While seniors leave they dance through memories: Junior reflects on her time with fellow senior dancers

Jane Schutte

Dear Amy, Andrea, Blair, Harley, Megan and Renee,

Over the past four years, you have all made such an impact on Westport’s Academy of Dance and the people you are leaving behind as you head off to bigger and better things. Although I have danced ballet, jazz, modern, partnering and more with you countless hours a week, nothing that I could write in a letter will be able to express how warmhearted and supportive you all have been as a member of Senior Company and throughout your time at the studio. Your love and dedication to dance and to each other has allowed all of us to improve technically and form a friendship unique to any other. I first met you all as intimidating freshman, as I was an eighth grader and thought I was in for the most uncomfortable time of my life. But as I came to know you, I learned that each of you embodied an inspiring trait that was distinctive to your character.

Amy, you have taught me to be confident because it is true that a person can only go as far as her confidence takes her. I now know self-worth is the best thing to own.

Andrea, you have taught me to be brave, to be bold and to make mistakes. Then to rise back up again, because that’s what you learn from experience.

Blair, you have taught me to be thoughtful because your hard work and eagerness almost match your selflessness and constant good-nature.

Harley, you have taught me to be exuberant because you are a trendsetter with the best attitude and highest spirit that lights up a room whenever you enter.

Megan, you have taught me to be resilient because you realize that the small things are where the important things lie, and I know now to look at the bigger picture.

And Renee, you have taught me to be sincere. It is important to mean everything you say because the value of your worth is what will surround you with bliss.

You have all been like older sisters to me, and although next year our family will be torn apart by distance, I could not be happier you were the group of girls I got to spend every day with.

All the lessons you have taught me, whether you meant to or not, have shaped me as a person, and I reassure you, your spots at the barre will never be empty.

As Nancy said this past Nutcracker, “I hope you look back at your time on the Academy without crying because it’s over.  Instead be happy for all the amazing memories that will stick with you for the rest of your lives.

Love,

Jane