A letter from Miss Ashley
I want to begin by saying "Thank You" to you, the reader, the parent, the student for reading this letter. It has been difficult to draft, loaded with complicated emotions, walking the line between hope and grief.
My relationship with Miss Marcia began just over 30 years ago. My mom registered me for dance at the Marcia Sarosik Dance Studio in 1989 just 5 years after she first opened. I could not have known just how deep those roots would be laid. I fell absolutely in love with dance, my first ever true love being Ballet. As I got older, my focus grew stronger and between the support of my parents and guidance of my dance teacher, Miss Marcia, I started leaving home at age 9 to study dance in the summers. Miss Marcia saw something in me from a young age and encouraged me to pursue this crazy dream. I grew to have a very close relationship with not only her but with her whole family including Lisa, her daughter. As we grew into teenagers Marcia was steadfast in her desire to expose Lisa, myself, Miss Kylee & many other faces you see around The Studio, to the greater world of dance outside of our small town. She took us to Portland, Disneyland, Santa Clara, Reno and beyond to perform, take class and mostly have fun together. We weaved a very close family in those years, making the idea of graduating and leaving the comforts of our studio bittersweet.
After high school, I began my professional career, spending the next 6 years on the road. When I wasn’t on tour I was living on couches and doing any audition I could afford to get to. I was living the “starving artist” lifestyle that most performers experience at some point. When the allure of Los Angeles started to wear off I returned to Lake Tahoe.
In 2014, I opened Studio E in Minden where I did my best to expand my creative knowledge, learning all I could about Circus Arts and how it correlates with dance. I created full production numbers utilizing both ground and air. One of my biggest cheerleaders was my former dance teacher and friend, Miss Marcia. She would attend my recitals with Dennis, we would share thoughts, ideas and advice. It felt like things were coming full circle but I was unaware of how full circle things would actually come. In the summers during my years of studio ownership Marcia, Lisa & I would meet up at dance teacher conventions. Three days of all things “studio owner”. We would take class and get new ideas to share with our students. We would go to dinner, sit by the pool and relive some of our greatest memories of the good ‘ol days.
In 2020, after 7 years of commuting, a year of virtual school for my 3 kids and the unstable nature of life as it was, I made one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. I closed my studio doors in December of 2020. Again, I found Miss Marcia supporting me. She opened her studio to me, reminding me I was family; welcome there anytime. I joined her staff once again in the fall of 2021, teaching the boys (love those little boys), preschool kids, as well as middle & high school dancers. As she always did, she cheered for me. When recital week came, Marcia was so proud of everything her staff and students had created. She spent two years dreaming of her recital being on stage again and I will forever be grateful that we saw how beautiful and happy she was on stage watching her Shining Stars shine so bright.
Her absence will be loud for years to come. She was an incredibly special person who believed a handshake and a smile were a binding contract of friendship. Her passion for the arts and for kids was unparalleled. Her energy was matched by very few.
My circle has come as full as it can possibly come. While I cannot promise I will emulate her, I can promise you this, I loved her very much and respected her more than I could have ever expressed. I attribute many of my accomplishments to those early days and I vow to work every single day in The Studio to continue her work. I mentioned before the line between hope and grief…. The Studio is my hope that she will be remembered and celebrated as we move ahead and continue to share her shine.
Marcia, I miss you. Thank you for everything. We will make you proud, the show will go on.....