nynydancer

YAGP youtube videos causing angst

28 posts in this topic

I just found this topic so relevant because DD10 left a comp-only studio 2 years ago, and switched to a ballet-focused studio (with a small comp team). It's the best of both worlds. Great ballet training, an attached ballet company, and a comp team.

She's currently registered for a classical and a contemporary solo at YAGP. It's purely for the experience, so there's zero expectation, especially after viewing videos of past competitors.

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Same here Phx115- in it for experience, no expectations. Our school has jumped into the yagp fray with a small, select group going only, with dd11 being the only pre comp entry. There will be no triples on pointe, actually no singles either. She's doing finger fairy, which she will focus on doing very clean and with artistry, or the best an 11 yo can expect to do. Our school is very conservative, and her coach knew exactly which videos we were watching and which were freaking us out, and offered some reassurances. It will be interesting to see if everyone is as amazing as the youtube sampling, but they've done a good job of lowering expectations for us!

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Talk about low expectations ... DD10's classical solo is the 39-second Songbird/Canary variation ... not en pointe, of course. Her contemporary is a lyrical piece to Mariah Carey's "Butterfly," not exactly the typical YAGP routine.

I admit I think she's already at a disadvantage going in, if that is even possible LOL, but she loves performing them. At this point, that's all that matters.

At the very least, the music might be a nice difference for the judges. The precompetitive classical is almost exclusively filled with Paquita, La Fille Mal Gardee, and Princess Florine-Sleeping Beauty variations.

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It is the irony of calling it a pre-comp level that irritates me. They are being judged and there are dancers selected for recognition (I don't want to call them winners.) So it is NOT pre-competitive. It is very much competitive.

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True. Call it "Young Dancer Showcase" and just have them perform for critiques. I'd love something like that for DD.

 

I wonder, though, that in this era of competition, if this would be popular.

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I have to say I am feeling better about this. The reason is that we have been watching YAGP livestream and realize that it really is true that Youtube does NOT represent reality. All levels attend YAGP, and good for them! Everyone is at a different stage of their journey. Also, even though there are huge variances in skill level or complexity in variations, the audience appears to be very polite and encouraging.

 

As for flat vs pointe, a very cleanly executed variation on flat is far more pleasing than a wobbly one on pointe. That's my big learning in watching YAGP. Pre Comps do win on flat too. In fact, I have seen some really nice variations on flat in the Jr level too.

 

But I think YAGP is not about winning really for most kids. It’s about the journey to get there and competing in a huge competition with high standards.

 

It’s true the winners themselves are quite amazing. One of my DKs is competing right after a bona fide star (social media, television, wins everything…). I mean RIGHT after. But the journey to get to the stage in the first place is what matters, as does the opinion of the directors of our school who will be watching.

 

I think your little gal should be the best little yellow fairy she can. That is a SUPER sweet variation that no one ever does. It will delight everyone watching, I am sure. The judges may be thinking, thank goodness not another (insert the variation that may be overdone at your YAGP).

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Phx115 - A junior did that variation at YAGP Vegas. :cool2:

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We just did our first YAGP and it was really nice. Both kids felt good and performed very well, even though their variations were simpler than some of the others. We did see some Youtube "stars", some faces from "First Position", and even a couple of "Dane Moms" (yes from the TV show). DD made top 12 in both categories, and DS did not place but got a nice scholarship.

 

There were other kids doing AMAZING things, and DD's coach was quite surprised to see how many young kids were doing very difficult variations (honestly I think her coach might have been out of touch with reality).

 

But both kids danced very clean and felt good about themselves. They felt REALLY good about the master classes, where they felt they did very well even compared to the Youtube stars. So to wrap it up, they don't have so much angst about those videos anymore, because they know what some of those kids look like in class. They met them backstage, and all of the kids were very nice and work very hard.

 

Phx115, I am very curious about your experience! How did it go?

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Not as well as yours. Congrats on the top 12 placements!! ??

 

DD enjoyed the weekend, but she didn't place with either routine - no surprise. I took notes - "judged" if you will - the Precompetitive classical routines, and some of the placements left me scratching my head. A boy with truly - ahem - sketchy technique placed. One or two others with poor technique and no personality also placed.

 

Her "teacher" hasn't provided any feedback, probably because the judges scored/comments, if any, addressed the same concerns I had. I really feel the studio took our money all the while knowing she wasn't ready. The worst is that my daughter saw a picture of all the studio's dancers that attended the Toronto regional arm in arm with the studio owner. Conveniently, DD wasn't in the picture. Ouch!

 

DD enjoyed some of the classes, but found the contemporary a bit ridiculous with the dancers using their bodies to spell out words.

 

I found it wonderfully relaxing compared to the usual "jazz" convention/competitions. I enjoyed showing my daughter Toronto.

 

YAGP, in my opinion, is just a classier version of the "jazz" comps. Will DD do it again? She wants to, but most likely with a different studio.

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Spelling out words in contemporary I've seen done in several different classes in different places (not YAGP). Forces them them to improv and create shapes with their bodies.

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Keep in mind I was relaying a 10-yr-old's critique of the class, I'm sure for dancers with limited exposure to contemporary, that is a wonderful way to expose them to the style.

 

My daughter has had a couple of years of contemporary, and takes an improv class, so she found the class not particularly worthwhile.

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Sorry to hear that Phx. . . .Food for thought in the future. .

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My DD has competed in YAGP for the past 3 years. She started in pre-competitive and just recently competed in the Junior category for the 1st time. She wants to become a professional classical ballet dancer and work extremely hard. We do not post videos anywhere. I had no idea what I was getting myself into with YAGP. I must say that for her the experience has been good. She has made it to the NYC finals but never place and she is okay with that... Me too. each year when she is approached by our studio, I leave the decision up to her. She loves performing, but better than that, she loves meeting and befriending other kids who have the same interests.

 

Luckily, she has made friends from all over and looks forward to seeing them again. She is having fun all the while connecting with dancer from all over the country. She has done Paquita 2x's in the pre competitive category and for her junior she did Gamzatti. Her coached chose the variation based on her strengths and tailored it to fit her. They are not concerned about how many turns and how high you can jump... they are looking for good turn out, clean lines and artistry! There are certain variations that she will never do, because of the maturity level of the dance.

 

This is the only competition that she does, other than that, she is at the studio learning. We stay away from those videos!

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