Youth America Grand Prix-The Prize Nobody Talks About

Sleeping Beauty Aurora
©Designed by Monica Newell, © Image Copyright Dave Moss Photography.UK

A French phrase meaning great prize, the words grand prix are perfect when describing the joy of acknowledgment when you are chosen to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix. It is a great prize to be considered for such a prestigious event in the world of dance. It is also a great prize for costume designers, ballet instructors, family members  and peers to see someone they know blossom and grow.

When I look at these young competitors, I am truly filled with awe. They haven’t finished growing, yet they have accomplished so much with their lives. It’s such a treat to follow these young dancers as they grow more beautiful with each passing season.

What is beautifully ironic is that YAGP competitors seek to win themselves a prize without realizing that in doing so, they give us a prize instead. They remind us how satisfying freedom of expression and artistic creation is to the human soul.

They Naturally Walk The Road Towards Excellence

Do you know what I find beautiful about the photo above? The self-assurance, the poise, the magnificent posture of one who knows she is already achieving something out of the ordinary.  This idea of regal-looking children who strive for excellence creates an amazing aura of hope and joy for all to witness. Depending on your generation, the hardest challenge you may have had as a kid was keeping your ears clean enough to pass inspection with Mum.

The Greatest Prize Of All-Renewal And Revival Of Dreams

Perhaps these young dancers should understand the prize that they give to others when they study hard and apply themselves to attaining a difficult goal. It kind of makes our excuses as adults seem pitiful, doesn’t it? They definitely renew the spirit to go after our dreams no matter how hard the climb.  Watching a 10 year-old bringing their dreams to fruition is a real eye opener for those ready to give up on their own dreams. Life is still fresh and believable and worth conquering.  That’s a valuable prize for all of us to think about.

YAGP 2017 European Semifinals

Wearing her own couture variation tutu by Costume Creations, this enchanting dancer becomes Aurora as she competes in the European Semifinals of the YAGP. It is an absolutely divine experience to watch the live results of the collaboration between a costume designer and her client. Bravo, young lady!

Tutu-Love Is For Tutu Lovers, Indeed

Aurora Variation Tutu
©Tutu Designed by Monica Newell | Image of Ballerina Franceszqua Ward ©Angela Brain Photography

Watching a variation performed by an advanced Principal dancer or Prima Ballerina is an unforgettable experience. In the days before the Internet and social media were invented, I got most of my ballet inspiration from books or watching The Nutcracker Ballet once a year.

Now, I find that I am over- the-moon impressed with the talent I see on these blog pages.  Even if they choose another direction in life, I hope they understand how deeply they are admired for what they have accomplished in their short years.

Not only is the talent of these gifted dancers inspiring, I love watching the clients of Costume Creations in their tutus live and in action. Don’t you?

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller.

Dave Moss Photography

Angela Brain Photography



  1. This absolutely describes this young dancer Franceszqua perfectly. She is absolutely dedicated to her art – I am so glad that her hard work and talent is appreciated far and wide – thank you for this wonderful writing

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