Dancer to Dancer

Get to Know YAGP 1st Place Winner Elisabeth Beyer

(Photo by Rachel Neville, courtesy Ellison Ballet)


Last month, Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program student Elisabeth Beyer came in first place in the senior women's category at the Youth America Grand Prix's New York City Finals. Pointe touched base with the 16-year-old Rye, New York native to hear about her advice for competitions, how she stays calm backstage, and what's next for this young dancer.




What made YAGP different this year?

I was so excited for YAGP this year because it was my first year as a senior. I started YAGP when I was nine, so this was my seventh year doing it; it's always been a part of my life as a dancer.

Which variations did you perform?

For regionals I did Coppelia Act III variation, Grand Pas Classique and a contemporary piece by Barry Kerollis, and then for finals I did Grand Pas Classique again and a contemporary variation by Joshua Beamish. For the final round I did La Esmeralda. You don't have to do a different variation at finals, but my teachers and I wanted to show off different sides of my dancing.

What were the finals like?

I had so much fun this year. The whole time I was at finals I was smiling. I had such a great time preparing backstage and dancing onstage, and seeing all my friends. After all of the work I put into preparing throughout the year, it was nice to see that pay off when I performed.

Have you entered other ballet competitions?

Last year I competed in the Moscow International Ballet Competition at the Bolshoi Theater. That was also an amazing experience. And I'm going to the USA IBC in Jackson, MS, in June, so I'm looking forward to that as well.


Beyer in pas de deux class at Ellison Ballet. Photo Courtesy Ellison Ballet.


What are some tips that you have for dancers just entering the competition circuit?

I definitely get nervous before I go onstage, but it helps to think of competition as a performance, just in front of judges. I also say a Buddhist mantra 10 times, which is my lucky number, before I go onstage. It helps me to calm down.

What do you wish you could have told yourself as a nine-year-old when you were starting out at YAGP?

Even though it's lots of hard work, ballet is my dream. I think that it's easy to get caught up in the stress of competing, and it's nice to take a step back and realize that in the big picture it's just one competition.

Beyer with her brother. Photo Courtesy Beyer.


What does a regular day look like for you?

I commute into the city, so I take my brother to school and then carpool with a friend who's also at Ellison. We leave at 8:00 am, and depending on the traffic, get in around 9:15. We stretch till 10:30 when our technique class starts. We have pointe next, then a lunch break. In the afternoon we have workshop, which can be a rehearsal for our showcase, or more pointe class, or jumps or conditioning. In the evenings I usually have a private rehearsal with a coach for an hour; the time varies, because it's hard to get studio space in New York. In both directions in the car I do my homework. I'm in 10th grade and I'm taking all my classes online. I sort of miss normal school, but I have some tutors from my old school who help me with my math and English sometimes, which is is helpful.

What's next for you?

We have our spring showcase for the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program this weekend. Then I'm going to the Jackson IBC in June; I'm trying to finish all of my finals before I leave. Then I'm doing two weeks at the Ellison intensive before going to San Francisco Ballet's summer intensive for the first time.

What are some things that you like doing outside of ballet?

I love reading and I like to bake and do crafts and hang out with my little brother when he's not too busy. I'm currently reading a book in my favorite series, The Selection.

What's your dream role?

I have three: Giselle, Kitri or Juliet.

Show Comments ()
Dance Videos
Screenshot via Vogue

Dancer and choreographer Sherrie Silver is living her best life. The 23 year old, who's most recent choreography was featured in Childish Gambino's controversial "This Is America" music video, continues to bring African dance to the forefront of pop culture with the help of Vogue magazine. Brooklyn is the perfect backdrop for this dancing queen as she breaks down five of her favorite Afro dance moves: the Gwara Gwara, the Hipjook, the Neza, the Snakula, and the Shaku Shaku.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Lucky you! You get to spend a week full of dancing with amazing choreographers, teachers and dancers! As exhilarating as this is, you need to know how to get the most out of your camp experience in order to create those memories that last a lifetime.

Keep reading... Show less
Dear Katie
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a lefty turner, and am more flexible on my left side than my right. My one-sidedness is especially noticeable because most people in my classes are stronger on the right side. How can I even myself out?

Camryn

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Once competition season has ended, it can seem like forever until you're ready to compete again. Don't let the down time between competition seasons drag on. Dance conventions are an easy and fun way to learn new skills, meet inspiring choreographers, and stay involved in dance all year long. Showstopper's Dance Conventions offer dancers an experience you cannot get anywhere else. Here is why you cannot miss Showstopper Dance Conventions!

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods
Via @joandjax on Instagram

Summertime...and the dressing is eeeeeeeeeeasy. When you're heading straight from the dance studio to the pool or beach, you don't want to be messing around with complicated cover-ups. That's where these 5 MVPs of the romper room come in, bringing their breezy style to your pre-class, post-rehearsal, and everything-in-between looks. Oh, and three out of the five are on sale right now. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and romper-ound! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

The Soline, by Wear Moi

Via wearmoi.us

This oversized cap sleeve romper with a half zip in the front features four-way stretch and extra-comfy wide leg openings. You can get it now on Wear Moi's US website for less than half of its original price.

