YAGP Finals

November 28, 2001

After receiving the Youth Grand Prix Award in Youth America Grand Prix’s Los Angeles Regional, I was already looking forward to New York. The environment in New York was so inspiring. After a few days my time came to perform in the Junior Women’s Contemporary category. It all happened so fast: One moment I was doing my hair, the next I was warming up backstage and then I was performing in front of some of the most recognized people in the dance world. Pretty soon I was panting off stage.

Overall, I felt my performance went very well and I was pleased. In between our competition performances, we had classes to show directors of prestigious companies what else we could do. I tried my very best in all the classes because I knew this would be key to receiving scholarships.

A few days passed and I was up to perform my classical variation, Medora from Le Corsaire. I was a little nervous before the dance, but once I ran onstage I felt somewhat comfortable. Even though my variation didn’t go how I wanted it to, I couldn’t rewind and perform again. I was a bit disappointed but I still wanted to enjoy the time in New York so I didn’t let it get to me that much.

Days went by, and it was finally time to find out who would be performing in the final round. I was impatiently checking YAGP’s Facebook page where they were going to post the numbers of the competitors. Soon, the numbers and names were up, as I scrolled through the list I spotted mine! It was so relieving to know that the judges liked me enough to let me perform once again!

When the day of the final round came I felt very nervous. I was trying so hard not to be because I knew if I were nervous, my performance would not go smoothly. Everyone who was backstage for the final round was so nice that it made most of my nerves go away. By the time they called my number to perform I felt confident and ready.

I was enjoying my performance—until I slipped on the stage and messed up in my a la seconde turn sequence. It went downhill from there. I was really hoping I to do well in my performance and I felt horrible. But we all have those days, right?  

Suddenly, after the performance, I was informed that I was to perform in the ending Gala the next night. I was shocked, but extremely happy and filled with excitement! I wasn’t going to mess this performance up. I was determined!  

The next night came, first the awards ceremony, then the gala. I was ready in my “hair and makeup” for the performance. I stood proudly with my studio and just hoped for the best. Junior Women awards started to be announced, and I was called up for the top 12! I was so happy I accomplished that, but soon they announced 3rd place—and my name came after! I was more than joyful and proudly took my trophy! Along with third I also was announced for a scholarship, which was icing on the cake!

The curtain went down on the stage and it was time to get into my costume. I eagerly waited for them to start. I was up first and my variation went really well! With determination to be happy, it gave me courage to do well in front of all those people! Youth America Grand Prix was such a learning experience for me this year that I can’t wait to start learning a new variation for next year! Everyone was beautiful in New York and they all inspired me!


Off to dane,

Tyler Donatelli