The area of performing arts has many facets. From music to theatre to dance, the diversity and variety of the performing arts attracts many different artists, all of whom bring their own unique talents to the table. Senior Lucy Ybarra has recently become involved in the performing arts once again after the pandemic, and her dedication to her craft is evident.
Lucy began dancing when she was very young, taking ballet classes at five years old before branching out into other areas of dance, such as jazz and contemporary. It wasn’t until she auditioned for KO’s production of “Sweet Charity” in her junior year that she began exploring musical theatre. “It was a spur of the moment decision,” Lucy said. “It was me and my best friend. We both tried out, and I thought, ‘Hey, I really like this, I should start jumping back into dance, and maybe exploring this new style, singing and dancing.’”
Lucy moved from Hawaii during the pandemic and was unable to dance again immediately due to COVID-19 restrictions. Despite having not danced in years when she auditioned for the musical, Lucy enjoyed being able to dance again. “It was actually extremely liberating,” she said. “It kind of slipped my mind because I was extremely preoccupied, but a spur of the moment decision brought it back all in full influx, so I’m really happy about that.”
As the recipient of this year’s Dance Molinari scholarship, Lucy participated in various dance classes at the Dance Molinari theatre company in New York City including ballet, tap, and jazz, as well as learning other skills like stage combat. “I was getting choreography thrown at me like it’s never been thrown at me before,” she said, describing the program. “I would have to do it full-out, just from their marking example, and I normally learn from step by step processes.” Although this new learning process was challenging at first, Lucy believes that she has a new skill that she can use to approach learning choreography better than before.
One of Lucy’s favorite aspects of dance is how expressive it is and how the piece can change depending on the mood of the performer. She also loves how rewarding dance can be, using her personal experience of getting her first pair of pointe shoes as an example. “It feels like you’re on top of the world,” she said.
As we look ahead to the winter musical this year, Lucy offered some words of advice to performing artists in the community. “You shouldn’t limit yourself to just one thing because you’re scared of what other people think,” she said. “The dance community is here to welcome you and help you at whatever level you’re at.”
We can’t wait to see where Lucy goes in her dance journey next, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.