This year, on May 28, 2021, we celebrated the Class of 2021 with a Virtual Graduation Ceremony. The live-streamed evening was hosted by emcees Christina Litt Belch and Adèle Ross. Although we couldn’t gather in person, our graduates celebrated in style, with the help of their families and friends, near and far. Have a look at a few photos from across the country on graduation day!
Photos provided by students from the Class of 2021
Lyla-Jean Bowman (2021 Student Body President) and Yael Zifroni, the class valedictorians, gave a very gracious and moving address at the ceremony.
Read an excerpt of their speech below:
If there’s anything this year has brought with it – it’s perspective. So in that spirit we’d like to offer this quote from David Earle “life first, art second”. Our interpretation of this is: Be good humans. Care for your family, your friends, yourself. Be kind to those around you and make sure to surround yourself with people who are kind to you. Speak out when you see something wrong, stand your ground when you know you are in the right. Love and be loved. Only after all of this, create and collaborate and be a good student and teacher and dancer and break ground in the dance world.
We are so proud of the path every single one of us has embarked on since the very first day. We are a group of leaders and I feel confident saying that we are ready and prepared to take our next steps, and walk through the next chapter of all of our lives. In our time here we’ve learned the importance of teamwork. We’ve learned how crucial it is to stay open minded to new ideas, and to go beyond our comfort zone. We’ve learned to let go. We’ve learned to trust ourselves and the work we’ve done. We’ve learned to be resourceful and inventive. These, and many more, are life skills that will go with us forward as we emerge as artists in the world. In our residency with Peggy Baker, she said to us: you can’t escape yourself. And we encourage you, our fellow graduates [and readers of this newsletter], not to. Be one with your wishes, wants and aspirations. Be true to who you want to be in this world. Be ready for the hardship that living your truth may bring, but know that it will produce goodness, and it will be worth it.
As we graduate today, we feel confident that this group of people will bring something good and beautiful into the world. We thank you, our classmates, for being authentically who you are, and for going on this journey together. We hope to always support each other, lift each other up, and to hold each other close to our hearts, even when we are far away. We love you all, thank you, and have a wonderful evening of celebration.
We wish you well as you embark on this next chapter. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!