Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 YAGP NYC Finals Day 4

2015 Youth America Grand Prix Finals Day 4 by Robbie Downey 

This morning I had a short warm up class with my teachers at ABT.  My classmates Danielle and Brian were there as well. We did a quick class because I had to leave early for my master class with Ernst Meisner, Director of HET Dutch National Ballet II.  After the quick warm up I ran my variation, Talisman.  It went pretty well today and if I perform it like that tomorrow I will be happy with myself.  Some corrections I got were to extend my finger tips in the last diagonal and to soften my arms in the movement before each attitude. After running the variation all the way through once, I ran the last diagonal one more time.  Once I finished rehearsing I got ready to head over to the Ailey studios for my master class.  Lisa, Danielle's mom, brought me a vegan cookie and this grapefruit, orange and lemon juice drink from Peace Foods Cafe.  They were both delicious.

A quick snap of the city on the way to Ailey Studios.

Once I got to Ailey I put my stuff down in the dressing room and headed upstairs to my class.  The studio had such a pretty view of the city buildings. I wish I had my phone upstairs so I could have taken a picture!  The class with Mr. Meisner was great, I really enjoyed it.  A big correction he gave the class was to dance more. We could all do nice turns but the positions we ended in were not exciting. Using your head and actually dancing with your upper body more can help you with the rest of the movements. Mr. Meisner said he would be watching the performances tomorrow!! This master class ended around 1:20 then my friend Mira and I went to go take a YAGP contemporary class at MMAC at 1:30.  We took a cab over and got there just in time. Honestly, I failed at most of the combinations in this class because I do not have a lot of contemporary at home.  I had a lot of fun in the class though.  

After the contemporary class I changed into some leggings and my merde shirt.  I headed outside and found my friend Mira again.  I logged into my YAGP live stream to watch my friend Danielle perform because I would not make it to the theater in time.  As we were walking towards the subway station Mira and I watched Danielle on my phone.  She looked great!  I also ran into my friend Timmorie, who is doing the YAGP intensive. The intensive is a series of master classes. It was really nice to see her.  I then made my way to Skirball on the Subway.  I didn't get too lost coming out of the subway station today.  I think I know where I am going from that stop now!  My mom and Kyla were at the theater before me watching some of the juniors.

Kyla took a picture with Lauren Lovette and also got a personalized signed poster. Lauren is a soloist with New York City Ballet. She started dancing at age 11. By age 13 they were asking her to stay but her mom thought she was too young. You can tell she loves dancing with NYCB. The event was a sponsored event by Capezio.  Kyla was pretty excited since she is attending the SAB California Summer Intensive.  

I got to the theater just in time to get my poster.  She is super sweet and really down to earth.  She said that she is also from California!  I really loved meeting her.

I then went to go watch the Pas de Deux category. My friends from Ellison Ballet, Theo and Juliette, were INSANE!! They practically received a standing ovation. They are only 15 and 12. They are both so young and already such beautiful dancers. I loved watching them perform Grand Pas Classique live. Danielle and Brian did a great job with their Bluebird Pas de Deux! My friend Jessica He (pictured below) from The Rock School in Philly performed a Pas de Deux from Coppelia. She is simply stunning and it was so great to see her perform.  The Pas de Deux group definitely has some tough competition!

Later I posted the picture of Lauren Lovette signing my poster on instagram and both YAGP and herself re-posted it! I was so excited and apparently so were my friends because everyone was tagging me! It's crazy what social media has done for sharing information and events! 

We grabbed some dinner, juice and vegan desserts from Wholefoods and headed back to put our feet up. Tonight I will steam my costume and roll out my muscles. I will prepare everything for tomorrow and go over my variations and then try to go to sleep! If you want to watch any of the competition tomorrow you can see it livestream here Be sure to close your window when done watching or your time keeps running. I should be on around 2pm EST. Here is the schedule >> CLICK HERE . 

Final round results will be announced as follows:

3PM On Tuesday - Junior Women
9PM On Tuesday - All Men (posted to facebook and twitter)
10AM On Wednesday - Senior Women

It sounds cliche but just being here feels like winning. This is such a great experience and I have seen most of my friends and have enjoyed the extra rehearsals in the ABT studios as well as the master classes taught by some highly qualified instructors! 

PS- While stretching my calves I watched my Talisman from two years ago and YIKES!! Video is such a great tool to learn from yourself and see your progress. 

You can follow me on twitter and instagram @balletbabble and on facebook and snapchat is TheBalletBabble. 


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