To be honest, I have never experienced a place quite like ‘The Miracle Center’. Jumping into a pool of clichés, I would have to say that the person you are from the first time you walk into the doors of The Miracle Center does not compare to the person you will become when you leave. When I first walked through the doors, I was just looking for a place to dance and refine my talents. I was in love with dancing, and did not know what to do with it; I wanted a career in the arts. However, I was not sure if that was what I wanted to really do with my future. I had huge artistic dreams, dancing on Broadway, auditioning for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and building a career in the Performing Arts. Joining The Miracle Center brought so much out of me, allowing me to grow in so many ways. Stretching my abilities as a dancer and testing my character, giving me opportunities of leadership, and chances to display grace and integrity. There is just an unimaginable amount of blessings that TMC has given me. Pushing me to apply and get accepted to Columbia College Chicago, pursuing a double major in Dance: Performance and Theater: Acting. As well as having the support of everyone at The Miracle Center to chase my dream of auditioning for the television show; ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Mary Santana and The Miracle Center, is really a miraculous person and place.
There could not have been a better time for me to see the ‘IN THE HEIGHTS’. Being a hip-hop dancer, I sometimes feel inadequate to the world of Broadway and dance. A lot of times, people hear about dancing (or even when I Google ‘dance’) the first thing you see is ballet shoes, ballerinas, and contemporary dancers in these beautiful positions. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Ballet/Modern and participate in classes, however, my native style is Hip-Hop and sometimes I feel as if my style of dance does not get the respect I think it deserves. Seeing ‘IN THE HEIGHTS’ gave my heart such joy! Seeing Hip-Hop get some respect and appreciation on a Broadway stage gave me a sense of confidence. To know that I can do what I love and that people will appreciate it. Plus, the production was so wonderful and so well put together, and just so beautifully done! I have, honestly, never been so enthralled by a cast, drawn into the music and given the overwhelming urge to get up and dance during a production. I not only enjoyed the show, but I took so much from it.
Meeting the cast left me speechless! Not just because I was smiling too hard to talk, but having the chance to meet an absolutely phenomenal cast, and seeing how friendly and kind they were! They were wonderful on and off stage, coming to shake our hands with huge smiles, making me feel beyond welcomed. I would go so far as to thank the cast for just being themselves. Reminding me that no matter where I go I will always be myself. Also, I cannot put into words how much fun it was to dance and jam along side the cast, who gets that kind of opportunity? Well not very many people and I am so blessed to be able to have been someone to interact with such an amazing group of people. Thank you so much.
The Miracle Center