Youth America Grand Prix
Annie had a special life experience yesterday. After many, many months of practice, she performed a ballet solo onstage at the Ferst Center of the Arts (Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta) as a participant in the Youth America Grand Prix. Wow, what a mouthful! Annie and her sweet friend both prepared the Cupid variation from the ballet, Don Quixote. This was a new experience for them both, and I was happy they had each other. But I'm getting ahead of myself on the pictures.
We had been asked to arrive up to two hours earlier than registration time to allow for traffic/long lines/who knows what, etc. We did as we were advised.......and we were the first ones there. Early enough that they didn't quite know what to do with us, in fact. In a word or two, they told us to come back ready in about two hours. So we went to the student center next door and waited.
I included the above pic so you could begin to see the transition from 3rd grader into ballerina. First, hair and makeup. It's cool that I forgot the brush (no it isn't! but Annie is patient with her curly-haired, never use a brush mother). Also, after she was all done up, she said, "I think I look even prettier than you now!" Ha! Don't know if that is a compliment or not, but it's cool! We met up with her friend soon after. Or almost an hour after the first pic, if you're watching that clock. They still wouldn't perform for about 90 minutes.
Then (after some more waiting, oh and also more waiting. ugh, the waiting!) it was time for costumes and warm-ups back stage. The girls had 15 minutes to get comfortable and try out a few moves. Both were quite taken aback I think at the sheer number of participants (perhaps about 60), all battling for a little corner on stage to practice. They made do, Annie calm as a cucumber throughout.
(Two of our favorite moments above--look at that skirt fly! And those arms, hands, and fingers, swoon!)
And then finally finally FINALLY, the program began. Annie was 6th to perform, and after she finished we waited and watched her friend who was 9th, and then we were OUT OF THERE! I think we were all a bit over it by that point, to tell the truth. But Annie did a wonderful job and was pleased with her own first real solo performance, which made us very relieved as her mama and pops. Here we are as we exited the theatre, all of us proud of our Anniegirl.
We then proceeded to a yummy pizza place in downtown Atlanta (Max's), a perfect end-of-the-day prize for everything that went in to making the day and solo happen (not to mention all the WAITING).
And although we couldn't take video inside the performance, I do have Annie's "dress rehearsal" from last week at her home dance studio. Each and every step in this has been learned with care, patience, practice, and hard hard work. Ballet, it isn't for the weak, is it? Tenacious two (and three, and four)-year old Annie is now exquisite ballerina Annie, and we sure love her to pieces. Enjoy!