Heartfelt letter from Heather Dutton written on Sept. 12, 2016
“Tonight marked the beginning of Parkside Academy’s 30th year and though I am sad I wasn’t in class with my best friend’s all night, my heart is full knowing that tonight, so many girls started or continued what is bound to be an incredible journey at PAMD. This studio is so much more than a studio to me, it truly has been my home since the day I was born. Through Parkside, I have formed unbreakable bonds with lifelong friends, grown as a person and an artist in a safe and warm environment, and fallen in love with dance. This studio has provided a place where I can follow my passion and dream freely. I want to say thank you to Pamela Dimeler for giving me the opportunities to dance and, more importantly, the opportunities to dream. Miss Pam, you have always been one of my biggest role-models and you inspire me daily. I have never met anyone who chases their dreams as fearlessly as you do. If it were not for your dream to open up a dance studio 30 years ago, I would not be who I am today and I know that’s true for so many other students as well. Thank you for giving me that safe space to grow up in and a loving “home” to always come back to. I hope one day I can touch lives the way you do all the time and I can never express how grateful I am for you. You are more wonderful and beautiful (inside and out) than I can even explain and I love you so very much. Laura Thomas Dutton, thanks for being a dance teacher and for signing me up for classes the second I could move. I am so glad that you passed your love of dance on to me, because it has shaped pretty much my whole life. You have inspired me every day for the past 17 years. I have gotten to witness you change lives throughout my entire childhood. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been in awe of your natural ability to make people smile through dance. My admiration and respect for you has only grown with time. You are an incredible dance teacher and I love you so much! (Also thanks for being my mom) Sarah and Tamera, I know I can be a pain in the neck sometimes, but thanks for loving me anyway. I remember when I was very, very small and you were two of the “cool older girls” that I wished so badly I would be like one day. It has been an incredible blessing to have people like you not only to look up to throughout my childhood, but even now as I begin the very (very) early stages of adulthood (using the term “adulthood” loosely). Thank you for pushing me to do a extra turn or forcing me to do one-footed pullbacks on my left foot. Thanks for listening to my ideas and sometimes even using them! Thank you for encouraging me and inspiring me to be the best dancer, choreographer, and person I can be. I appreciate, respect, and love both of you an incredible amount, please never forget that. Also I expect to be in your weddings one day. To all my PAMD girls who went back to class tonight, enjoy it. You are lucky to be there and I know you’ve heard it a million times, but it goes by fast. This is an incredible time in your life, so please soak it in. Try not to get caught up in petty things like parts or spots for dances or whatever. In the end, you won’t remember the time you stood in the back line for your jazz dance. You’ll remember the weird inside jokes, the excessive amounts of laughter, and the overwhelming love. Take it in and don’t take a second of it for granted. Remember to dance big and dream bigger! Thank you, PAMD, for being my home. I love you♄”

Heather Dutton