Prince Harry Took Pre-Ballet; Couldn't Quite Keep Up

Screenshot via @sussexroyal on Instagram

It's a great week to be following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle). First, on Tuesday there was the surprise launch of @sussexroyal, the couple's very own official Instagram account. Now, we have some seriously adorable photos and details from Harry's solo visit Wednesday to the YMCA South Ealing in West London. Among other things, the dashing royal made friends with a baby and tried out his pre-ballet skills. What a time to be alive, friends.

As People reported, Prince Harry was at the Y to learn about how that organization supports local young people, and to participate in a roundtable discussion for The Royal Foundation's "Heads Together" campaign on mental health. (Meghan has no public appearances planned for this month, as she's coming very close to the end of her pregnancy.)

While visiting the YMCA, Harry found time to drop in on a pre-ballet class for 4- to 6-year-olds. As one does, Harry asked a 5-year-old named Emanuel what his favorite part of class was, to which Emanuel replied "the ballet challenge." Apparently, this involves balancing in a parallel retiré position with a plastic disc on your head. A CHALLENGE INDEED. As another tiny dancer reported with delight, His Highness did in fact wobble upon attempting the challenge. Welp, you can't go pro in a day—no matter what dance-movie montages might have us believe.

The ginger prince even stuck around after class to socialize with his fellow dancers (#relatable). Major takeaways included 5-year-old Arya's assertion that she's been doing ballet "for 100 years." Arya, we know how you feel.

Before departing, Harry told the class, "Well done! You were fantastic," and that in his opinion, they all deserve gold stars—"except you," he teased our challenge-loving friend Emanuel, who'd unfortunately chosen that moment to zone out and look the other way. Didn't know you were such a savage when it comes to classroom etiquette, Harry!

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Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

This week, over 1,000 young hopefuls gathered in New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, giving them the chance to compete for scholarships and contracts to some of the world's top ballet schools and companies. Roughly 85 dancers made it to the final round at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday. Today, the 20th anniversary of YAGP came to a close at the competition's awards ceremony. Read on to find out who won!

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After a string of ballet-company rejections, Jennifer Sydor (here in Laura Peterson's "Failure") found success in other areas of the dance world. (Stephen Delas Heras, courtesy Jennifer Sydor)

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Her one job offer came from Kim Robards Dance, a small modern company based in Aurora, CO. After attending KRD's summer intensive, Sydor ended up accepting a yearlong position with the troupe. "I was relieved and happy to begin my career," she says. She's been working as a contemporary dancer ever since.

In the dance world, rejection is part of the package. That doesn't make it any more pleasant. But whether you didn't get the Nutcracker role of your dreams or you weren't picked for a job despite feeling like you aced the audition, you can emerge from even the most gut-wrenching "no" smarter and stronger.

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