My ballerina is competing in YAGP finals in NYC this weekend!

My ballerina, Jewel, will be competing with her ballet ensemble on Sunday night in NYC at the Youth America Grand Prix. She will be on stage on Sunday, April 14th between 9:40-10:30pm EST,  and if you're interested, you can watch her online here (you will need to purchase a block of time for online viewing).

The schedule doesn't specify the exact time her ensemble will perform. But the name of her dance is "Tivoli Gallop" and her team is from Classical Dance Center in Tustin, California.

Jewel is one of the tallest dancers so look for THIS graceful girl in the back doing all the lifts! :)

Additionally, Jewel will be performing in the YAGP Gala on April 18, 2013. If you're near NYC, you can purchase tickets here.

We've worked really hard to fundraise and send Jewel with her team to this prestigious competition. It's a huge accomplishment for her and I'm so proud. Jewel maintains a 3.8 GPA, dances 14-16 hrs. per week AND helps clean her ballet studio to pay for lessons. I am so proud of her!

Unfortunately, I simply couldn't afford to accompany her (or leave my 4 other kiddos behind), so Jewel is under the loving care of her teacher and a couple of other moms. I am so thankful for our loving, supportive ballet community.

Still, last night, Jewel called me in tears because she's so homesick. All the other dancers have their moms. And, being the California girl that she is, she forgot to pack a good jacket (I know I checked her bags before she left and thought I saw one in there!!). But it's 40 degrees and rainy in NYC! She's like, "MOM! IT'S A FULL-ON BLIZZARD OUT HERE!"

So, we had a nice, long talk and she cheered up.

This is her first time in NYC. It's such an amazing accomplishment in the dance world to make FINALS for YAGP. I told Jewel I was so proud of her and I knew that all my friends (YOU!) are proud of her, too. She was like, "Really?" And I said, "YES! You are doing amazing things with your life!"

That cheered her up. I'm so proud of her. And I want to thank all of you for your kind support over the years as we have scrubbed toilets, cleaned the ballet studio and scrimped and saved to make Jewel's ballet dream possible--she is such a gifted and beautiful dancer. I only wish I could be there to see her in person!

But next year, her teacher wants her to do a solo so I will definitely make sure I attend with her!

Yesterday was her first rehearsal:

Today she rode the NYC Subway for the first time:

I'm going to tell Jewel to read this post and I know she'd love to see your encouraging notes for her in the comments box (hint, hint). Thanks, friends! xo. EE.