Whitney Blackburn

I always thought when the seniors told me “soak up every second you have at CPAC because it really flies by” they were kidding. I didn’t think it was possible it would feel like it was over in a second but somehow it does. CPAC has become my home and the people here my family. Truly every single person. From teachers to every dancer. Taking class with these people every day, since I joined ensemble in 2016, has been such a blessing. Every convention, competition, weekend rehearsal, and dress rehearsal has been memorable in every single way. I’d like to thank first of all Mrs. Nancy Laurie. Without you, this studio wouldn’t exist, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for supporting us and making all of our dreams come true. I truly cannot thank you enough. I’d also like to thank Jen Lee, who is like a second mom to me, and I’m sure every other dancer at CPAC. Thank you for every back stage hug and listening to my worries in times when I said I “couldn’t do it” or doubted myself. You have pushed me to never give up. Thank you for making me always feel safe, loved, and most importantly, reminding me to spread love always. Thank you to Jordan. Performing your pieces and solos honestly has changed me. Thank you for always being there for me and reminding me that dancing shouldn’t have the end goal of looking perfect, but instead to make people feel something, including myself. Thank you to Kristen for pushing me to go further in so many ways. For showing me the artistry in something that seems so technical there seems no room for it. Thank you for making me fall in love with ballet and being a positive light at competitions for all of us. Thank you to Tessa, I’m not sure how but you actually can be in more than one place at once and I’m so thankful to have you as a coach and a teacher. You always push me to work hard and have taught me that I can truly get past anything if I put my mind to it. I know I can count on you for anything and I’m so grateful for that. Thank you to Zack and Amy, for starting me on this journey. I’m not sure if I’d even be on ensemble if you wouldn’t have told me about it- and thank you to Ms. Candace. I still look back at my recital pictures from when I was 3 and wonder where all the time went. I still feel the same amount of joy I did as a little girl, today, as I did in your class dancing to “pretty woman”. Thank you to the amazing costume shop for putting in countless hours to make everything come together. Thank you to my family. You sacrificed so much for this. I can’t thank you enough honestly. This whole experience truly is a dream come true for me. Thank you for letting me share what I love with you. To everyone I dance with. Every back stage prayer with you energy circle means a little more to me than I think you understand. I love you more then words. Chaka always and forever.