My CVDA Experience: “Stronger Bonds”

Chester Valley Dance Academy is proud to offer students with not only quality dance training at the studio, but also the opportunity to travel and participate in conventions, competitions, and master classes. The studio produces an annual Senior Showcase that gives the graduating class an opportunity to showcase their talent and have the spotlight to celebrate their years with CVDA. At this year's Senior Showcase, we celebrated the Class of 2020 and all of their accomplishments. The dances were beautiful and the messages shared through Senior Speeches were so heartfelt. This year, the audience was limited and those who would normally have attended the showcase missed out due to Covid-19 limitations.  We are proud to share with our studio community the Speeches our Seniors gave at the show, reminiscing on their time at the studio, and inspiring the underclassmen to savor every minute of their time at Chester Valley.

Senior Speech - Emma Burke

"I started dancing 15 years ago. One of the moms in my neighborhood wanted to get a group of the little girls together to take dance classes at CVDA. Little did anyone know that I would stick with it for all of these years. As time went on, more of the girls from the group dropped out exploring other hobbies or sports, but there was always something at CVDA that made me stick to dancing. Sure, I loved dance, but it was so much more than that. Now reflecting on my time in dance, I can confidently say that the staff and other dancers that I got to know really made the difference. 

The staff at Chester Valley are extremely caring and loving, whether it is to make sure their students improve in dance or just to give us a pep talk when we are looking down, so I say thank you. To my second family of dancers, I want to mention how all of you have impacted me greatly, both in and out of the studio. I don’t think that I would be the person that I am today without building the bonds that I have with you, so I say thank you. 

When Miss Cathy implemented the senior showcase two years ago, I did not know that there would be speeches. I took each one to heart. Specifically, one line that the lovely Erin Layton said, “spend as much time at the studio as you can, even with all of the things that you have going on, time goes by so quickly.” Now that I have finished my senior year and am in the same situation, I completely understand what she said. Time does go by so quickly, so you should love every part of your “lasts”. I think this year, more than ever, has shown everyone just how much we take for granted. Whether it is staying in the studio from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturdays or having a 45-minute break between classes. At least we could be together, growing stronger bonds and laughing like it was no one’s business. 

Not only have these unprecedented times shown us to not take anything for granted, they have also taught us how strong Chester Valley is and what an amazing staff that we get to work with. Miss Cathy and the rest of the staff did everything in their power to make sure we got to dance one more time. Yes, it may be different, but here we are. They also did not just keep the studio running during a global pandemic, they made all of the seniors feel so special and loved. We got a drive by ending in a specially made Chester Valley sign and a personalized video from all the teachers showing how much they truly care about all of us. I finally just want to express my deepest gratitude for everyone that is sitting here, you have all played a part in our success at CVDA and the second family we were able to build."

~ Emma Burke
CVDA Class of 2020
Clemson University, Business Administration

Emma Dances "A Thousand Years" at the 2020 Senior Showcase