It’s a strange week at Dance Concepts. On one hand, we’re celebrating a new season, excited to see old friends and meet new ones. On the other hand, we’re in mourning.
As many of you know, our friend and dancer Olivia Rodgerson was in a severe car accident early on June 15th, the morning after our last recital. Since that time she’s been in the intensive care unit dealing with brain swelling and pneumonia.
The support around her has been inspiring. I’ve seen what it means to really show up for your friend – as our dancers have gone to visit weekly, not knowing if Olivia can tell if they are present or not. I’ve seen her mother Jenn, bravely protecting her daughter with a blanket of positive energy and the way Jenn’s mother and sister have been by her side the whole time. Our dancers came together to make a quilt and send letters of support and love. It’s been reminder after reminder of what’s truly important in life, and what our real goals are at the studio.
Sunday, we received the news that Olivia’s latest MRI was not what we were hoping for. The doctors have determined that she will never wake up. They will be taking her off of life support and switching her to Comfort Care tomorrow, August 22. The doctors expect she will pass soon after and hope that she’ll be able to donate her liver and kidneys.
Our hearts are broken seeing her beautiful life cut short.
Olivia joined Dance Concepts in 2012 starting in our Junior Hip Hop class.
In 2014 she joined our competition team performing and has been competing with us ever since.
Everyone loves Olivia. From our teenagers that took classes with her, to the young dancers that she was always sweet to, to her teachers who still get a kick out of the crazy questions she would ask during class. Olivia was the one who first taught Julie what an emoji was, and how to use Snapchat. Over the years she has become an integral part of Dance Concepts with friends that extended far beyond the walls of the studio.
This is Olivia’s first solo from back ing 2014. I’m thankful that this song isn’t all the way true, that we did love her before we had to let her go. I hope that Olivia’s memory reminds us all to love our friends harder, and be kinder as we go through life.
Love you guys,
Update: Olivia passed peacefully at 9:00pm on August 22nd. The song “Better When I’m Dancing” was playing in the room. If you would like to contribute to a flower arrangement from our studio to Olivia, you can donate via paypal here. (it will say you are donating to BOLD Productions LLC – that is correct)