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Ballet Talk for Dancers

If your child never places at YAGP


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Coming from a small town with an equally small studio means DD already gets many solo opportunities and stage experience, albeit a much smaller stage! I think the biggest advantages of YAGP for our studio has been seeing what their peers in a bigger city are doing. Now that we are doing collaboratives with some of those studios who win every year that becomes irrelevant.

The master classes at YAGP are an absolute joke. DD said there were around 40 other girls, after her division was split up. She couldn't do the combinations full out because they were packed in there so tight. Other students glared at her for being in their way which of course couldn't be helped. That isn't worth my money in the least. There is no way a teacher can even recognize your potential if you don't have room to do anything without running into another girl.

Edited by dancemaven
Removed full quote of preceding post.
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  • AmyMary


  • learningdance


  • vrsfanatic


  • nothingbutballet



Learningdance, that was an excellent, very comprehensive list of the benefits of YAGP. I agree very much. These were also the things that my DD's found helpful about the experience. There's nothing like shaking off the nerves that come from having highly respected dance professionals critiquing your performance (while you are also livestreamed). I didn't mean, in my post, to sound as though I didn't think there was anything valuable in competitions. But I think you are wise to point out that we should be mindful about what the most important benefits of the experience may be.  For some, it will be well worth the money. For us, it was worth the money to do at least once. For others, it is not. What I like about this forum is that the discussion gives families information like this that can help them in making that determination.

And congratulations to your DD!  


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Thanks dancerdancer . .. a new climb begins!

Amy Mary--clearly seems like it's time to LEAVE yagp and do so with a clear conscious that it will not affect your DD's future in pro dance should she choose that. 

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Those of us employed by YAGP are simply that, employed by YAGP or any other competition we judge. As always there are wonderful assets to working for the competitions and as always with every organization, things that can always be improved. 

I doubt highly, any of those who may seem in the know, will ever speak poorly about what goes on in the judges room. 

Having been involved with various competitions as a judge, teacher/coach and master teacher for at least 20 years, I can tell you that before Larissa Saveliev began YAGP, no competition existed that the professional ballet world would even consider having an association. Ms. Saveliev changed the face of classical ballet and contemporary dance for students. Parents and students are as excited about dance as those parents and children involved in sports. In short, there is a buzz about dance that did not exist prior to YAGP. Students and parents are given eye opening experiences seeing young students from all of the world. This can never be a bad thing. 

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Yes. . VRS and I think that YAGP has fueled a resurgence in interest around classical ballet in the US where neoclassical was so omnipresent???  It seems that more companies are turning torwards Russian and /or classical ADs (e.g. Atlanta, PA)? Perhaps I am wrong. 

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Not wrong, but the conversation belongs on a new thread. Might you consider reposting on a new thread?

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On 3/3/2020 at 12:05 PM, AmyMary said:

This is reassuring. Honestly I make a bigger deal out of setbacks than she does. A lot of it is the financial investment. Sometimes I question all the sacrifice, time, and money which could very well be spent elsewhere preparing her for other vocations in life...but this kid doesn't want to do anything but ballet, all the time.

I think we will just dust off our pointe shoes from YAGP and move forward, lesson learned, focusing on auditions instead next year.

I think this is 100% true -- at least based on my experience. In relation to YAGP specifically, we never expected anything, except for her to learn. She did. We have to mindful to not allow our adult thoughts about money and sacrifice to infiltrate their dancer minds too much. 

Edited by balletmomdfw
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Dancing is a joy, but it's always nice to get a part or placement that you work to achieve, much in the same way that connecting with an audience is a reward. Don't assume she was referencing trophies. 🙂

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Balletmomdfw -- LOL.  I loved your DK's statement.  I remember my DD being frustrated at whether she would EVER be able to CONSISTENTLY do the triple pirouette she occasionally was able to pull off without thinking.  The answer was "yes" (as I assured her at the time), but it probably took another 2 years of hard work to get there.  😜  

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Mine said today.   “Mom! I did two clean triples in a row! In front of the AD!”  Multiple clean pirouettes are her dance nemesis. So sometimes she calls and says: “Today I did a quint but no body saw it. Why can I do them when no one is looking?” So it’s extra awesome when someone sees!  

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motherhem they are NEVER looking when they do something they've been working towards!  😂  Glad someone finally saw.

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I always viewed YAGP more as an opportunity than a competition.  I view this competition as an opportunity to dance on stage, to be seen by people in the ballet world, be critiqued by those people and take class with these people. Another aspect of YAGP is to see what your peers are doing from all over the world not just local schools.  How they dance how they interpret a variation...etc. My DD did YAGP when she was 11/12 and she was more excited about the judges and taking class from them as well as taking class with ballet students she admired.

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We definitely went into it with that mindset. Our SO says it has changed so much since it started. When the classes are so crowded and there is no limit on enrollment only young prodigies and exceptional talent is recognized.

For our students anyway it gives them the impression that only those kids can have a ballet career. For them that is more damaging to their aspirations than whether they win or lose.

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ballet. ballet. ballet.

I’m curious, CVan. How do you know that your dancer missed top 24 by a fraction? Are scores made public at your school?

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