We’ve watched Molly grow up before our very own eyes! She’s been part of the SHUFFLES Family since she was a tiny little girl, and we’re so proud of who she is blossoming into. Molly has not only been a great student and principal performer, but she has been an incredible role model for many young students as she has also been assisting classes at the studio and choreographing. We can’t wait to see where all her talents will lead her!
We interviewed Molly, as she’s one of our graduating seniors, to share a little bit about her life at SHUFFLES and to hear what’s next! Though we are so excited for her future ventures, it is bittersweet to see her go!
SHUFFLES: How long have you been part of the SHUFFLES Family?
Molly: I have been with SHUFFLES since I was two and a half. This was my sixteenth year with Gail and my SHUFFLES family!
S: What has your experience been like?
M: SHUFFLES has been my other home for as long as I can remember, with Gail and Buddy as my second set of parents. There are no words to describe the incredible amounts of love, support and strength they have given me. I would never be where I am without SHUFFLES.
S: What’s your favorite SHUFFLES Memory?
M: SHUFFLES is an amazing place to learn. Buddy always tells us his biggest piece of advice for a performance is to “JUST HAVE FUN!” I take classes almost every day of the week, but for 16 years I have always had tap class on Monday evenings, and for some reason Monday nights get pretty goofy. Now I can’t lie and say I am not to blame, I’m a pretty goofy gal myself, but my favorite day of the week is Monday, when I get to un-wind, tap my heart out, and giggle till my belly aches.
S: What was your favorite SHUFFLES performance?
M: When I was 15, Buddy cast me as Tiger Lily in the SHUFFLES annual production of Peter PANtomime. When I started rehearsal, I had no idea what was in store. Gail, and a number of the other incredible staff, taught me how to dance strong, and helped me reveal myself in full as a mature dancer. I had never felt so empowered before that show.
“Molly had an incredible break-through moment the year she played Tiger Lily in Peter PANtomime. I watched her blossom and grow into a confident performer during the rehearsal process and performances. She has never looked back. Molly went on in the next two years to do Wendy and Peter.” – Gail Crutchfield, Founding Director
S: What do you think you’ve learned most?
M: SHUFFLES is more than just a dance and musical theater school; SHUFFLES is a home. The people who join and participate are family. The staff are our crazy and incredible aunts, uncles, cousins, mentors, and friends. SHUFFLES has taught me so much, about myself, the world, the business, and how important the community we surround ourselves with is. I think the most important thing I have learned, is that from great support, friendship, and impeccable training comes great art…. Also take ballet. Technique, technique, technique.
S: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to younger SHUFFLES students?
M: My SHUFFLES family has grown and grown as my heart has every year new students arrive. I love each and every one of the kids at SHUFFLES and have had the pleasure of teaching some and working with most of them. One piece of advice, well really two pieces are: ONE: Always be kind and grateful, you never know who is looking up to you. TWO: Never give up. There’s always something to learn.
S: What’s next?
M: Next year I am attending Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, MO as a musical theater major. I have continued to audition over the summer as a great learning experience. Thanks to SHUFFLES my journey has already started, I don’t know where I’d be without it!
“‘It has been incredible to watch Molly grow as a person and performer over the past 4 and a half years. She has far exceeded my expectations every step of the way, and has become such a beautiful, talented, and amazing woman! I will certainly miss her, but can’t wait to see what she does next!” – Shelby Kaufman, SHUFFLES Instructor