Yingling began studying dance (specifically jazz, tap and ballet) early on. She picked up the violin in third grade. Currently, she's learned to play the ukulele. Singing became a part of her life around seventh and eighth grade.
Yingling hit a speed bump freshman year when she landed an ensemble roll in Springfield High School's production of "The Music Man" but, at that point, she said she wasn't confident enough.
Yingling quickly regained confidence and really embraced her talent when she landed the role of Rosemary in the high school's production of How to "Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" as a sophomore.
"It was just the feedback that I got from audience members. Everyone really enjoyed the show. It was such a positive experience I just realized that's all I want to do. I want to keep performing," she explained.
Her list of roles is quickly growing. Along with high school productions, Yingling has done several productions with the Swarthmore Players Club as well as Upper Darby's Main Stage. She just finished a run of "The Wizard of Oz" and, as Dorothy, she reminded everyone "There is no place like home."
Yingling has also been seen locally in a variety of plays and musicals such as "Into the Woods", "West Side Story", "Scrooge" and "Blithe Spirit."
She's performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and Disney World. Behind the scenes, she's worked as a choreographer for different children's theaters in the area including the Hedgerow Theatre.
This Broadway lover saw her first show in fifth grade while at a dance workshop and competition. The choreography in "Chigago" amazed young Yingling. She said it's very different from some of the more "showy" choreography in productions like "Hairspray".
While she loves both styles, she said there is something "elegant and graceful" about "Chicago". Since then, she's attended about eight Broadway shows.
Her background in dancing, singing and acting make it a little hard for her to pick just one to focus on.
"I really am a triple threat," Yingling said.
She decided that studying musical theatre in college would be the best way to help develop her talents and still use the experience she's gained in local theatre. After graduating from Springfield High School, Yingling plans on attending the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
This week, Yingling will compete for the role of Delco Idol. Last year she almost made it all the way, but a last minute dress rehearsal for another production forced her to pull out of the competition.
"I never found out where I really would have placed," she said. "That's why this year is so exciting."
She said her goal is to stand out and really catch the eye of Media Theatre Artistic Director and mainstay judge, Jesse Cline. Last year's performance felt too safe, so she is carefully picking challenging songs and a knockout wardrobe.
For the first round, she plans to repeat her successful audition by giving an encore performance of Karrigan and Lowdermilk's "How to Return Home."
Yingling has additional confidence going into the competition this year. She was recently awarded a Cappie for excellent work with her high school. The Cappies train high school theater and journalism students in the greater Philadelphia area to be critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. Student critics vote and the winners are awarded at a formal Cappies Gala.
"After winning, I got so much confidence and got excited before each performance," Yingling said. "Having been on the stage since two, I know what the stage is like—its not a foreign feel. Just being familiar with how the audience reacts, what it feels like to be on stage, or in the moment has always helped me. Just the excitement I receive, from the audience's energy, has always gotten me through it."
Outside of the arts, Yingling is very focused on academics; she is one of the top students in her school and plans to spend a lot of time next year with her extra curricular activities to give her the edge needed to attend New York University. Even if she doesn't get in, Yingling wants to be in the Big Apple. She said just being there will be an "advantage in itself."
For now, she is looking to regain her place in the Delco Idol competition and said winning would be an honor.
Yingling said her greatest support is from family and friends and they inspire her to keep going strong.
"I couldn't ask for a better support team," she said.