Here's to the women that encouraged, disciplined, and loved on me! If it wasn't for you all coaching me through out dance and throughout my life, I think I would probably be on the crazy train to what the good-golly-gee-wiz am I doing with my life?
Thank you for the encouragement. On days when I wasn't at my best and usually kept my mind elsewhere, you were the one's to reel me back in and push me to my limits. I was not always the best listener, but when you spoke I listened. I knew you wanted me to succeed and I knew you knew how to push me to my breaking point, where I wanted to give in and leave early for the night, but I didn't because I would never forgive myself for disappointing you. Also, it seemed I was a better dancer when I was emotional. Thank you for showing me that.
Thank you for breaking me out of my shell. By the time dance really started to mean something to me and I was able to do more than just a chaînés turn and chasse across the floor, I was too scared of what other people thought about me to focus on what really was important — me actually getting better in technique and really dancing. I had my first big role in our recital and you put me in a room to work on my solo. You told me not to come out of that practice room until I knew my piece backwards and forwards, extended my arms out with the energy my character possessed, and showcased the appropriate emotion on my face and throughout my body. When I thought I had overcome these, it seemed I was no longer dancing for anyone else, but I was dancing for me. I thank you for showing me what dance can do. No longer will I be shy in front of others for they are not the reason that I dance. I dance for me and for my happiness.
Thank you for showing me that a platinum plaque and first place trophy isn't everything at competition. As long as I could root for my girls (and boys) during their solos, duets, trios, and/or big company numbers, I was usually a happy dancer. Even when a group of boys took our first place trophy for dancing to "Gangnam Style," you laughed it off and told us it was just because they were an all boy group competing against us. (However, I am still bitter we got second place because our dance was in fact better).
Thank you for disciplining me. All students have had days where they groaned and moaned about having to do their stretches and splits for the first thirty minutes of class. It seemed my days were more than others, but you didn't let me become so lazy. You encouraged and pushed me to hold that middle split for one minute longer and pushed at my legs and hips when I tried to stretch out of it. When I was at convention and was struggling to catch onto choreography, I thought I would quit, but you told me I could do it, that I was not helping myself by just sitting on the sides watching every one else struggle along as well, there was no learning in just watching, you must watch and do to really challenge yourself and grow. Thank you for disciplining me because now I know how much I can take and how far my limits really are.
Thank you for giving me lifelong friendships. When I come home from college, the girls I danced with are the first people I text to ask to hang out with me. It's different now, especially the ones that still dance, but I know they've seen me cry out of stress, they've seen me embarrassed because I slipped turning on the marley floor and landed on my behind, they've lifted me and supported my weight, they've sweated with me and worked hard, they've seen every part of me, yet they still want to be my friend and catch up on where we all last left. Those are the type of girls I want to surround myself with — the ones that love you regardless of how clumsy, graceful, beautiful, sweaty, or anywhere in between you can be.
Thank you for allowing me to be the young adult I am today that respects others and loves unconditionally. You dance with love and you live life day to day with love. Thank you for everything I am not able to express and thank you for always believing in me and never giving up. Here's to the next generation of dancers you raise!