Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Jaden Cruz, 7, has enjoyed dancing since she was very young. In fact, when she was 3 years old, she would watch America’s Next Top Model and pretend to walk down the runway like the models do.
Over the past few years, Cruz has been attending the Paula Carr Dance Academy in Scottsdale, learning tap, jazz and ballet. Although Cruz doesn’t really care for the music being played for the three classes, she said she does like the sounds of the tap-dancing shoes and the moves of ballet.
“I never get tired of dancing,” said Cruz.
Cruz has been rehearsing twice a week and recently participated in a dance recital with many other girls that was held at the Mesa Arts Center.
“I thought the recital was cool,” Cruz said. “There were a lot of people on both the top and bottom floors [of the audience].”
Cruz said she is leaning toward studying hip-hop dancing this fall. In August she will be going into the third grade at Scottsdale’s Navajo Elementary.
Cruz’s mother, Angela Schurz, says she has so much energy it keeps her busy as well.
Cruz has many talents, not only does she dance, she also plays softball, baseball with the Salt River Hit Squad, and basketball with i9 Sports in Phoenix.
“Jaden is the only girl on her team and was awarded Most Valuable Player. We are so proud of the sweet little girl she is and always look forward to watching her do what she does best,” said Schurz. “She is a silly little girl whom we love and hold dear to our hearts.
“I want to say congratulations to our baby girl. You are growing so fast. God bless you always! Love, Mom, Daddy, brothers and sisters.”