If you want to watch my Talisman run throughs before I performed Tuesday they are here:
Yesterday was finally the scholarship class for my group. There was also a warm up master class with Mr. Tchoupakov before it so I took that, too. He is the YAGP Rehearsal Director and leading faculty member. I have tried to take every class available to me and then some! The scholarship class was pretty full. It was at MMAC. Before we started the other teacher/YAGP Rehearsal Director, Mr. Moskalenko, lined us up in front of numbers on the mirror so we were in rows in order of our numbers .The combinations were challenging compared to most audition classes I have taken! The front of the room is where the judges sat. Larissa Saveliev was also present and speaking with them. A couple of people were pulled over after class if the judges had questions. But, Larissa said that doesn't mean you don't have an offer so we weren't to worry about that.
While I was taking class my mom and sister, Kyla, headed over to Yumiko where we had two gift certificates waiting. I have had my leotards covered by a sponsor for the last couple of years. Obviously, this is a huge help. Anyone that dances at this level knows the expenses involved. So, I am very appreciative to have someone so generous contribute to help offset some of the costs. So Thank you to my leotard sponsor =) I will be ordering mine online since I do not have time to get back over to Yumiko and since their selection was not as wide as it was probably a few days ago. It's a popular stop. If you want to see ways to sponsor me/us you can visit my website at www.robbiedowney.com .
If you are ever in NY for YAGP you might want to know that you can walk to Yumiko from MMAC (Manhattan Movement and Arts Center). The center is on 60th near the river and Yumiko is on 46th. So you just go up 60th and walk down Amsterdam/10th (right) and make a left on 46th.
You can then easily walk up to 9th go left and then right on 50th and you are at Grishko! My mom and Kyla headed there next to turn in our YAGP certificate from Grishko for a free pair of shoes. Kyla was fitted by Judy (we love Judy) into a pair of Grishko Nova. Here is the video.
They then headed back to get me from the scholarship class. MMAC was packed, even more than shown here. They really discourage families from waiting in there and prefer you leave. You can see why! The master class was upstairs and the scholarship class was downstairs.
On the way out we could grab our score sheets. Some of my friends had gotten theirs before me and were handling the scores well. The judging is clearly more rigid here as most had much lower scores than in the semi-finals. But it was nice to see all the great attitudes. You have to take in the whole experience and not only zero in on competing and making the final round. Because everyone here has a lot of potential and most will not make the final round, including myself. Over 80 dancers in my category would not continue to the finals. No one should be discouraged by that at all. YAGP has done a great job of bringing in the top directors in the ballet industry and to be in front of them is an opportunity and experience of a lifetime! Placing should not be your main focus at all, although it is a nice bonus if you do. =) The corrections on my score sheets were extremely helpful and to be receiving them from the leaders in the ballet community... priceless. I will be working more on my footwork, holding turn out and my arms as well as moving my upper body more in contemporary.
Another great aspect of YAGP is seeing all of your friends! It's like a reunion. Especially for those of us that have been attending summer intensives the last few years. We are all spread out but meet every summer and new people every summer. Then you meet your friend's friends!! It is so much fun and I never want to leave NYC =( Especially when I see my friends and teachers from Ellison Ballet. I love them all so much <3!
Below is me and my friend Marika from Japan. We toured together when I was just turning 15 with San Diego Ballet Company. I actually had my 15th birthday on a tour bus! She later went back to Japan and this is the first time I have seen her since. She now dancing in the states again. Good luck, Marika!
Sisters! =) Kyla has been so good running all over. Someday I hope she can do this too!
Can you imagine performing on this stage in front of ALL of your peers, their teachers and the top international and USA directors. No pressure!!! Everyone was amazing. I was cheering for them all but especially my friends. Occasionally there was a slip and the audience was so supportive. Everyone is rooting for each other. I love that!
Again.... no pressure!
Afterwards there is a party for the participants only. You need your badge to get in. Also, as far as the final round and gala your badge is also your entry for that. It is included in your fees but your family will have to buy tickets and you should do so as soon as possible! The party had a DJ and food. We had a blast.
My mom and Kyla waited outside for me. There is a Starbucks across the street but the weather was so nice they came back and waited outside. We really lucked out on the weather this week!
Here I am with Mira Larsen. Mira is also in the senior category. We were both semi-finalists for the Spotlight Program and we met at Ellison Ballet Summer Intensive.
Thanks for following along and there is more to come!! Today is awards and the Gala!
My last Talisman run throughs the day before I performed in Senior Classical round at Skirball.