Young artists gather for week of inspiration in Miami

 

jlevin@MiamiHerald.com

Miami dancer Melanie Ramos has been entering dance competitions since she was seven years old. But being named a finalist with YoungArts – one of 171 teenage artists selected from 11,000 applicants from around the country – is the biggest contest she’s ever won in her life.

But Ramos, who celebrated her 18th birthday on Tuesday with six hours of intensive dance classes, a light schedule for YoungArts Week, the marathon of artistic mentoring for those extraordinarily talented 171 kids, wasn’t worried about competing. "I’m just happy to be here," Ramos, a senior at New World School of the Arts, said on Tuesday. "We’re all winners."

They sure are. Those 171 young artists - in dance, music, theater, film, visual art, writing and design – go through a potentially life-changing experience this week in Miami. Not just because of the classes and coaching from famous and accomplished teachers (Ramos’ mentors on Tuesday, for classes at Miami City Ballet, were former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers Aubrey Lynch II and Nasha Thomas-Schmitt). But because the self-examination, the facing up to their weaknesses, and seeing how they measure up to – and connect with – kids as talented as they are, can give them the pride and resolve they’ll need to go on.

"You’re hungry," Lynch told his students. "You have to be this hungry all the time. Forever. Life takes that kind of commitment if you want to be in the game."

I follow Ramos and fellow finalist Jaime Korman, a designer from California, through their YoungArts experience, and bring it to the Miami Herald this weekend.

Read more Jordan Levin stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category