RIDGEFIELD \u2014 Five seniors recently gave their farewell performance with The Ridgefield School of Dance on May 21 at the Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport, performing \u201cFour Seasons\u201d and \u201cExhale.\u201d Ridgefield High School\u2019s Makena Davi, Ariana Mirfakhraie and Alexandra Westrick were joined by Rebecca Ronai, of Weston, and Alexandra Magnusson, of Wilton, as part of this year\u2019s graduating class. These talented artists have spent a good portion of their lives in ballet slippers and\/or jazz shoes in the studio at 66 Grove Street. With so many years of experiences among them, each dancer has a favorite ballet, part, memory and lesson learned, and each has had a busy life outside the school with other pursuits. Davi performed in at least 13 performances of \u201cThe Nutcracker\u201d and another 14 ballets, including \u201cAlice in Wonderland,\u201d \u201cMadeline,\u201d \u201cCoppelia,\u201d \u201cCarnival of the Animals\u201d and \u201cCinderella.\u201d She loves dancing in large ensembles such as \u201cWaltz of the Snowflakes\u201d in \u201cThe Nutcracker,\u201d and was thrilled to dance the part of Dew Drop in 2019. Davi was a class assistant for several years and loved watching the younger dancers learn and grow. In addition to taking ballet at least four days a week, she participated in the RHS music program and was a junior volunteer in the Milford Hospital Emergency Room. She will study at the University of Florida and plans to pursue medical school. Mirfakhraie played violin with the RHS Symphonic Orchestra and plans on studying at the University of Vienna in Austria. Her favorite ballet was \u201cPaquita\u201d and her favorite part was portraying the Emerald Fairy in \u201cSleeping Beauty.\u201d Although the role was challenging, she said it pushed her as a dancer. In addition to ballet, Mirfakhraie was a member of the school\u2019s jazz company and performed in \u201cExhale,\u201d the department\u2019s contribution to this season\u2019s year-end festivities. Westrick joined RSD in sixth grade. She has loved all of her dance experiences and especially enjoyed learning new material and expressing different emotions through choreography. Dance has taught her the joy of releasing the stresses of everyday life. When she wasn\u2019t in the studio, Westrick was involved with the RHS cheer team and ASP. This fall, she will be attending the University of Tennessee where she will study nursing. Starting ballet at 3-years-old, Magnusson has applied the precise understanding of movement and coordination from ballet to her passions for horseback riding and skiing. Magnusson also participated in the National Honor Society, balancing her participation in the school with academics. \u201cMadeline\u201d was her most beloved performance, which included a large cast, many props and a charming story. Her favorite role was portraying Russian in \u201cThe Nutcracker.\u201d Dancing with others has reinforced in Magnusson the value of making and honoring a commitment. She is headed to Boston College to pursue STEM-related studies and intends to continue with dance. Ronai also started dancing at the age of 3 and joined RSD at 8. Her favorite ballet is \u201cCinderella\u201d and her favorite part was portraying the White Cat in \u201cSleeping Beauty.\u201d Ronai gained confidence by performing in front of others, which served her well in her role as vice president of the Weston High School debate team. She was also her graduating class\u2019s salutatorian, co-captain of CT State Champion Mock Trial and a member of Circle of Friends. She will attend Dartmouth University in the fall. This past year, all five students shared their appreciation for having a place to go and express themselves emotionally and artistically. \u201cDance was one of the things that helped (us) get through COVID-19 because, despite the pandemic, it still continued,\u201d Ronai said. \u201cEspecially in the fall when most things were shut down or online, I loved being able to go to the studio every day and be with my friends.\u201d \u201cThese dancers have been an integral part of the Ridgefield School of Dance family for a huge part of their lives,\u201d said RSD Executive Director Alison Brown. \u201cI cannot tell you how much I have appreciated their commitment to dance, each other, and the school.\u201d Artistic Director Jessica Boelts has been teaching these young women since they joined RSD. \u201cI have truly enjoyed watching these dancers grow up,\u201d she said. \u201cI\u2019ll miss them, but look forward to seeing what their future holds.\u201d For more information visit www.theridgefieldschoolofdance.com or call 203-894-5957.