A Special Thank You From Miss Lauri

I wanted to take a moment now that we just celebrated our 30th dance season to reflect, and most importantly, to say thank you.

Where do I begin . . . I guess I will start by saying that when the doors first opened in the fall of 1985, I had no idea what would become or how long the studio would be open. The studio’s original goals were to provide children (no matter their age or ability) the chance to be exposed to dance as an art form, and to have their moment on stage to feel passion and joy and share that with an audience. We wanted to provide a place for those that danced once a week, or to those that danced multiple days a week, to explore the many styles of dance. We wanted them to appreciate and work hard at all disciplines that we could expose them to. There were so many families in those beginning years that helped and supported our dreams, which I will forever be grateful for. As a young woman in my early 20’s, starting a business was such a scary task, and one that I was thrilled with—although nervous too.

In those early years we held our recitals at local high schools where tickets and seating occupancy was such an issue. We were only able to give each student four tickets per show, and as you can imagine, that was a difficult process to do with so many families needing more than four tickets! We moved our recitals to the Auditorium Theatre for the 1991 dance season, which was so exciting for the students, families, and faculty. A bigger venue with unlimited seating only meant for higher recital fees, but our families were very supportive and enjoyed inviting more than four people to the shows!

Did you know at the Auditorium Theatre everything has to be rented out to fill the stage with lighting, flooring, and sound equipment? Now almost 25 years later, the Auditorium is our home. We have made lifelong friends with the management and all of the stagehands that we get to see every year. Two things that I love to see and hear is when the kids come back that first week of stage rehearsals and say “We’re HOME!” And the second thing is when the alumni come back either as parents or to participate in the recital, and to hear of their fond memories of being at “The Aud!”

None of this could have been done without the fantastic faculty and office staff that we have at the studio. Their love and dedication to your children helps us to create a fun year of dance with year-end showcase of everyone’s hard work. The faculty puts countless of extra hours into these goals, and so much is done behind the scenes that the list is too long! They are my peers, friends, and most importantly, my family. Their unconditional love for the studio and me is beyond words to express it all here, but I know that the success to the studio is based on their love.

The parents; there are so many of you we get to see on a weekly basis. The years of knowing all of the families that have touched my heart make me feel full of happiness. Thank you for all the support in the past, present, and for the continued support in the future.

Lastly, my own family. My mom and dad, Jean and Dick, for believing in me and never saying it’s not possible or that I couldn’t do it. To my Aunt Carol who first gave me the exposure to the art form that I now hold dear to my heart. My in-laws, Jackie and Luke, for supporting me and never treating me poorly because I wasn’t the “typical” wife who would be home every night for my husband. To my grandmother, Eleanor O’Neill, who without question, was a role model of a strong woman who would never say never. Greg and Aileen, my brother and sister-in-law, who are probably two of the smartest people I know that continue to keep me grounded with the strength to carry on—even if I’m doubting myself. My children, Dillon and Vivian, for never making me feel guilty for all of the interrupted family time because of studio affairs. My husband, Carter, for when we first started dating, all of his friends kept telling me to prepare myself that I would be a golf wife. I chuckled at the time thinking they had no idea how crazy the life style of a dance teacher can be. So with that, I am so lucky to have found someone that would support all my craziness and love me for whom I am and all that comes along with it. He chooses to stay behind the scenes, and though it may seem that he is not involved, he MOST certainly is. He is my foundation and my guide to help me find balance.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, love, and mostly, for entrusting your dancer to the studio and me.

I hope you all have a great summer and can’t wait to see all of those bright faces walk back through the doors this fall for our 2015-2016 dance season!

If you missed our 30th celebration, here are some highlights from each show!

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