Hi my name is Jessica Kinnaman (@jlk_ballet on instagram) and I am 16 years old. I have been dancing since I was four years old but seriously since I was ten. I am currently training with Akhmedova Ballet Academy (my teacher is Jacqueline Akhmedova) I absolutely love it there and the training is amazing! Every year Akhmedova Ballet Academy goes to Youth America Grand Prix, so this year we went to the Austin TX regionals where I placed 2nd in the classical category, top 12 in the contemporary category and ABA won together 3rd place in ensembles! I was so excited when I recieved the scores and found out I was invited to compete in the YAGP NYC Finals as a soloist!
DAY 1 blog:
So yesterday I arrived in New York City with Akhmedova Ballet Academy and it took around 4 hours to get there so with a little music and some school work it went by quite fast. When we got to the hotel at 7pm our priorities were shower, food, and sleep so that I could be completed energized for my contemporary piece (My Secret) which I performed today.
I got to the theatre where YAGP was being held which was the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Center, around an hour early so I was able to warm-up and get ready. The studio was open when I got there so I was able to have a lot of room to practice. Around an hour later I headed back stage to do open stage for around 10-15 min. with around 15-20 other dancers where I tested out the stage and went through my piece and corrections. Also, all the staff were incredibly helpful with helping me get to the right spot at the right time. I peformed around noon and I was pretty happy with how I did other than being a bit shaky from the nerves.
After I got off stage I had a whole lot of water and headed towards the lobby where all the different ballet brands such as Sancha, Grishko, and others had tables set up. There was a lot of different free items for the competitors such as a YAGP jacket, tights, a makeup bag and more which was really nice. I also ran into a few people that I knew and talked to them for a while.
Once Akhmedova Ballet Academy and I left to get some lunch and rested at the hotel for an hour or two, we headed out to Manhattan Movement and Arts Center where YAGP was holding their work shop classes. The class was an hour and a half and there was about 40 students taking it as well. The class was a little different from what I was used to (I do Vagaonova) but other than that, it was a fun class with good corrections.
After class was dinner and back to the hotel. It was a full day! My friends and I stretched and cleaned up and then it was off to bed!
Don't forget to follow my instagram to keep up with other updates! @jlk_ballet ♡