Grace Carroll on stage at Sydney Eisteddfod in 2017. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship Winner Grace Carroll was the overall Winner of the Senior Women's age 15-19 solo category at the Youth America Grand Prix 2019.
She performed the Principal Girls solo variation from Paquita for her classical variation and a contrasting contemporary variation choreographed by Adam Blanch (Senior Faculty Member at the Tanya Pearson Academy).
On winning one of the world’s largest ballet competitions, Grace says, “My experience at the Youth America was unforgettable. I went into the competition with no expectations but hoped to perform at my best. When I won it was quite a shock to me!”
Grace was the only Australian selected for the New York Finals in this age division, and a spokesperson from Tanya Pearson Academy said, “being selected to perform in the New York Finals rounds of the Youth America Grand Prix is already a major achievement for any aspiring dancer…to be selected as one of only 20 YAGP Grand Finalist from over 116 Senior Woman NY Soloist competitors and have the opportunity to perform at the Lincoln Centre is career changing”.
Grace started dancing when she was four years old at Dynamite Premiere Academy. At 12 years old she began part time training at Tanya Pearson Academy and commenced full time training there at 14 years old.
She is now in her third year of training at the Tanya Pearson Academy under Artistic Director Lucinda Dunn and the faculty of teachers at the Academy. She has performed regularly with the Sydney City Youth Ballet Company and last year performed in the Principal role of Giselle with the Company.
Grace is passionate about dance because she loves classical music.
“There is something so magical about the combination of two historically rich art forms. For me, there is something almost transcendental about dance and feeling the music running through my veins.”
She describes herself as a naturally motivated and ambitious person. Her motivation comes from watching her favourite dancers: Alina Somova, Yasmin Naghdi, Olga Smirnova and Sylvie Guillem. She is also inspired by hearing others’ motivational life experiences and stories via podcasts and online videos – how difficulties and adversities can lead to success and happiness later in life.
Up next, Grace hopes to improve her energy and dynamics in her work and join a ballet company in the next few years.
When thinking about her experiences at Sydney Eisteddfod, Grace says “(Performing at) Sydney Eisteddfod gave me the experience and courage to compete in the big international competitions, like Youth America Grand Prix”.
To those thinking of entering Sydney Eisteddfod, Grace says, “Stay true to yourself. Remember where you started and why…this will shine through in your dancing! When you’re nervous and worried the judges and audience knows, so be calm and take long deep breaths before stepping on stage”.