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The 2020 season marked four years of following Aislynn, my niece, as well as the entire team through her progression with the Molahiettes.  It was a year that no one expected or could ever have predicted.  I have been privileged to have followed her while under the direction of both Lori and Jaylynn from local practices and performances (and their countless backstage moments) to many of their distant competitions.  I was never paid by the school district or anyone else to represent them - it was an independent effort with a great deal of support from parents and families, coaches and dancers.

The close of the season was so abrupt - one day the school doors were locked and never reopened.  No chance for any farewell.  No opportunity to compete what they worked so hard for.  No chance to say goodbye.  This was not what anyone wanted.

While we may not know how this will all end, we do still have control over who we are and how we decide to react to the world.  It is okay to grieve the loss of these final events.  It is okay to hurt.  We are human and these experiences - for better or for worse - are part of that experience.  It is from these times that we continue to grow or find reasons not to.  This team is and has always been one of hard work, dedication and heart.  I too, as an uncle and photographer have many memories of walking onto the practice floor, or sitting on the court and looking up continuously while capturing these amazing young women, and even wandering the dome as they prepared for their last performances.  Wandering around in the rain during Friday Night Lights, shooting alongside my son Jo on the 50 yard line.  Watching Aislynn run circles by the goal post to keep warm and the many hugs we had.  No doubt, each member of the team has their own memories to keep which no one can ever take away.

Nothing in life is more real or lasting than the sacrifices we make for those we love, for the things that matter to us and for our contribution to others.  Please remember that.  Each and every one of you.

It has been an amazing four years following this team and I hope that each and every one of you know that you haven't seen the last of me, nor have I seen the last of you.  You're all amazing to me and have gone on in your own way to define my work and identity as an artist.


- Justin

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