Saturday, March 14, 2015

My First YAGP experience

Day One

After school on Thursday, I started packing. It's not a good idea to pack 30 minute before you leave but, whatever. 


When we got to the airport we found out that our flight was two hours and thirty minutes delayed and were were there an hour early. My afternoon consisted of Instagram, frozen yogurt, and sleeping. When we got to the hotel I went to bed right away. I had a big day coming up.

Day Two

My open stage was scheduled to be at 12:30, but they were 15 minutes behind so it didn't start until 12:45. Incase any of you don't know what open stage is it is a 30 minute period where the dancers and their directors go behind the curtain to practice their piece. Although there wasn't a lot of room, it was honestly so helpful for me because I got to feel the floor decide how much I could travel. My contemporary was first. I think it went well. I have been doing the same contemporary for 3 years now but this time it was en pointe. It seems like a long time to be doing the same solo but the other one that I learned was not even close to being ready in time. As for my classical variation which was the second shade from La Bayadere. Surprisingly I wasn't so nervous the second time. Which is good. I see YAGP not as a competition but as a way to get more comfortable performing under that kind of pressure. 

My judges were:

Claire Baulieu- She has studied at The Ailey School and in France. Later she began teaching modern dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. In 1986 she became the artistic director of the Bagnolet Dance Conservatory. Today she continues to teach at the Paris Opera Ballet and others around the world.

Kelly Boal- She trained at SAB and earned a promotion to soloist at the New York City Ballet. She left NYCB to be in guest performances as the Dutch National Ballet and Ballet Manila. She taught at the School of American Ballet and served at PNBS as a part time faculty member.

Richard 'Wes' Chapman- He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1984 as a corps member. He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1989. While at ABT he performed leading roles in works by many major twentieth century choreographers. He also founded the Alabama Ballet School and their summer program. Later, he returned to ABT as the ballet master and then the Artistic Director of the Studio Company.

Allison Debona- Growing up she trained with the Parou Ballet Company and Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. After graduated high school she attended Indiana University. In 2007 she joined Ballet West and is now a Soloist. She now spend much of her time teaching across the country.

Gary Lewis- Was raised and trained in the US Virgin Islands. His professional career began at the Capitol Ballet of Washington, DC. He made is Broadway debut in the "Lion King."

Maria Mosina- Was born in Moscow and graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. After graduation, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company and was immediately picked for Principal roles. In 1995 she was invited to join the Colorado Ballet as a Principal Dancer. She is now an active teacher across the United States and in her 19th year with the Colorado Ballet. 

Claudio Muños- Was the ballet master of the School of Ballet of the Santiago Ballet in Chile. As a professional dancer he danced principal roles in Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and New York. He was awarded "Best Teacher" at the Interdance Competition in 1996. Today he is currently the Ballet Master of Houston Ballet

Stephanie Saland- She entered The School of American Ballet at age 15. Three years she was invited by George Balanchine himself to dance with New York City Ballet. She has danced many leading and principal roles in Balanchine's ballets. After retiring, she became a freelance instructor teaching all around the world.

Getting ready for my contemporary!

Day Three

Today was just a day of rest for me. I watched my friend perform her variations and then I went shopping before awards. While I was watching the senior category I watched this girl and it was obvious that she had brand new pointe shoes. When she went to do a battement to the side her foot slid under her and she fell square on her back. It made a huge sound and a gasp went through out the audience. I wouldn't doubt that she really hurt her self. Moral of the Story: don't wear new pointe shoes on stage. At the very end of the night was awards. There were so many people on stage it wasn't even funny. They call up your studio one at a time by alphabetical order and my studio starts with a W! I had to stand for so long in high heels and it sucked. Next year I will definitely be wearing flats.

Look at all those people

My friends and I

Day Four

Finally, there were the classes.  They started at 10 am but I got there at 9:30 to get a barre space. But people already beat me to it. I was also the youngest in the 14-15 year olds. They kicked out the 14 year olds that were born in April and on and my birthday is March 31. 

My first class was ballet technique with Kelly Boal. It was hard to do the Balanchine style, but she was understanding because most of us had not been taught it. I thought it was a very fun class and she was very nice. My second class, which was my favorite, was variations class with Stephanie Saland. She is a really cool teacher and taught us a very fun balanchine variation (I can't remember the name.) Finally my last class was contemporary technique with Gary Lewis. For the first half of class we did floor barre. Boy, was that the hardest floor barre class that I've ever taken. Then we did a combination choreographed by him

That is a wrap on my 2015 YAGP Experience!

Flight from Denver

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