By: Lizzie Throop
Photos Courtesy of SBHS Alumni Association
Rose Marie Cruz was born and raised in Santa Barbara and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1956. She was a part of many well known SBHS programs including the Drill Team, Modern Dance Program, SBHS Band, The Forge, and the Yearbook staff. After high school, Cruz dedicated her life to her passion and joy for dance. Her personal studies of dance included ballet, tap, jazz, Mexican folklorico, modern, Afro-cuban, and Flamenco. She went to Santa Barbara City College and Santa Barbara Business College, which helped her pave the way for her studio, Cruz Dance & Entertainment. For the past 50 years, her students have performed all around the world including features on television, films, and commercials. Their most memorable performance was for Queen Elizabeth II, King Phillip, And the Duke of Edinburgh.
Board Officer and Director of Membership for the SBHS Alumni Association, Sharon Hennings explained that Cruz was very generous to let the SBHS Alumni Association borrow some favorite photos and other memories from newspapers and advertisements to share as a contribution to the Alumni Association. Hennings said that Cruz was very thrilled to be a part of the 2018 Wall of Fame, located in the main hall, and wishes to spread her joy of dance to others. Cruz Dance & Entertainment has contributed to Santa Barbara by dancing in the annual Old Spanish Days performance for over 40 years. Cruz also has designed beautiful costumes that the dancers have worn. Cruz has made huge contributions to the Santa Barbara community and brought light to the art of dance.
Image Credit: SBHS Alumni Association