitive Division. In addition to the competition, she will take master classes with some of the most influential directors, teachers and choreographers, all who are looking for the next crop of rising talent to nurture, and to open doors of opportunity.
Emily’s day of competition started with competitor warm up class at 11, free onstage time at 1:30, and then onstage for the real deal at about 2:30. Just one variation. Eight months of preparation for one minute on the stage….but that one minute can change her life!
I think back to when we started our plan back in September, and we sat down with several students (and their parents) to whom Josh and I had selected to offer this opportunity. Of about 10, only 3 agreed to commit to the time and effort that we outlined would be necessary: Emily Garner, Emily Marvin and Sophia Benyamin. Of those three, only Emily Marvin had previously danced en pointe—both Emily G. and Sophia had just been fit for their first pair of pointe shoes, and had one or two lessons by then. Their parents were doubtful that they would be ready to compete en pointe in a classical variation, but they put their trust in us…..and Josh and I are probably the only ones crazy enough to put such a big goal in front of us all! But the girls were eager to do the work, and excited about where we said it could lead. In January, we went to the first of three regional competitions…..over the course of which, all three girls made it into the top 12 of their divisions, of about 100 or so students in each division for each of the regional events. Emily G. made it all the way to NY.
And so here we are! Emily danced very well….she was lovely in her variation from Flower Festival. Many in her group competed their variations in soft slippers, where she danced beautifully en pointe. We won’t know the final results until the middle of the week at the awards ceremony after all the final rounds for all the divisions are completed. But no matter what the result…Emily, and all our YAGP girls, have grown so much over the last eight months, improving and maturing right before our eyes. We look forward to the future with you, as you all hold so much promise. We relish the chance to help you achieve your dreams, and thank you for the honor of helping you get there.