YAGP Officially Begins Tomorrow!

It’s the beginning of the end! And while I’m not actually driving to South Carolina until tomorrow night, the competition itself formally begins tomorrow at 1:00 pm, with registration for the Pre-Competitive Category.

I am competing in the Senior Classical Category, Group 2, and so my registration time is on Saturday at 3:30. Open stage for me is at 6:30, and my category’s actual competition begins at 6:45!

I have three numbers in between my variations, which is kind of not a lot. Medora is first and Talisman is second, though, which I am very happy about. I am supposed to wear my Medora costume without any tights, but because I’ll be in a rush to change in between variations already, we’ve decided to go ahead and wear tights with Medora’s costume anyway.

Pointe shoes hanging to dry after a tough rehearsal!

Obviously, I’m very excited and very much looking forward to it all! It’s going to be a fun-filled weekend to remember no matter what the outcome, and I plan on enjoying every minute of it because – why not?! Looking back to December, when I was just deciding to do YAGP again this year, I remember now that going into it I had every intention of just going to give my best performance; going because it’s the last year I am able to; going because it’s just one more opportunity to gather more performing experience; going because the process itself is so enriching, so character-building, so important; going because I wanted to put my best foot forward and make this year a good one, with many things by which to remember it by; going because I wanted a reason to train harder and more thoroughly and with a professional attitude and atmosphere; going for myself, because it’s fun; and most importantly, or at least more relevantly, I remember thinking: “I want to go on that stage without fear, without hesitation; I want to show them what I’ve got no matter how much progress I’ve made by then on my body and on my dancing; I want to act, dance, and present myself like the professional ballerina I will soon be; and I want to just GO out there and DO it and give my very all, my very best, and make myself proud. I want to have FUN!”

I can tell you now that I forgot about this. What with all the preparations, I had forgotten my initial intentions going into this and I let stress get the best of me. Well, not the best of me! But, in retrospect, I wish I would have remembered this. I will say, though, that I am so glad I remembered this NOW, before the competition! Just imagine how awful I would feel if I came back from the competition with only the thought of “I must be perfect, I must win, I must not let ‘XYZ’ down” and only remembered my truest intentions in participating after the fact? That would feel pretty frustrating, to realize I had missed an opportunity to really enjoy myself. So while it would have made this entire preparation process flow more smoothly if I had kept these goals in mind throughout, what’s done is done, and I DID do well despite forgetting this! I once made a promise to myself that I will have no regrets – ever. No ifs, and, or buts. I will only take what lessons I can from past decisions and use what I learn to improve on myself as I continue into the future.

And so, it is with this in mind that I go forward to YAGP this weekend! I am relieved that I luckily remembered my original intentions, and excited to really put my best foot forward and show them what I’ve got! I want to thoroughly enjoy this moment, this opportunity! And so – I WILL!

It’s as simple as saying I will. It’s as easy as deciding to go for it. And that applies to everything, not just this. Just something to think about…

As I finish up this post and get ready to write a packing list, sew last-minute pointe shoes, and generally just get ready for tomorrow’s nighttime travel, I take a short pause from thinking about what lies ahead this weekend and dedicate a minute to look back. I cann’t believe that 6 months ago, I broke my foot. A mere 4 months ago I was just starting my recovery from the injury, just starting to rebuild my strength and get back into ballet; a month after that I slipped on my pointe shoes again for practically the first time since mid-June. And while it feels like I’ve been preparing for YAGP for what seems like months upon months, in reality it’s only been 2 months! How incredible is that? Look what I’ve accomplished, look where I am! Look where I am headed to and from where I’ve began! That, if only there is a single thing, is something I can truly be proud of.

I’m not perfect, but I’m 100% improved from a year ago, 6 months ago, 2 months ago, yesterday, a minute ago – constantly improving, constantly getting better, little by little, inch by inch, and before you know it you’ve walked a million miles ahead from where you started. So I am proud of myself. I am happy with where I am. I look forward to the prospect of getting even better, because that’s what life is about, that’s what you always must strive to do, forever! But right here, right now – I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m exactly the best version of me that I could possibly be at this given moment. And that’s a wonderful thing 🙂

So, here’s to an amazing, fun, exciting weekend to remember! And I’m going into it with the attitude I established from the very beginning! Cool, calm, collected, professional, and with energy to just go out on stage and have a blast!


4 thoughts on “YAGP Officially Begins Tomorrow!

  1. I love reading all of your posts and I think it’s amazing that your going into this competition so soon after an injury. You are an ambitious, hard working dancer, and I wish you the best of luck at YAGP. Have fun!:)

      • I really needed to read this tonight! I, also, just started back full time in January after 8 months of doing almost nothing due to my herniated disc. I have no expections except to have fun and dance for the Lord. I am so inspired by you and I can’t wait to meet you tomorrow! I am also in senior classical 2 and I go very first in that group! See you then!

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