My CVDA Experience: “A Hard Goodbye”

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 2021 and all of their accomplishments. The dances were beautiful and the messages shared through Senior Speeches were so heartfelt. 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 - Madison Gaffney

"These past few weeks I have been trying to find the words that would so perfectly encompass and describe my time at Chester Valley, but after much thought I truly believe there is no such thing. There are not enough words that I could use or say to you all today as I stand here that could truly express the love, appreciation, memories, friendships, and most importantly the forever place Chester Valley will hold in my heart for as long as I live. I am baffled to say the least that I have reached this point, a milestone I always believed to be so far away, but here I am. My last performance. The final ending to one of the most beautiful chapters in my life that I am so very honored to have been a part of and cherish as I move forward with my future. I could stand here and ramble on and on about my favorite memories, accomplishments, experiences, and more that I have endured throughout my 15 years at this studio but instead I have chosen to thank each and every aspect of this special place that has impacted my life and the person I have become, and for that I am forever grateful.

I would first like to thank my parents. Thank you for squeezing me into a pink leotard when I was 3 and taking me to Chester Valley. If you had not, I truly believe I would not be the person I am today and would not have experienced the same amount of memories that I have or most importantly have accomplished all that I have throughout my time at the studio. And of course, thank you for driving me before I could and signing those lovely checks I know you’ll miss so much.

Secondly, I want to thank my second family. My friends. My people. You have granted me the gift of a sense of belonging and purpose when I feel like I have none. Majority of you I have grown up with since the very beginning and it has been an honor to call you all my best friends. You all make me the happiest person I can be and each and every one of you will forever have a special place in my heart and please know every one of you has impacted not only myself but everyone around you at the studio in more ways than you could ever imagine. And for that I thank you all and love you all and will cherish our friendships for as long as I live.

Next, I would like to thank Miss Cathy for not only directing and running the studio we all call our second home, but for establishing an environment that has shown time and time again that it can train beautiful young dancers, create lifelong friendships, and make everyone feel appreciated and supported in their hopes and dreams.

Lastly, I want to thank the one and only, our very own Mary Poppins, Miss Kim. You have been our second mom and the most dedicated and incredible dance instructor I think anyone could ever ask for. You are truly our very own Mary Poppins. You always have everything we need and fill each of our hearts and souls with endless amounts of love and support. We all love you, I love you, and you’re practically perfect in every way.

I know it’s cliche and everyone says this but for all of you underclassmen and soon to be seniors, especially after this year alone and the time we lost together, cherish absolutely every moment you have at this place. We are all so fortunate to share something so special and so meaningful in our lives, therefore soak it all in and enjoy everything you have left because one day you’ll be where I am wondering where the time has gone. I’m going to end this speech with a quote that is overused to say the least but I believe it truly is a reflection of the time I have spent and we all have spent here at Chester Valley. Winnie the Pooh once said, 'How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard'"

~ Madison Gaffney
CVDA Class of 2021
James Madison University, Marketing Communications and Dance

Maddie performs her self-choreographed solo, "The Rise of Skywalker".