RuizDoing a split in mid-air while hanging onto what looks like two long, white sheets called “silks,” Rebecca Ruiz captures the audience.

A second acrobat comes from underneath her to grasp another section of the silks. The silks hang from the ceiling above the stage. The duo begins to turn in a circle as they act out their sun god characters in the play “The Fifth Sun” by Artes de la Rosa. Neither of the actors’ feet touches the stage floor as they perform. “It was really, really fun,” Ruiz said. “I could dance all day every day.” Currently 18 years old, Ruiz has been away from home since she was 16, pursuing her passion of dance through opportunities such as this one. She is one of the acrobats who performed in this show at Fort Worth’s Rose Marine Theater. This, in addition to being a current sophomore, mass communication major at Texas Wesleyan, member of the national sorority Gamma Phi Beta and its membership committee, all contribute to Ruiz’s future aspirations. Ruiz said her dream is to open a dance studio. She just needs the education to help her cultivate her natural charm and learn how to market her business. “I am relatively good with people,” Ruiz said. Ruiz said the toughest thing about her life now is not having her mother and sister near her. They currently live in her hometown of Miami, Florida. “Me and my mom are really, really close; me and my sister too,” she said. ”So being away from them is hard.” Though she misses her family, Ruiz says being in Fort Worth has been a great experience. She has good friends who help her stay grounded, and she truly enjoys her expanding dance family. Adam Adolfo, performer, director and choreographer of the play “The Fifth Sun” and artistic director for Artes de la Rosa, said Ruiz has been a great addition. “Rebecca is one of the hardest working [performers] and very eager to learn,” he said. Adolfo gave Ruiz the position of choreographer of his children’s musical “Dora the Explorer, Live.” The show ran from July 26,to Aug. 5. Ruiz described the experience as being an amazing opportunity. She appreciated the chance to work with so many gifted and talented people while putting the show together and through its run at the Rose Marine Theater. “It’s something I never expected to do, especially as young as I am,” Ruiz said. “Having my work on stage was the greatest feeling. The kids were great, and I was sitting in the back of the house crying harder than anyone else.” Adolfo said he was pivotal in Ruiz’s life with regard to allowing her to see how talented she is as an actress, dancer and choreographer. “Rebekah has never seen herself as an actor, only as a dancer,” he said. “I had to tell her, ’No, no, no. Your body is just another way in which you tell a story.’” As she pursues her additional talent, Ruiz said her dream performance would be Elle Woods in “Legally Blond.” “I’m obsessed with it [the play],” Ruiz said. Her career as a performer is her passion, but Ruiz has to keep all other aspects of her life in perspective as well. Though she maintains a tight schedule, Ruiz keeps here priorities straight. School, performing, family and friends are what stay on the top of her to do list. “Keeping your priorities in line is what makes it all work,” she said. Ruiz said it is difficult to juggle personal, theater and college life, but they do contribute to each other.  She said having great people around while away from home helps her stay motivated. “With the help of great friends, who are strong bases of support, life is a lot easier,” she said. Sorority sister, Ashley Silvie, junior comparative religion major, described Ruiz as fun, brave, funny, stubborn and outgoing. “[Rebekah is] one of the most beautiful people I have met, both inside and out,” Silvie said. “She knows how to state her opinions gracefully and forcefully at the same time. Every day I see Rebekah live out our [Gamma Phi Beta] four core values of love, labor, learning and loyalty.” Ruiz described her membership in Gamma Phi Beta as feeling as if she was welcomed with open arms by the sisters of Gamma Phi Beta. She said she has never felt so much love from one group. “I love my sisters,” she said. “They have been there for me since the day that I met all of them.” Courtney Briley, president of Gamma Phi Beta and junior mass communication major, said she enjoys having Ruiz as a sorority sister and friend. “Rebekah is always contributing and participating in all the events and is just a good person to have around,” Briley said. With her dreams fully intact, Ruiz looks forward to the life she has ahead of her. She knows what she wants and how to get there. Time is all that stands in her way. “Her opportunities at this point are really endless,” Adolfo said. “It’s just a matter of finding where her heart lies. One thing I know about Rebekah is, she has no problem following her heart.”  

The Rambler incorrectly reported the spelling of names and titles:

Rebekah 

Ashlie Sivley

Legally Blonde

The Rambler regrets the error.