Del Mar ballerina takes second place in Youth America Grand Prix

Del Mar ballerina Remy Loren took second place in the senior division of the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition.

On a normal weekday, Remy Loren seems like an average teenager, cheerful, unassuming and maybe a little shy. Put that same girl on stage in her pointe shoes and she transforms: Polished, poised and appearing mature beyond her 15 years.

The Del Mar ballerina placed second in the senior classical division of the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition in San Diego. At 15, this was Remy’s first time competing in the senior division at the Grand Prix, considered the world’s largest ballet competition.

Remy started dancing when she was seven years old, falling in love with classical ballet and her teachers Sara Viale and Erlends Zieminch at Ballet Arte in Solana Beach. She credits them with her technique and for really helping to sharpen her focus.

Mom Allyson said that Remy had a natural ability for dance with her leg extension, long neck and beautiful line—even though she had the inborn skills, she had to put in the hard work to nurture her talent. Remy was on pointe at age nine and at age 11 started competing and taking her ballet more seriously.

“Taking dance more seriously means I do not miss classes and I put dance first. I’m always at the studio,” said Remy, who practices most every day of the week.

“She gave up a lot and still does but it pays off,” said mom Allyson, pointing to her success in ballet competitions over the last few years. Last year, she took first in the junior classical division at the Youth America Grand Prix competition and in 2017, placed eighth in the World Ballet Art Competition finals.

“Remy is a beautiful, dedicated and extremely talented young dancer,” said Viale. “In all the years she has studied at Ballet Arte, she has never missed a class or rehearsals. In the last few years she has matured into a graceful ballerina, a strong technician and an artist.

She always works with a smile: she has determination, passion and perseverance, all the qualities for success. We are extremely proud of her accomplishments; they are very well deserved!”

Earlier this year, Remy briefly considered trading her toe shoes for track spikes. She competed in the long jump on the Canyon Crest Academy track and field team her freshman year of high school, thinking about following in the footsteps of her sister Kira, a standout at CCA who now runs for UCLA.

But Remy made her way back to the barre, realizing that she would have more opportunities for success in dance than in track and field.

Over the summer she attended San Francisco Ballet’s summer program to study and she loved the experience of being in the city, working on her technique and making new dancer friends.

Remy Loren at the YAGP competition in San Diego.

In the Youth America Grand Prix competition on Nov. 8, she performed three variations in front of five judges and a full audience. She performed pieces from the ballets “Paquita” and “Walpurgis Nacht” and a contemporary piece to the music from “Schindler’s List.”

Remy fell out of a turn in one of her variations, but calmly and gracefully made it look like she hadn’t missed a step.

At the competition, the top 12 girls were called to the stage, not knowing in what order they had placed. Remy’s friend that she met in San Francisco over the summer was announced as the third place winner.

“I was really happy for her and then they called out my name and I was so surprised because I fell,” Remy said.

Her happiness for her friend turned into excitement for herself, to place so highly in her first competition at the next level.

“I worked hard to get where I am now,” Remy said. “It’s a confidence booster to say ‘I can do it.’”

This holiday season, Remy will perform in her ninth “Nutcracker,” dancing the role of a Sugar Plum on Dec. 21-22 at the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla. She is also working up to her next competition in February, where she will compete in the pas de duex with Spencer Lenain, a senior at Torrey Pines High School.

As a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy, Remy remains focused on dance but is not ruling out exploring other opportunities.

“I would love to keep dancing in college but I also want to expand into performing arts like acting and musical theatre,” Remy said.