Dear Dance Family,
It often feels like yesterday was my last day walking out those red studio doors; some days it even feels strange to not be driving myself to dance at 4 o’clock. The thought that we are all grown up and in different phases of our lives often makes me look back at all the memories we shared inside those red doors.
Looking back, I do not think about who had which part in “The Nutcracker,” who had the best technique, or who had the best extension. What I do think about is the unbreakable bond that was created over the 15 years of dancing together, the amazing mentors I had the pleasure of working with, and the most inspiring and hard-working older dancers I was able to look up to, all of which I called my family. Some of you I talk to on a regular basis, some only once in awhile, and some I have not heard from in several years. However, each of you has been such a huge part of my childhood and made me the person I have become.
To the older girls I looked up to: Thank you for being such incredible role models for us little people. Your hard work and dedication inspired me to be just like you. It was not just one of you I looked up to, it was all of you. You each put me in awe every time I watched you dance. Whether it was someone’s fierceness or someone else’s amazing technique, I wanted to be like all of you. You were not only amazing dancers but amazing people as well. Whether you knew it or not, you were our older sisters and brothers. I learned right and wrong, respectfulness, how to present myself, and so many other useful life essentials from you. Thank you for fixing my bun when I only had two bobby pins and no hair tie, thank you for giving up your time to teach me how to sew pointe shoes, thank you for giving me something amazing to look up to. Because of you, I could not wait to be the older girl one day, who got to be a role model for the younger girls and boys.
To my amazing mentors: Thank you for being the most amazing mentors I could have asked for. You always went above and beyond for your students, and you cared immensely, more than I could have asked. Thank you for pushing me far beyond my limits. You knew I was capable of more than I thought I was. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to perform many different parts in “The Nutcracker” and the opportunity to work with some of the most talented choreographers. Thank you for working with each person individually and helping them as a dancer and as a person. Thank you for reminding me of a correction day after day when I did not correct it. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for knowing what was best for me even when I thought you were wrong. Thank you for advising us on life decisions. Thank you for sitting with us and having life talks. Thank you for going out of your way to help us with situations outside the red doors when you had your own situations to worry about. You were all second moms to us, and taught us some things our own mothers could not.
To the girls I danced next to for 15 years: You girls are the most incredible friends a girl could have. We knew each other better than anyone else knew us. You are the reason I came to dance every day. There are so many memories we share in and outside those red studio doors. Most importantly, thank you for letting me share such a big part of your life with you. Thank you for sharing in my happiest moments, and listening to my saddest stories. Thank you for the laughs, the cries, and all that lies between. Thank you for being the most beautiful people inside and out. Thank you for giving me memories to last a lifetime. Whether or not we are still talking five years from now, Thank you for being my best friends, and the people I will tell my kids about.
Each of us had our own experiences inside those red doors, but we also had each other beside us. Whether it was cheering each other on, or wiping each other’s tears, not everyone gets to be surrounded by such supporting people and that is something I am forever grateful for. Thank you for giving me all these reasons to be thankful. I cannot thank each of you enough, thank you is just not enough.
Your Fellow Dance Family Member
PRB Alumni 2014