Dry eyes were few and far between Saturday, June 7, as Cindy Miller stood on the stage at her last recital as owner and artistic director of Flagler School of Dance.
“You’re a second mother to me and to a lot of people up on this stage, and words cannot express the wonderful woman that you are,” Jeanna Reiter said fighting back tears herself.
Miller is retiring after 36 years and Reiter will be taking over the studio.
“This woman is leaving a legacy in this county,” Reiter said of Miller. “She has touched the lives of so many people, including myself. To fill this woman’s shoes is an honor.”
Relinquishing the studio isn’t a decision that came lightly for Miller. But she said at this stage in her life, it is time to give it over to someone younger and with more energy.
“It means the world to me to have someone so special continue the Flagler School of Dance,” Miller said.
Reiter has been involved in the studio her whole life, dancing and teaching, and Miller said she was the perfect candidate to carry on the school’s legacy. For the past four years, Reiter has also directed the dance program at Matanzas High School in addition to teaching language arts. Leaving her position at Matanzas has allowed her to focus her career solely on her passion, dance.
Reiter’s first duties as the new owner will be registration for the new season of classes. Five registration dates will be held throughout July, with classes beginning Aug. 11.
For Miller, the support from community members is overwhelming.
“It’s like a second family,” Miller said. “So many areas of the studio were fulfilling, but the best part was the privilege that I had of watching so many students grow up, dancing at the studio. As far as Jeanna, I know that she is going to do amazing things with the school. It’s not an ending, it’s a new chapter.”