Student Feature: Brenna Cruz


Savannah Burchfiel, Staffer

She steps onto the hardwood floor; the only audience is herself. Queue the music; the first steps begin.

Twirling around with an audience full to the brim of empty seats, she is lost in the rhythmic patterns that flow in the air around her. Her waving arms and moving feet know the stage better than her own mind. The silent audience cheers wildly around her. Between plies and piques, she conforms to the beat. Her mind is in harmony with the symphony.

Nothing else exists.

Some dance for the thrill; some dance for the attention; some dance for the pleasure; some dance for the escape. She checks all of the above. The thrill comes from many places, she says. The attention is satisfying, she says. The pleasure is addicting, she says. The escape, she says, is so much more.

A messy past, a troubled home, and a bad day mean nothing once she steps onstage. Her satiny point shoes, frayed tennis shoes, and worn tap shoes have compliantly accepted her troubles as their own. Whether footed for ballet, point, hip-hop, or tap, she slides confidently to the floor for her routine. When her feet bring her to the stage, the symphony of sounds flows in, ushering in the good and entirely consuming the bad.

Dance is her thrill, her attention, her pleasure, and her escape.

The escape from her memories of old friendships and young love.

The escape from her home where she feels the same challenges as so many other high-schoolers.

The escape from her day of blisters on her toes, knots in her bun, and torn point shoe ribbons.

The escape to her future where her years of hard work will see their reward.

Dance is her only escape from her world.

When the spotlight and all eyes are fixated on her, her world transforms. The music is hers, the lights are hers, and the eyes are hers. She demands a presence and commands an audience.

Each time she sways to the melody, she is as light as the flouncy skirt of her romantic tutu. With every kick, the tutu lingers in the air for an extra split second, emphasizing its ethereal qualities. Every extension of her leg sends the soft tulle floating into the sky, bringing an air of freedom. Each movement adds to her thirteen years of dance that blend together as smoothly as her mind with the music.

For junior Brenna Cruz, nothing else exists.