Dancing with the World

Biting wind whipped through my thin jacket as my husband, Rich, and I stepped out of LaGuardia Airport on April 13. Shoulder to shoulder humanity in mass chaos pulled and pushed huge suitcases and wore giant backpacks. Air filled with the din of a multitude of languages and the sickening smell of exhaust from busses and taxis. We spied the sign indicating transportation to the Uber lot. Passengers packed the bus and stood in every available space while trying to look away from a face three inches from theirs, and corralling bouncing luggage as the bus banked around several turns.

 Four rows of Uber vehicles in the lot all seemed to be blasting horns while trying to find their specific passenger. One vehicle on the inside lane picked up a passenger and had to maneuver to the outside moving lane. New York! What a crazy place!

Our hotel In Westchester was lovely. Entering the large lobby, we knew we were in the right place as ballerinas of all ages stretched and practiced bits of dances being perfected for the international ballet competition. The best amateur dancers from all over the world would soon take the stage, our granddaughter, Addison, age eleven, among them. In the regionals of the Youth America Grand Prix she took first place in both contemporary dance and classical ballet. As a result, she won the opportunity to compete in New York with 124 girls, ages 10 and 11, from countries all over the world.

Addison is a vivacious bundle of energy with a beautiful smile and always ready to take a ballet pose. After the hard work of training six days a week for four hours each day, Addison was living her dream, a dream of dancing with the best in the world in New York. She made friends with girls from Australia, England, Japan, Canada, and others. She also reveled in taking in all she could of NYC in between master classes and rehearsal for the Gala. She found the most delectable lemon donut as we lunched in City Kitchen right before we were enchanted by a matinee performance of “Phantom of the Opera.”

A dreary cold morning for Addison’s performance arrived, but could not dampen our spirits. Anticipation thrilled us! Her master teacher, German Zamuel gave us a thumbs up—she’s ready!

“Addison Dulaney from Zamuel Ballet Studio, Colorado USA, dancing Harlequinade,” said the announcer. The music began as she leaped to center stage. I held my breath as she possessed the stage. White tutu with colorful pom-poms matched not only the character of the dance, but her personality and smile as she completed every element to perfection, strong yet delicate—filled with such grace that at the end we all asked each other, “Where did she come from?”

We were stunned. We were tearful. We were proud. We were mesmerized by the lightness of being of our dear granddaughter. We hardly noticed the wintry gloom on our ride to the airport because Addison, as usual, warmed our hearts—and by the way, placed in the top 30 in the world! Wow! What a triumph! In the photo Addison and Mr. Zamuel study video of her performance.  

In about two weeks I will be back home in Colorado. I will tell you all about my homecoming. Thanks for reading!

Linda Lundgren1 Comment