Ella McClung

I’m sad to say that it’s finally senior year. Despite being a member of the ensemble team for only three years, I feel like I’ve been a part of the CPAC family my whole life. Every dancer and staff member has profoundly impacted my identity, leaving me with memories I will carry for the rest of my life. Of all the valuable lessons I’ve learned, I am most grateful to CPAC for opening my eyes. Winning various regional and national titles as a team from a small city in Missouri, I realize that you do not need a particular background to be successful. Your dreams are within reach as long as you have a strong work ethic and determination. I want to thank Tessa, Jordan, Kristen, and Chris for molding me into the dancer I am today. You all have provided a nonjudgemental learning environment, making me feel safe to take risks and grow. To the Costume Shop, thank you for pouring your creativity into every costume you design. Your meticulously crafted pieces truly bring the dances to life. To my family, thank you for being my biggest cheerleaders. I am overwhelmed with gratitude thinking about how lucky I am to have such a strong support system. You all have made so many sacrifices just to watch me perform. No matter how early in the morning or late at night, you are always in the audience. Without your constant love and encouragement, I wouldn’t have the confidence I have today to go on stage. To my team, thank you for being my second family. I have never met such a dedicated group of people. Every individual puts forth as much effort as the other, collaborating to create a clean, impactful piece. The team’s raw talent constantly inspires me to be vulnerable and experiment with movement. I will miss dancing with you all every day after school, suffering through long weekend rehearsals together, and hyping each other up for competitions. I want to give a big thank you to Nancy Laurie for providing such a beautiful facility that I have the opportunity of enjoying every day. Our team is fortunate to have so many studios to express our creativity and a stage to prepare for competitions. Finally, I want to thank Jen Lee. I love you so much. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms as soon as I walked into the studio. I cannot imagine anyone better suited for the artistic director of the ensemble team than you. You manage a perfect balance between being a nurturing leader and stretching each dancer to their fullest potential. I admire how you spend hours fine-tuning every detail in our dances, ensuring that all pieces carry out your special vision by the time we compete. Although your rehearsals can be exhausting, they have taught me to hold myself accountable and put 110% of my effort into everything I do. I love my CPAC family so much, and I wish everyone the best of luck! Chaka werk!!!