Student Spotlight! – Gabby Portugal

What companies/classes are you currently in?

I’m currently in Center Stage’s CATS Company and the pre-professional acting program.


When did you start at Center Stage?

I started coming to Center Stage in 2005.


Do you remember your first dance routine?

I vividly remember my first dance. It was a tap number with a few other girls. The dance was called Cat in the Hat in the Cat in the Hat show.


What was your Center Stage journey?

My journey at Center Stage has been a long but amazing journey. I honestly would not change one moment of my time here because I have learned so many impressive technical skills and performance skills. However, I have learned many valuable life lessons and things about myself while my time here.


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

I learned many things and gained success in the competitive dance world during my time here, at Center Stage, which made all these sacrifices worth making. But, I believe the biggest reward for putting most of my time and energy into coming to Center Stage are the friendships I have built with others. My teammates are my family and best friends; my closest friendships come from Center Stage. Our love and support we give each other makes my sacrifices worth the while.


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?

As I mentioned before, one of the many rewards for coming to Center Stage is from the friendships I have made here. I can assuredly declare that my current company members and I will be friends for a very, very long time. I think we become lifelong friends because we have seen each other’s highs and lows and have dealt with each other in extremes situations; it would almost be difficult, I think, to not be close friends after all of the experiences we endured together.


Who are your role models?  Whose life and values, either from your personal life or famous people, would you like to emulate?

Some of my role models come from my personal life, and others are famous. My parents are definitely my most important role models because they have taught me how to appreciate the people I have around me and how to work hard and honorably. They have and continue to provide me with strong morals that I value and practice in my life. My “famous” role model is Emma Watson. I look up to her because aside from being a successful actress and performer, she is a social activist for equality, specifically for women’s rights. I admire how she dedicates her time to bigger and more important issues around the world and I hope to be able to contribute in my more actively like she does.


Do you do other outside of school activities?

Besides coming to Center Stage, I go to Marlboro High School. I am heavily involved in my school community; I am in a handful of diversity/ethnic clubs, several academic societies, and I am in community services clubs for the school. I also like to volunteer outside my school community for a program that strengthens social behaviors for disabled children. And in my spare time I am always reading a book!


What’s your favorite movie and why?

It is very hard to choose a favorite movie because I love so many different genres and stories. My top favorite movies include The Godfather, The Birdcage, and, Star Wars.


Favorite book?

Once again, it is impossible for me to choose a favorite book because I love so many. My favorites are the Harry Potter series, The Mortal Instruments series, Passenger, and Jane Eyre.


Favorite food?



First celebrity crush?

I don’t remember my first celebrity crush, but my current one is Harry Styles.


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

I watched 2 seasons of Gossip Girl. I am embarrassed to admit I watched it because I am not a fan of teenage drama series.


What makes you laugh?

Anything sarcastic. Especially my friends.


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

If I was an animal, I would be a bird.


What’s next?

College and lots of traveling.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to see myself with a successful career, living in a nice apartment in Brooklyn, and traveling all over the world.


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

I will most definitely come back!