5 BIG MISTAKES YOU CAN MAKE AT THE YAGP… that are preventable…

mistakes at the yagpYes, they are preventable… So with the new stunning issue of a Ballet Magazine out, tons of emails and DM’s on Instagram are pouring in… Since, I left to YAGP, a Ballet Education has 1,295 unread emails that I am ferociously trying to get through… plus publish a new issue, plus making the book does well, plus the May planner… plus my own teaching and coaching….

I should be insulted since no one is just clicking my consult fee, but instead I take to blogging… Seriously, you all want the help or advice with your child, but no one wants to pay for my time? Then when I don’t answer within 24 hours and you get mad?  Moms, please… goodbye. *Bloop*

  1. YOU SHOULD NOT PUT EVERYTHING YOU HAVE INTO THE YAGP & FINALS… and I quote, “My husband and I took out a credit card to afford to go to finals and my daughter got nothing. I am so mad at the YAGP. No one offered her a scholarship and barely was talked to.” —- seriously? NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, should be taking out a credit card to attend the YAGP. Credit scores are forever…Ballet careers are not. That is the reality. If you are putting everything you have into the YAGP, think twice. You just spent about 5k to attend the finals, when that would have easily covered a summer intensive. All you would have had to do is just pay the $35 audition fee…
  2. DON’T COME WITHOUT A COACH… “I didn’t want to pay for my coaches expenses. I already paid her enough in private lessons.” Good for you, thinking you paid your coach enough in private lessons. But trust me, they are probably still way under charging you. The average coaching fees right now for private lessons for variations run about $150/hr+Studio Rental. Also, having a coach at the YAGP makes a huge difference in terms of networking. The first night of YAGP FINALS the YAGP hosted a teachers/coaches/judges meet and greet… Here, people asked coaches about their students and about their school and their ideas on ballet. Also, coaches are easily able to navigate backstage, get updates, and make life a little easier for you… rehearsal spaces are booked through them, arranging extra classes outside of finals, the list goes on. The coaching fees are high because the coach is going to be out missing 10 days of teaching, plus hotel, plus airfare plus a million other things… this has to be something YOU consider when deciding if you are going to do the YAGP.
  3. “I spent fifteen hundred dollars on a custom tutu that she wore three times.” NO ONE, and I mean NO one should be paying that much money for a tutu. Especially if it is for competition… If your studio doesn’t have costume rentals, then just go in a leotard and rehearsal platter. The YAGP actually doesn’t require a costume to compete, so you could just compete in a leotard if you really wanted to. Technique speaks louder than sparkles. And yes, you were only going to wear your tutu maybe twice… if you are lucky enough to be invited to finals. I am assuming they did two semi-finals, and a final.
  4. “My daughter did five pirouettes and didn’t make final round.” … DON’T FEEL ENTITLED TO WIN…you are only letting yourself down and your kid. Don’t feed them information like more pirouettes equals better ballet. That is wrong, just wrong. Like super wrong. You are only setting your kid up to fail miserably in ballet. Technique, finesse and fundamentals will always outweigh the tricks. End of story. Regardless of tricks, or technique, remember that ballet is subjective when it comes to artistry, it is why the YAGP assembles a larger pannel for finals, so that more eyes and more opinions are given.
  5. “I am at a loss for words. My daughter feels like she wasn’t even looked at in the classes and wants to give up on ballet.” Note, her daughter is 10, and was not even in the pre-competitive solo division, she was in an ensemble and the grand de filet. Well, logicially, your daughter is in the ensemble classes, which were way overcrowded to begin with. Second off, the scholarships are given out to those competing in the classical and contemporary solo categories. Thirdly, she is 10 so there is no where for her to go anyways. Fourth… even if she was not corrected individually, she needs to be trained to take everyone’s corrections as her own to help her grow as a dancer. Fifth… if that is a thing when listing, you are not realizing, that the YAGP finals had over 1,000 kids between soloists and ensembles. Sixth… if your daughter is going ot give up after one week of “tough” classes, then maybe she isn’t cut out for ballet. Even at the age of 10, the competition is stiff at the YAGP.

Here is what REALLY irritates me… 

Parents are constantly emailing me complaining about the YAGP and the politics of the YAGP. So, I sit back and have to ask, “Then why go? No one is forcing you to go… Companies are still holding auditions on the regular calendar… Summer intensives are audition from January to March and people are getting scholarships…”

If the answer is “experience”, then the results shouldn’t even matter to you.

If the answer is “to win”, then you have realize that the YAGP has their own agenda to further ballet and what they are looking for, so you have to accept just that.

If the answer is “to get a scholarship”, then why not just do the auditions like everyone else? They are cheaper.

If the answer is “to proove your kid has what it takes”, well you won’t know till your kid is sixteen or seventeen and being asked to join a company or second company.

If the answer is “to be famous”, you are in this all for the wrong reason and you should re-direct. I would say there are only a handful, if not just two ballerinas out there right now with worldwide fame outside of ballet: Misty Copeland and maybe Tiler Peck…

The YAGP finals are there for the creme de la creme of ballet to recruit the creme de la creme of talent out there. We are talking about beautiful bodies, good facility, gorgeous feet, wonderful musicality, interesting artistry, and full of potential. It isn’t about the pirouettes, or how high the jumps are… it is about the ability to turnout, lengthen the line, cleanliness and control. They are looking at where is this dancer going to be in a year with a scholarship, in four years with a scholarship to Princess Grace or Royal, and what is the longevitiy of their body inside ballet. BUT THIS ISN’T THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE A CAREER… AND REMEMBER… the YAGP isn’t the end all, say all… they aren’t the only ones who are deciding careers… 

And finally…. bigger isn’t always better… and I am talking about hairstyles. The hairstyles were out of control at YAGP this year. Remember french twists and french rolls for ballet should be tight and enhance the head and neck… not take it over. Sock buns at the YAGP should be automatically disqualified. At this point in ballet, we should all just be able to do a good old fashioned bun. Finally, if the tiara is as big as forehead… its too big. Seriously… a lot of questionable hairstyles at the YAGP this year. Remember… in ballet the ideal is a small head…

4 responses to “5 BIG MISTAKES YOU CAN MAKE AT THE YAGP… that are preventable…”

  1. Omg! You are so right and spot on. I wish everyone would take your advice. To many people it’s about outdoing the competition by $$$, not on technique and of course talent. Before the competitors even get to YAGP, parents are trying to out do the other parent from their local studio. It truly makes me sick and quite frankly makes not watch or care about YAGP. Thanks for such great advice. Looking forward to the May planner.