Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 YAGP NYC Finals Day 3

2015 Youth America Grand Prix NYC Finals Day 3 By Robbie Downey 

This morning I took the subway over to Steps for a quick warm up class with my teachers. After the warm up I ran through both of my solos.  My contemporary practice went well.  The floor in the studio was a bit slippery in pointe shoes so that was not my best run through of Talisman. I slipped a few times.  I was fine with that because I was trying to focus more on my contemporary since I was competing with it today. 

After I finished rehearsing I jumped back on the subway over to the Skirball theater. I use a subway phone app called NYC Subway if I'm not sure what train to take. I have never gotten off at the subway stop near the theater before so I got a little lost walking. I eventually figured out where to go and got to the theater in plenty of time to finish my makeup.  My mom and sister met me there with the rest of my makeup, hair supplies and a change of clothes for later. They also brought lunch and snacks because we weren't sure if there was food nearby. There is a Subway, Dunkin Donuts and another small cafe type of place in the immediate area in case you need to know for future reference. 

They had a long table set up inside the lobby, but to the side of the theater so it was out of the way, where you can finish your make-up. There are also dressing rooms provided downstairs. I watched some boys trying to do their stage make-up. That was pretty entertaining =) 

I'll write a future blog about my custom leotard from Canada.

After I got ready I stretched a bit more.  I was still pretty warm from morning class.  I was both excited and nervous to perform my contemporary piece. I've only been working on this piece for just over a month! I was also first out in my group.  It is nice to go first because you do not have to wait and watch the other dancers before you.  Also, the judges just had a break and are somewhat refreshed.  It is a bit nerve racking to go first because you are setting the bar. There were about 100 girls in the Senior Womens Category. They were from all over the world (Brazil, Republic of Korea, Australia, France, UK, Romania, Switzerland, Japan, USA, Germany, China, Canada, Estonia, New Zealand and Eukraine ). 

I took a quick picture with my teachers Sara and Erlends before heading backstage with them for the open stage time. Once I got backstage they lined us up outside the stage door.  They then called our number and asked us some questions regarding our piece.  They ask you if you start onstage or offstage, and if you come on from stage left or right.  I had to wait a few minuets for my open stage because they let the higher numbers go first.  On open stage you get to feel how the floor is.  For me it was pretty good, it wasn't too slippery or too sticky.  You also get to practice parts from your solo.  Some teachers stand on the side and give their students corrections. They eventually told us to clear the stage and I then stood in the wing waiting for my name to be called.  Even though my piece is two and a half minuets, it felt like it went by super fast!  I couldn't really see any of the judges, just lights. But they are right there at a table directly in front of the stage and they are from MAJOR companies and schools. Often, Larissa Saveliev sits near by and Ginnadi pops in and out too. They are the founders of YAGP. No pressure! They are both actually very nice. 

Overall I am happy with how my contemporary went.  The only thing I am a little upset with was my last pirouette.  It was just not my best compared to how I usually did it in rehearsal. It happens. 

In this picture I was sending a few snapchats.  Add me at TheBalletBabble. I've been posting regular updates there!

After I competed we went to go find some coffee.  On our way to a coffee shop we ran into Mr. Ellison on the street.  Ellison ballet is where I have spent my last 3 summers. We didn't talk for long because he had to get to the theater for my friend Melissa's open stage.  

Don't worry I am not extremely addicted, but I do love some coffee every now and then! I can't drink it right before class or a show because I feel too jittery or unstable. But, I have read that it is part of some professional dancer's pre-performance routines. 

After we grabbed some coffee we headed back to Skirball.  I waited in the hallway for a bit because I did not want to watch the other competitors dance. Even though I already competed I still get nervous and in my head if I watch the other girls.  We eventually went in to watch my friend Melissa Chapski and she looked beautiful.  After the senior women contemporary finished the senior men went on.  I also had some friends in this group and they were amazing! The guys are fun to watch because some of them are so strong and so  intense!

With my sister Kyla.

Scout met us at the theater and caught part of the senior men performances. 

Here I am with my friend Melissa Chapski who is with Ellison Ballet.  It was so nice to see her perform. Her artistry was spot on! She is one of the most talented dancers I know. Before I left I also talked to Ms. Forrest one of my teachers from Ellison Ballet. She has been a great instructor and mentor for me along with Mr. Ellison. 

Thanks for reading and following along. I will post tomorrow and also have 2 guest blogs for you, another senior womens competitor and a junior competitor. 

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