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AmyMary

If your child never places at YAGP

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AmyMary

Hi everyone, this is our second year doing YAGP. DD is 13 and doesnt place in the top 25. Actually nobody from our school ever does. Of course we bring maybe a handful of dancers vs the 30-40 other schools bring. It does seem like same schools always place.

I guess my question is if I should be concerned that she never places. She did go to a reputable SI last summer but we can't afford one this year.

It's hard to assess your own kid. Locally she gains great favor, got a local scholarship and played Clara but it is a small town. She has perfect ballet body but not ideal feet or flexibility.

For reference too, one of our students got into Bolshoi NY this year but didn't place in her division either.

We are putting a lot of money into this. I just wonder if not placing is a warning sign you don't have what it takes to pursue ballet or how relevant it is to a future ballet career. I'm not talking about being principal for a big name school either, just making a living as a corps dancer would be fine with our DD. She just wants to dance.

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vrsfanatic

Not placing in the top 25 is not necessarily a big deal, but then again, it could be. Did you have her audition this year for top tier SIs? If so did she receive a scholarship offer? Being accepted is not necessarily a gauge, but a scholarship offer is. After 50 years of Nutcracker, I can tell you, receiving the role of Clara is not necessarily a gauge either. The only way to know clearly is to go through the process.

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Noodles

Placing, or even participating in YAGP is not a prerequisite to becoming a professional dancer. There are plenty of conversations here on BT4D about it. DO some searching and some reading, hopefully it will put your mind at ease.

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AmyMary
13 minutes ago, vrsfanatic said:

Not placing in the top 25 is not necessarily a big deal, but then again, it could be. Did you have her audition this year for top tier SIs? If so did she receive a scholarship offer? Being accepted is not necessarily a gauge, but a scholarship offer is. After 50 years of Nutcracker, I can tell you, receiving the role of Clara is not necessarily a gauge either. The only way to know clearly is to go through the process.

We didn't audition this year because if she did get accepted I couldn't pay for it. Is it a bad sign if you don't get scholarships at 13?

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AmyMary
13 minutes ago, Noodles said:

Placing, or even participating in YAGP is not a prerequisite to becoming a professional dancer. There are plenty of conversations here on BT4D about it. DO some searching and some reading, hopefully it will put your mind at ease.

What is BT4D?

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Noodles

Ballet Talk for Dancers...this site. In the upper right hand corner, under your name, there's a search bar. Play around with it and you will find lots of valuable content!

And you don't need to quote the conversation!

 

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dancemaven

Not placing at YAGP is not a problem, in and of itself for a number of reasons.  (Check threads regarding the oft-posed question along the lines of “is YAGP/competitions necessary for success”)  There is more to YAGP than technique and skill of the dancers at play. :wink:

  The important question is “is your DD getting good, consistent training” during the year.  If she is, then YAGP is just something in addition to her real training and is not a crystal ball.  There are various ways to gauge that.  Again, do some searches and you will find discussions, including Pinned Topics at the top of various forums regarding how to evaluate a school.

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learningdance

I agree with VRS. . . .YAGP placement may or may not be an indicator but I certainly do think that SI acceptance and scholarships are an indicator.  Usually there is a collection of really strong dancers nationwide and you can figure things out. 

And then what if it is an indicator?  What do you do with that information?  Does you DD want to be a pro?  If so, the info tells you that you need to start looking for a strong pre pro school. We had to do that. From a small town too. And there are ones that are affordable. . . just start looking. 

Local schools often can only get students so far. 

If NO one in your school is placing at YAGP, I would think that perhaps that the school is not providing a strong Russian/classical training that is favored in that competition???  But I don't know. The real deal in that competition is the solo comp and I don't know if your school is taking a lot of soloists. 

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dancemaven

Receiving a scholarship for SIs or schools tells you something; not receiving a scholarship tells you nothing.  

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AmyMary

Our school is strictly Russian/classical so that isn't the issue. I tell you what though, there are SO many competitors. DD said the variations class was so crowded she didn't even have room to do anything full out...and that was after her division was broken up.

As for pre pro schools there are none in our area. I already drive an hour one way to the best program within several hundred miles. I would gladly send her to a residential program if she ever got a scholarship. There are literally only a handful of girls in her level so she gets plenty of solo work.

Because we live in a desirable tourist area we do get master classes from some fairly renowned retired soloists and she has received praise from them. The local scholarship she won last year was judged by a former NYCB and ballet Monte Carlo judges.

Maybe just oversaturation of potential at YAGP?

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nothingbutballet

The YAGP scoresheets can be very helpful to identify weaknesses that the judges are seeing.  Hopefully you can get some feedback from them on why your daughter is not being recognized.  YAGP certainly isn't the only path.  But our experience is that those dancers who advance to NYC Finals have tremendous potential.  The talent at Finals is impressive.  Again, not saying that a dancer must advance to have a future in ballet,  but those who do seem to have an advantage.

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MelissaGA

Placing at YAGP says something, but not placing says far less. 

There may be numerous reasons why no one from her school places in the top 24. It could be the dancers are not as well rehearsed. It could be stylistic, body types, politics, or technique or something else. 

SI acceptance and scholarship money at 13 also says something but not getting in and not getting money at 13 does not say as much. What matters is the later teen years.  Think my daughter’s first scholarship was at 17 (technically 16 but that didn’t come from a normal route).  The next season, almost became a joke with numerous scholarship offers. At 13, she had barely auditioned for a single SI as she was at a program that did not encourage dancers to go away until they were generally about 14 and up. 

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AmyMary

Thank you, this is very helpful. It sounds like our SO has also decided that we are spending far too much time and money on YAGP with little benefit to our school. It looks like she will focus instead on bringing in valued master teachers and doing dance collaboratives instead. I'm feeling this is a positive move forward from here out.

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Balletmom2000

This isn't limited to YAGP or scholarships but my DD who is dancing now with a company was recently in a studio space where numerous SIs were holding auditions. She noticed for the younger ages the moms were talking quite openly about who had what scholarships, competitions, YAGP honors, etc. She told me later she paused hearing all that and said if she could have said anything (which she didn't) that at 12, 13, etc. don't put so much pressure on dancers about SI scholarships, YAGP wins (or not) and the list goes on. There's so much pressure, burnout, overuse injuries, and simply deciding another path that detoured so many of the people that at that age seemed destined to go professional. Yes YAGP is a path but not the only one and it doesn't make up for the work ethic, determination and 'grit' needed to make it on the long path through training to professional dancing. 

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vrsfanatic

I guess I did not understand the question clearly enough.Yes, as others have said, any competition is not a complete measure of whether or not a child has the talent to "make it" in the ballet world. I have no idea how many auditions your DC has attended. Audition success rate is always a better place to gauge whether or not one may find a place in the ballet world after schooling is complete.

Scholarships and financial aid are available for many reputable residential programs. Search the websites to see what each programs offers in terms of program of study and aid. 

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