Isaac's week in New York is officially over. He had a remarkable experience, both dancing and touring the city with Grandma and Aunt Mollie. Of course, I was here nursing my tiny new baby so I survived on frequent texts, a few calls and nightly Facebook picture postings.
One of the major highlights of the week included regular Master Classes with amazing teachers. These instructors were chosen from the creme de la creme including Principal dancers from Paris Ballet and American Ballet Theatre and Artistic Directors from places like The Princess Grace Academy in Monaco and the Houston Ballet.
Some classes were in the Vaganova Method (the style of ballet in which he has been trained) and some were drastically different. Some classes, therefore, were super challenging and others were intense, but comfortable. Every day he worked hard and took full advantage of these intensive sessions with the best.
One thing he hadn't expected was how much he enjoyed dancing with other boys. There were 30 boys in his division and all of his classes were with them. It was endlessly delightful for him to practice only the boy stuff, never having to sit bored on the side while the girls ran pointe combinations.
Of course, even with the fatigue of hard work and the stresses of the week, he never could help himself from dancing through New York.
Or, at the very least, standing in position.
My mom and my sister took such good care of our boy. There are no words to express how much I love them for doing what they did for him. But, I'm pretty sure they know without the words. They love their children the same way I love mine.
Some of these pictures show a little bit of the love they showered on my boy; motherly love that his mother was unable to show because of circumstance.
In addition to getting Isaac where he needed to be, when he needed to be there (no small task), his chaperon's did a fantastic job of making sure they each saw the things that were most important to them.
Lady Liberty at sunset.
A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
The view from the top of the Empire State Building.
The New York City Public Library.
Another mega-highlight of the trip was this:
They went to see Newsies on Broadway. I can't tell you how many times Isaac watched this particular musical when he was a child. He watched it over and over again--long before he ever knew he would become a dancer. Not only that, but it is a musical set in New York about boys--and all of them dance and sing. It was a perfect first Broadway experience!
Contemporary Piece: Awake
Now, as to his dancing and the competition, he did not place. This was not unexpected and it was a honor just to be invited to NY, but it was disappointing nonetheless. He danced beautifully and received some helpful critiques, he saw what he was up against, and he left more determined than ever to work hard and be better. Even though he did not place, he is still counted among the top young dancers in the world. In addition to the learning experiences listed above, he was offered a couple of very nice scholarships. We have a lot to think about!
Classical Piece: Satanella
The week was a success on many levels, but there was one text from Mollie that stood out above them all:
He said a beautiful prayer this morning, asking for a scholarship but also prayed for the other boys that they might do their best too and be happy with their performance.
I want him to succeed in ballet. I want him to work hard and find achievement in his field. But more than anything, I want him to be a good and kind person.
I am proud of the man you are becoming, Isaac.
There is more coming up for Isaac. In June, he will attend the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, FL and then he will attend a 6 week Summer Intensive with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. I will keep you posted.