The best thing in my life is now gone


Dear Dance Creations,

One minute you’re here, the next, gone. I thought I had four more years before I had to face the fact that I wasn’t going back to you, my dance studio, the following week. You have been my home for ten years. And throughout that period of time, I have learned how to be a dancer, be a better person, and have made friends who are like family. 

As a Kindergartener, my friends and I would crawl around your crowded lobby, filled with parents patiently waiting for their children to finish their lessons, and other students rehearsing their routines before their class periods began. We, on the other hand, spent the duration of our break on all fours pretending to be bears. The desktop where the receptionist worked stuck out far enough for us three little girls to use as their cave. Sometimes, the “momma” bear would go out to hunt in the back area of the studio where some of the dancers would be and bring back our food. Sometimes, she would bring us with her. That was always the highlight of my night.

When I was in kindergarten, and first grade, my friends and I would play what we called “The Vampire Game,” where we would run around under your lights and try not to be tagged by the “vampire.” 

Towards the end of seventh grade, my ballet teacher told me I would start pointe in the summer. I had wanted to dance with pointe shoes since the first time I saw the “big girls” doing it. As soon as I got in the car, I cried like a baby, overwhelmed with joy.

I met my best friends through you. We did everything together. I did three different tap duets with my closest friend, we traveled to competitions together, we stayed in the same hotel rooms, and we tried to trick our parents into thinking that we were one another. When we traveled together, we would play the alphabet game. We were very competitive. I never won. One time, it was a tied game. We were both on the letter “N.” I found it first. My friend got so mad that she shouted an expletive in front of both of our moms and my six-year-old sister. She got called by her middle name. I cried from laughing.  

If my friends and I had a long enough break between our classes, we would walk to the Chinese restaurant down the street to pick up dinner. Instead of going the easy way on the sidewalk, we would walk up a steep, vine-covered hill that connected two parking lots. It was idiotic yet fun at the same time. As we trekked down the mountain on our way back, we would concentrate as to not spilling our Sprites and tumbling. Idiotic…yet fun. 

Along with the countless memories, I learned how to dance. I have to leap up, not out. It’s up like a rocket, down like a parachute when I’m doing a battement. I can’t forget to spot when I’m turning, or else the result is horrific. When I am tap dancing, it is extremely helpful to keep my feet close and to bend my knees so I can keep up with the tempo and still get all of my sounds in. Tap terms like firecracker, shiggy bop, and echo wing. Ballet terms like arabesque, grand jete, and fouette. These I will bring with me everywhere, even when it is not necessary. 

The memories, the dancing, and now the life lessons you have taught me. Confidence is key. I cannot worry about what others think of me. You only live once, so do everything to the fullest potential as if this was your last day on earth. Be kind to everyone. There is no reason to be mean, especially if you want to be treated with the same amount of kindness.

And now, as I drive by where you used to be, I no longer see your name on the building. The building that has been my home for ten years is now empty. Empty because of COVID.

Memories are now packed away into boxes. 

No matter where I go after this, nothing will ever replace what I had with you. And to my dance family, I love each and every one of you with my whole heart. The best moments in my life have all been spent with you. 

It is near impossible for me to wrap my head around the fact that it is over. And how quickly it ended. I will miss every second spent in the little building on Old 28th Street. But it is now time for me to say goodbye.

With all the love in the world,