The Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center has a very special tradition – we send our senior class out with a performance and with heartfelt memories and warm wishes for a beautiful future. As usual we have an amazing group of graduates this year. Kaya Jones, Julia Schillaci, Gwen Weeks, Erin Smith, Danni Haynes and Joelle Yoder who is unable to be here this evening because she is attending her High School Graduation.
I’ve asked your teachers to share a few words with you as you move on to live your life and to continue to love dance.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments, including a wonderful season and beautiful performances this week. As you start a new chapter and create new memories in your life, I hope you’ll look back and cherish these special moments on stage and the bonds that you have made. Remember that wherever life takes you, you will always be a part of the MMPAC family, and we are so proud. Live life, live your dreams, and always hold your love for dance close to your heart.
Create a life you love. To create is to bring something into existence. We know this word quite well in the service of our art. I have been creating with some of you since you were 6. Creating dances, scenes, songs, costumes, and lots of memories. Now I challenge you to create a life with purpose, driven by love, and guided by the lessons you have learned in and out of the studio. Don’t let life just happen. Design a life you are proud of surrounded by those you love and remember to LIVE every moment to its fullest. Make it happen.
To MMPAC’s graduating class of 2022. Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved so far and for your wonderful performances this weekend. As you spread your wings and soar into this next chapter, here are a few reminders from one of your very proud MMPAC teachers…
- You are all so incredibly different and unique… own it fiercely and always be YOU.
- Life is a journey… there will be ups, downs, successes, and disappointments. If and when you fall, pick yourselves up and keep going. It’s how you handle the bumps along the way that really matters.
- Hold on to the lessons you’ve learned, the memories you’ve made, and the values that have been instilled at MMPAC. We will always have your back.
- Finally… Live your lives fully and keep dance in your hearts. Once a dancer, always a dancer.
Congratulations, again, to each of you! I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do.
As all of you know, because I’ve preached it at all for as long as I’ve had the pleasure of teaching you, the most important things you take away from your dance education are not the technique or the special skills, it’s the qualities you have developed as humans from pursuing dance. I have watched all of you become confident, disciplined, responsible, gracious, caring, individuals who know what it means to work hard. As you move onto your next journey remember, dance has taught you failures and mistakes only happen to make you try again in a new way with new knowledge. Remember leaning in and sharing the weight truly makes things easier. Continue to trust the process and trust yourselves. And most importantly never forget showing up and consistent practice is the only true recipe for success. I am so proud of you all, and can’t wait to continue watching you all forge your own unique paths.
The book of Ecclesiastes says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
Ladies remember to dance through all of life’s seasons. Know that you are loved beyond measure and know you were created for a purpose to do great things. You are all God’s beautiful masterpieces!
Through the love of dance at MMPAC we have been so much a part of each other’s lives. As you continue on with your life we hope that the love of dance continues to live in your heart, just as our love for you will continue in ours.
It has been an amazing experience to be a part of your life. Hopefully you have learned a few things from us – we have certainly learned from you. Our shared experiences created a trust and a bond like no other – an extraordinary connection that has grown over our time spent at the studio, on the stage and the many places we have gone together. Growing up – you chose to dance. You spent much of your youth at MMPAC…but now your life is moving forward…live it well.
Use the tools we have given you – stay healthy…be confident…share and connect with people…and do not be afraid to communicate about things you want or need. Work hard with focus and discipline and be a team player – but don’t follow – always choose to LEAD. Keep light in those dancer hearts of yours– be happy and joyful so that there is always just a little bit of sparkle around you– and…