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Remembering the 2020 Graduates 🎓

It's hard to imagine that last year we said goodbye to five amazing young ladies: Rebekah Grigoriou, Kaylee Howard, Kaitlyn Moncrieff, Carmela Rapino, and Emily Williams. They each went their separate ways but left a legacy at the studio.

The staff and students want to extend a huge congratulations to these ladies on completing their first year of post-secondary! Although we miss them, we are so proud of their accomplishments and are happy to see them chasing their dream careers. Sure it wasn't easy, but we know their resilience drove them to succeed and achieve the unthinkable.

2020 was an unprecendented year. It sparked the beginning of this ongoing pandemic, which impacted the traditions of the studio. For the first year ever, we didn't host a recital. The last 11 weeks of the term were also hosted online, which again, was a first for the studio. Inevitably, the graduate's dance journey came to an end at the Academy but we couldn't let that happen without some sort of a celebration. The staff was motivated to think bigger and create new ways to celebrate these five talented individuals!

On June 28, 2020 we held a "Graduate Parade". Our five graduates were set up on the studio's front lawn next to a unique custom lawn sign as friends and family drove by with loud cheers and thoughtful gifts. A few tears were shed, to say the least, as we sent off these lovely young ladies onto the next chapter of their lives.

We also started the new tradition of showcasing graduate slideshows on social media. Traditionally, the graduate slideshows would be shared at the beginning of a recital on a large screen projector. While the audience members would watch from the front, the dancers would eagerly sit behind the projector and watch the memories together. Despite not being together last year, we didn't want to lose the opportunity of our dancers stories being heard. One graduate per day had their journey shared on social media leading up to the parade.

We are so very proud of these young ladies and admire their journey at the Academy. We hope to see them visit every so often and look forward to hearing all about their post-secondary journey.

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