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Youth America Grand Prix - Where Fate Is Determined & Stars Are Born

4 May 2016 1:06 PMLauren Nairne
Youth America Grand Prix - Where Fate Is Determined & Stars Are Born
In one room my sport loving husband was glued to the NFL pre-draft commentary show and in another I was glued to my much smaller computer screen watching the finals of the Youth America Grand Prix.   We had a little giggle as we discussed that it's a very similar nerve wracking night for both our respective interests. 
In one intense week every NFL team in the league drafts the upcoming stars of the future.  They have little or no idea what will happen in those few nights and how their lives will be changed forever.  
Stories of struggle, pain and and overwhelming sense of relief are showcased. Where years and years of hard work finally pays off. 
For the esteemed world of Classical Ballet the Youth America Grand Prix does the exact same thing.  In a week's worth of competition, classes, auditions and performances the fate of senior dancers is determined and the pre-competitive and  junior divisions step onto the stage in what can only be compared to their debutant  performance for the world.  Contracts and scholarships to some of the worlds most prestigious ballet schools are awarded to hard working Ballet dancers from all corners of the globe.  Competitions like YAGP and Prix de Lausanne are what can shape a dancers future in the industry. 

It must be however a bittersweet week of emotions for the teachers and parents of YAGP dancers.  In what i'm sure is a large percentage, dancers are awarded scholarships to schools and junior company's away from home.  Although I'm sure there is plenty of time to understand throughout your dancers many years of training that the ultimate dream may see your son/daughter living on the other side of the globe, it still can't be easy.  As parents you want to see your kids chase their dreams of course but there must be a little bit of sadness as you listen to the MC announce that your son/daughter has been offered an incredible opportunity on the other side of the world and may live there for the noticeable future. 
It's a reality that's not just experienced by ballet mums but dancers in other genres also.  Cruise ships, international contracts, touring musicals shows and either training or other opportunities all see dancers floating out of the nest often younger than a normal teen.  It  can be hard for the family but also exciting with the new plans for future holidays to visit your dancer abroad.
Teaching our dancers to be independent, confident and street wise with a basic level of life skills (cooking, cleaning etc) will help make their transition into the professional world in any genre much easier.  We don't want to see talented young professionals journeys cut short because we haven't equipped them with the skills they need as young adults to move on independently.  
Congratulations to the Australian representatives at this years Youth America Grand Prix Competition.   You have made your teachers, studio community, parents, friends and family very proud.   Above all else though you should be proud of yourself.   Regardless of the outcome, you made it to the prestigious competition as a direct result of your hard work in the studio nobody has done that for you.  Bravo!
For full YAGP finals results CLICK HERE 
For NFL Draft Results CLICK HERE :)