Student of the Month – Elyssa Szemcsak

What companies/classes are you currently in?

I am in the CATS company.


When did you start at Center Stage?

I started at the original Marlboro studio at the age of 2.


What was your Center Stage journey?

My Center Stage journey has been a long and amazing experience. I went through practically every single company from jazz to tap to ballet. I’ve learned so much from Center Stage that not only relates to my dancing but to life as well. I have become so close to the students and staff and I will miss everybody greatly.


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

It’s been worth every ounce of energy that I’ve put into it because I got to come to this amazing place everyday and do what I love. Now I’m hoping to continue doing this for the rest of my life. Center Stage helped me realize how much I love dancing and that I could not live without it.


You’ve just completed the incredibly challenging role of “Sugar Plum” in our production of “The Nutcracker.”  Can you talk about that experience; the rehearsal, the performance and the accomplishment?

The Nutcracker was such a crazy experience. I got to perform one of my dream roles and that is once in a lifetime. The rehearsals were tedious but it helped having a great partner and supportive teachers. It was definitely the most tiring dance I’ve ever done and at times I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get through it, but once I did the feeling was unreal.


Center Stage seems to produce a lot of ‘friends-for-life.’  Are the people you dance with going to be forever friends?  Why do you think that happens?

Yes they definitely will be. We are with each other every second of everyday. They are my family and I know I will keep in touch with a lot of them.
Who are your role models?  Whose life and values, either from your personal life or famous people, would you like to emulate?

My famous role models are Laura Michelle Kelly and Meryl Streep. They are both masters at their craft and carry themselves with such grace and modesty. My role model in my life is my dad. He’s my best friend and works so hard at what he does and in studio as a prop dad.
What’s your favorite movie and why?

Mamma Mia because Meryl Streep. Also, it’s such a fun and happy movie. Whenever I need to smile I watch that movie.


Favorite food?

Favorite food is rice. So many different and delicious ways to eat rice. I can eat a whole box myself!


First celebrity crush?

Pierce Brosnan in James Bond.


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

Total Divas… it’s a show based off the lives of the WWE Divas.


What makes you laugh?

My best friends Taylor and Gabby always manage to make me laugh. Also my family can always make me smile. There’s never a dull moment with them.


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

A koala because they are adorable.


What’s next?

Hopefully I will study dance in college and make my way to the broadway stage.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years I hope to be in a broadway show performing every night and doing what I love to do.


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

Of course. This place is home and I am always connected to Center Stage.