BELLEVILLE, IL – There was no dry eye Wednesday evening when students, parents and teachers of the Expressions Academy of Dance celebrated the life of a beloved ballerina with a candle-lighted alarm.
23-year-old Raffaella Stroik disappeared Monday. His body was found in the water at Mark Twain Lake State Park at 9:40 am on Wednesday, next to the 107's. Stroik lived in St. Louis, but originally from South Bend, Indiana. He played with St. Louis Ballet.
Investigators claim that a car pilot has identified himself in the water and in the notified authorities. The members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Hydroway Command responded and built Stroik's body. The police do not think Stroik's death is a bad game.
"He always came with open arms and was so welcome, and now he's gone, he's crazy," said 15-year-old Jala Stancil, who took ballet lessons from Stroik.
Stroik was only a year old at the academy, but he quickly became a favorite among many students, parents and teachers.
"He has shaped many of our dancers as a ballet loving ballet, where many of them did not have a ballet," said Becky Vitale, co-director of the academy.
At the academy, a candlelight candle celebrated the life of a professional ballerina and wrote affectionate messages on the studio wall where he taught.
His disciples liked to remind their teachers as happy, happy, classical and beautiful.
"We hope you're dancing in the stars," Vitale said, while observing the warning.
"He was very sick with us," Stancil said, "it was a blessing to be here.
Their tears and emotions were a real expression of how much they loved Rafaella and lost forever.
Monsignor Joseph Simon of the Cathedral Basilica issued a statement saying,
"The priests and parish priests of the St. Louis Basilica at this time offer heartfelt condolences to Raffaella Stroik's family, Raffaella was a member of the church of the Central West End, often the cathedral's Basilica Mass and the Anima Christi Young Adult group, Raffaella's lively young Catholic she was a woman whose presence had been missed and rested in peace.