Ballerina Dreams-a request for help

Dear Family and Friends,
As most of you know, my daughter Alyda is a talented ballerina.

Alyda has been invited to train at one of the most prestigious ballet programs in the world in New York City this summer. I can't make this dream come true on my own. She needs a benefactor (or several), so I am going to tell you her ballet story, and then ask that you help her achieve her dream.

Alyda started dancing at Classical Ballet Academy here in Portland in January of 2010, under the direction of Sarah Rigles. She was 9 1/2 years old. 

She went in to her first class and fell in love. She came out of that class, looked up at me and said "That's it! I don't want to do anything else. No more soccer, no more gymnastics, no more swimming. I want to dance!"

I looked at that little girl and thought that she'd be saying that about something else in a month or two. I was wrong. Alyda loves to dance!  The studio is where she feels at home, and is her happy place--especially important after the loss of her father. Ballet is as much a part of her soul as breathing is a part of living. 

What most people don't know is how hard Alyda works. At the age of thirteen, she trains seven days per week, several hours per day, not only in classical ballet, but contemporary ballet, modern dance, and jazz.

To put this in perspective, Alyda trains more hours than most Olympic athletes. That is some dedication for you! In the four years that she has been dancing she rose from Level 1 to Level 8A (8B being the highest)--in 3 1/2 years!

This last weekend, Alyda competed as a member of a group from Classical Ballet Academy with three pieces at the regional competition of New York City Dance Alliance. They took home three Platinum awards (the highest award possible)! She is currently training for the semi-finals of Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), and will be competing with four variations (2 each, classical and contemporary ballet) on January 31st.

The next step is for her to go away to a summer intensive. She has been accepted to many prestigious programs, but her dream is to dance for American Ballet Theatre or Bolshoi Ballet. She has the chance to do that this summer and I ask that you help her to achieve that goal. You can read more about the programs here:

In order to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities, we need to raise approximately $9,000 for tuition, and, housing. Honestly, I can't do that right now so I am turning to you and humbly asking for your help.

Thank you in advance.

P.S. You can follow Alyda's dance career on Instagram at alyda_greig.


Hi everyone. We've had a few changes and a whole lot of excitement resulting from the competition that Alyda competed in in January. It was very exciting to see her talent be recognized, and though she did not place in the top 12, she is definitely on the radar of some very influential people in the ballet world!! (If you want to watch a documentary about this competition, First Position is a fantastic look at the world Alyda lives in.)

Part of what came of that experience was a change in where Alyda is going to spend the summer. She was given a very specific path to follow this summer in order to build the strength she really needs to be achieve her goal.

Alyda was blessed with a partial tuition scholarship to the Bolshoi Academy summer intensive, a 6-week Russian ballet program in Connecticut just outside of New York City. (This is AMAZING as they do not generally award scholarships outside of YAGP.) She is then to proceed to another intensive before going back to New York City in September to audition for the year-round program at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. WOW!

All of this will create some significant changes for our family, and of course it all comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

In short, I have until the end of June to pay for her summer programs which total just over $10,000. I am so very, very grateful for the contributions that have been made toward Alyda's training and ask that you continue to share her story with everyone you think may be willing to help her. Thank you so much for supporting Alyda in her pursuit of greatness! My heart is full with gratitude.

I will post pictures from the competition as soon as I have them!

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Kate Greig 
Portland, OR

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