Dance News
Quad Squad performing their routine on the "WOD" stage (screenshot via YouTube)

Last night's episode of "World of Dance" proves that there's literally an endless supply of talented dancers in this world. We're on week SEVEN of Qualifiers, and each week, we're continuously blown away by the competitors. Last night was no different, as eight more groups (all of whom deserved to advance) vied for a spot in the Duels.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
The cast of All Styles (courtesy Shout Factory)

What do you get when dance all-stars like Fik-Shun Stegall, Heather Morris, and Christopher Scott join forces for a movie? That'd be All Styles, the new dance film that just might give Step Up a run for its money. And you can watch the trailer exclusively right here.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Adam Rose/FOX

At the start of last night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance," 41 dancers remained. An hour later, we had a Top 20. And then there was a BIG FAT TWIST. (We'll get to that.)

The 41 still-standing Academy dancers showed up at the Dolby Theater in L.A. ready to tackle three rounds: contemporary choreography with seven-time Emmy nominee and one-time "SYTYCD" contestant Travis Wall; an "epic group routine" with jazz choreographer and La La Land she-ro Mandy Moore; and a last-chance solo showdown. Here's what happened.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Quad Squad performing their routine on the "WOD" stage (screenshot via YouTube)

Last night's episode of "World of Dance" proves that there's literally an endless supply of talented dancers in this world. We're on week SEVEN of Qualifiers, and each week, we're continuously blown away by the competitors. Last night was no different, as eight more groups (all of whom deserved to advance) vied for a spot in the Duels.

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods
Via @joandjax on Instagram

Summertime...and the dressing is eeeeeeeeeeasy. When you're heading straight from the dance studio to the pool or beach, you don't want to be messing around with complicated cover-ups. That's where these 5 MVPs of the romper room come in, bringing their breezy style to your pre-class, post-rehearsal, and everything-in-between looks. Oh, and three out of the five are on sale right now. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and romper-ound! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

The Soline, by Wear Moi

Via wearmoi.us

This oversized cap sleeve romper with a half zip in the front features four-way stretch and extra-comfy wide leg openings. You can get it now on Wear Moi's US website for less than half of its original price.

Dancer to Dancer
USC Kaufman Students in Class (courtesy Glorya Kaufman School of Dance At University of Southern California)

You can still dance at a high level while attending a school that has no dance department. Just ask these two recent grads—their post-college careers bloomed because they took charge of their dance education.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
"My comeback on 💯" (via YouTube)

We've always been impressed by Ciara's very legit dance skills. But for "Level Up," the first single she's released since 2015, the star decided to create a dance vid that is actually on another level.

How'd she do it? By recruiting choreographer extraordinaire Parris Goebel and her epic ReQuest Dance Crew. We knew "Level Up" was a banger from the second we first heard it, but by their powers combined, Ciara, Goebel, and the ReQuest dancers make it into an absolutely irresistible dance jam.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Photo by Sophie Elgort, courtesy Isabella Boylston

Last year, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston decided to bring world-renowned ballet to her hometown of Sun Valley, ID. The first three-day Ballet Sun Valley festival featured stars including Maria Kochetkova and Misty Copeland, performing solos, pas de deux, and a world premiere by Gemma Bond. Audiences raved so much that the festival will continue this year, July 17 and 18. The talent list has expanded: There'll be 25 dancers from companies including the Paris Opéra Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and New York City Ballet, and the festival will again offer a day of free dance classes for local students. Dance Spirit caught up with Boylston to get all the details—and to find out what starting a ballet festival is really like.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Company class at the Royal Ballet during 2017's World Ballet Day livestream (via YouTube)

Bunheads everywhere, rejoice! It was just announced that the always-epic World Ballet Day will be back for round five (FIVE) this year. And the big moment's going to be here faster than you can say "gargouillade."

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Adam Rose/FOX

At the start of last night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance," 41 dancers remained. An hour later, we had a Top 20. And then there was a BIG FAT TWIST. (We'll get to that.)

The 41 still-standing Academy dancers showed up at the Dolby Theater in L.A. ready to tackle three rounds: contemporary choreography with seven-time Emmy nominee and one-time "SYTYCD" contestant Travis Wall; an "epic group routine" with jazz choreographer and La La Land she-ro Mandy Moore; and a last-chance solo showdown. Here's what happened.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Fik-Shun and Cyrus getting in on the Fortnite fun (via Instagram)

A year (and five seasons) after being released, the video game sensation, Fortnite, is here to stay—and so is the totally unexpected dance craze it's launched. The game's comical dance moves have sparked legions of real-life recreations by everyone from professional actors to World Cup players.

And now even seasoned dancers like "SYTYCD" stars Fik-Shun and Cyrus have jumped on the Fortnite train:

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored

Giveaways