The summer before the sixth grade I was looking for a new dance studio. After a recommendation from a friend, I walked into CDPA in Downtown Winter Garden and signed up for a class. To this day, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Over the last 7 years, CDPA has been my second home, a place where some of my favorite memories were made, with some of my favorite people.
This summer I am moving to Tallahassee to start my college experience at Florida State University as a communication/media major. I am extremely excited for this next chapter of my life, but as my time as a CDPA student comes to a close I am becoming more aware of everything I will miss.
This starts with the people. Growing up at CDPA has allowed me to make great friends who happen to besome of the most talented, creative, and funniest people I have ever met.The amazing teachers have inspired me with their love of dance and encouraged me to work hard in every class. This year I was honored to take on the role as a teacher myself and I have aspired to follow in each of their footsteps. I am very grateful for Ms. Kim for always making sure I’m organized, being a friendly face as I walk in the door, and for special ordering dance shoes for my unusually small feet. And of course I have to thank Ms. Kathryn for her unwavering support in and out of the studio, endless encouragement, and trust in me as both a person and a dancer.
I have gained so much from my time at CDPA, the life skills and experiences will stay with me through college and beyond. As an ensemble member I was forced to learn at a young age how to have a strong work ethic, good time management skills, how to be a leader, and also how to be a listener. The yearly ensemble auditions I once dreaded have prepared me for the even scarier interviews that await me.CDPA has always provided me with a safe space to be creative, a means to stay fit, and a family that was there when I needed them.
I am so thankful that through CDPA I was able to travel to great places and learn from some inspiring people. From attending daCi in Seattle to taking classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, my dancing at CDPA stretched beyond the studio, and the network of people I have met and learned from have left a huge impact on me.
Although I am not planning on majoring in dance or pursuing it as a career, I know going forward dance will always be in my life. I look forward to future classes, workshops, and more experiences I am confident dance will continue to offer. As I approach my senior recital, and conclude my time as a CDPA student I can only be so grateful I walked into that little studio in Downtown Winter Garden.