Wow. It’s crazy to think that just six years ago I danced at CPAC for the first time, nervous and unknowing of the impact it would leave on me forever. CPAC quickly became my second home, and the dancers in it my second family. I found my best friends here, the people that I have the comfort of knowing will be with me the rest of my life, no matter where we are. The atmosphere at CPAC is unmatched. The love for each other, and drive and passion for dance is something special and hard to come by; I will always be grateful to have been a part of it. First, to Mrs. Nancy Laurie – I can’t thank you enough for the endless support and generosity you channel into CPAC. You have given me and my teammates opportunities I never thought possible and make all the things that are perfect about CPAC a reality. Jen Lee – I’ve never met a person with as much love in their heart as you. Thank you for the hugs that make my days, and for always believing in me, investing in me, and being the biggest cheerleader. Thank you for the countless hours you pour into the team that allow us to perform to our fullest potential and thank you for always reminding us to dance for ourselves. You have shaped this team into what it is, and we could not do it without your love, support, and guidance. Kristen – “nothing to prove, everything to share”. Thank you for the light you shine at competitions and throughout the year. You make ballet fun. Thank you for teaching us to actually dance instead of just going through the motions, and for letting us watch Cedar Lake videos at the end of every year (even though we’ve seen them a million times:)). Tessa – You’ve helped me grow into a new solo each year. You’ve taught me the value of consistency, and have always kept me motivated to work to be a better version of myself. Thank you for pushing me outside my comfort zone, and for always staying on me about using my face ;). Jordan – Your artistry truly is a gift that I can’t thank you enough for sharing with me. Taking class from you each week and having the opportunity to perform your pieces has been an honor. Chris – Thank you for the potential you’ve seen in me as a tapper ever since you first came to CPAC. You’ve consistently pushed me past my limits in the best way. It’s been amazing to learn from you. To every individual I’d had the honor of learning from – I hope I am even just a little bit like you when I grow up. To the Costume Shop – you all continue to amaze me every year with your work. The costumes bring our dances to life and your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you so, so much. To my family – my biggest supporters through it all. Thank you for giving me the chance to do what I love every day. I’m so lucky to have had you guys cheer me on all these years (whether in person or on a live stream). I love you all. And lastly, to my ensemble team – I’ll be honest, I really don’t even know the true definition of the word Chaka, but to me, it will always represent the love and passion this team exudes. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to have you all. We’ve been through everything together – from early mornings and late nights at the studio with literal blood, sweat, and tears, to convention weekends, and an unforgettable week at The Dance Awards. Thank you for creating an environment where we can learn and grow as one. Our bond is rare, and one that will never fade. I love you more than you can imagine. I am forever proud to be a CPAC dancer. I can’t wait to soak up one last season; every rehearsal, energy circle, team chant, backstage prayer, slow clap, performance, and everything in between – it all just means a little more.
Chaka Forever <3