On Sunday, we went to our last dance recital. We started going sixteen years ago when The Teacher Girl was taking lessons. Mallie Bee followed soon after and we've been there every year.
When we first started going there weren't many other studios, but that has changed in recent years and now the recital is smaller in scale. Also back in those early days, was one lone boy who braved this girls world. Now there are boys of every age and in every class.
Through it all, Miss Pattie has been front and center as the owner for 58 years. She handed out perfect attendance awards at the end and highlighted kids who were doing great things with their dance or gymnastics talent. The year one of her instructors lost her daughter to suicide, she gave a heartbreaking tribute to her. A few years later, a talented, beloved teacher named Rebecca died after a hard-fought battle with cystic fibrosis. Miss Pattie has given a scholarship in her honor ever since. When everything had been handed out or acknowledged, she would thank everyone for coming, for supporting her studio, for sharing their kids. She would wish everyone a happy and safe summer, that she'd see us all again in September and without fail, she would cry when she said it. Every single year.
This is the first year that she has not been at a recital since she opened the studio that bears her name. The woman who has spent a lifetime teaching thousands and thousands of kids how to move now lives with Lou Gehrig's disease.