Student of the Month – Ariana Ozbay

What companies/classes are you currently in?

I am currently in the CATS company. I take jazz with Mickey DeFranco, lyrical with Michelle Scarpa Sullivan, and ballet with Lainie DeFranco.


When did you start at Center Stage?

I started dancing at the age of 3 and continued my dance education at Center Stage at age 7.


Do you remember your first dance routine?

Yes! My first dance was called ‘Sneaker Night’ and Sue Garahan was my teacher.


What was your Center Stage journey?

My Center Stage journey started in second grade, taking jazz and ballet classes. After my first year, I was introduced to the many companies Center Stage had to offer. The first company I was part of was Jaguars, and from there I became a CATS apprentice. After two years, I auditioned for the CATS company, which I am currently a part of today.


Why has it been worth all of the energy you’ve put in to it and the sacrifices you’ve made?

My time at Center Stage has given me so much knowledge and happiness, so it has definitely been worth the energy and time I’ve invested over the years. Not only has it taught me how to manage my time responsibly, but gave me many friendships and memories as well.


Do you do other outside of school activities?

Alongside dancing at Center Stage, I take part in a performing arts program part of my High School called FPAC, where I take dance, voice, and musical theater classes. I am also the captain of the Howell High School dance team where we perform at football and basketball games.


What’s your favorite movie and why?

I have so many favorite movies, but one I will never get tired of watching is Devil Wears Prada. As someone very interested and invested in all things fashion, this movie has always been one that I consider to be a classic in the fashion world! I am also especially excited as it has recently been announced that it will be making its way to Broadway.


Favorite Broadway show?

My favorite Broadway show is Finding Neverland. I always knew the story of Peter Pan, but it was so fascinating to see how the creator of the story found his inspiration for it. It also showcased my favorite dancer Melanie Moore who I got to meet as well and Matthew Morrison! It made me cry tears of joy and sadness throughout the whole show, and was an experience I will truly never forget.


First Broadway show?

My first Broadway show was Beauty and the Beast.


Favorite food?

My favorite food is definitely sushi.


First celebrity crush?

My first celebrity crush was Zac Efron in his High School Musical days.


TV Show you’re embarrassed to admit you used to watch?

Probably Kim Possible, but it’s only embarrassing since I pretended to be a secret agent like her.


If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

I would definitely be a dog, their life seems super easy.


When do you remember laughing the hardest?

I remember laughing the hardest with my brothers on vacation when my dad accidently tripped on a carpet, and juggled his phone as it was falling to the floor. My brothers and I still laugh about how funny he looked.


If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

I would have dinner with Coco Chanel and ask her every possible question I have about anything fashion related. Especially her tips on success, and how she built such a successful name brand that is still highly respected by all of the fashion industry today.


What’s next?

After I graduate high school and leave Center Stage, I will hopefully be headed to The Fashion Institute of Technology to further my education in the business and journalism

side of fashion.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to see myself working for Vogue or as a personal stylist, styling looks for the runway or any award show. I would also hope to be starting my own line of clothing for women around the world. I hope that wherever my career takes me I am happy and doing what I love.


Will you come back to visit Center Stage, or are you gone for good when you’re out the door?

I will definitely come back and visit! Center Stage is my second home and no matter how far I am I will always make time to visit some of the best people in my life.