Meet Toby Rubb, she is an alumnus from Rugcutterz Danz Artz. Currently, she is attending Humber College for Advertising and Graphic Design.
When did you start dancing at Rugcutterz?
Toby: I started dancing at Rugcutterz right when it opened, I was seven years old and I danced there until I graduated.
What do you love most about dance?
Toby: I love the way that you can release everything when you’re dancing and the way it can make you feel better no matter what the problem is. I also love the whole feeling of dancing at the dance studio because you really become family with the people around you.
Is that what you like most about Rugcutterz?
Toby: Rugcutterz is like my second home and it has been ever since I started dancing there. Everyone at Rugcutterz is so nice, whether it’s the teachers or the people in your company, or anyone you are dancing with, or passing in the hallways. Everyone is certainly kind.
Do you have any favourite moments from were you dancing in the competitive program?
Toby: Some of my favourite moments are really just being in the studio. Everyone would say that their favourite moments would be winning a big title or something really impressive that they’ve achieved with their studio, but, I’ve really just enjoyed being in the studio with all my friends, Ms. Kim and other teachers, and spending time there.
What was your most memorable dance routine? Is there a choreography that you think about and you wish you could go back?
Toby: Honestly, I wish I could go back all the time. I actually have quite a few favourite dances from all of the years at Rugcutterz; I was there for 10 years. From all of the years, I think my favourite dances have been “Water For Elephants” and “Narnia,” which are two Acro dances I did. “Narnia,” I believe was the second or third year at Rugcutterz, which was a long time ago. But my all time favourite that I’ve ever done would be “The Great Gatsby,” which I actually got to perform in Germany when we represented Team Canada with Ms. Kim and a whole bunch of people from Rugcutterz. That was an experience like no other, it was incredible.
When you did your last recital was there any special moment? What did you feel?
Toby: My whole last competitive year was probably one of the most emotional years of my whole life so far. When I did the last recital, the people that graduate always get to perform a dance and a little speech for Ms. Kim and the audience at the end; and Ms. Kim goes out into the audience and watches.
I just think that with the group of people that I graduated with, the fact that we were leaving our best friends at the studio because they weren’t graduating and they were still dancing, leaving Ms. Kim and everyone that has influenced me; the Marin’s that say for the last 10 years of my life dancing at Rugcutterz I spent everyday with them, it made it all really difficult to have that final moment on the stage and dance for them, and try to express my feelings for them in a one minute number; but it was really amazing. You could really see the emotion on everyone’s face as well as the people that were graduating.
Do you still dance?
Toby: At Humber, we don’t have a dance program. I try to take open classes because I miss to be able to dance everyday. Also, I do work for a company that does DJing so I dance with them, but it’s not the same as it would be at Rugcutterz. I definitely try to come back as much as I can to visit. Last year, I would come once a week because my school schedule allowed it. I would to make it every Thursday to dance so I could say hi to everyone and help out in the classes. Sadly, this semester my school schedule doesn’t work but I try to come in to say hi to everyone and it’s nice, and I hope to be able to go in a little more.
Has dance helped you overcome any challenges?
Toby: Dance has affected my life completely, dance pretty much is my life and it has been ever since I can remember. It has helped me a lot being in the studio, in a happy environment with all your friends and people you feel comfortable with, just helps you even on a bad day. So if you have a bad day at school and you have dance that night, even when you are sad and don’t feel like doing it anything, when you get to the dance studio, your friends, the actual music and the feeling of being at dance just helps you through.
Have you learnt anything about yourself through dance?
Toby: Definitely. I learnt that I can always push myself harder and do better, whether it’s in dance or in school. Just in general, dance has taught me that if you just keep trying, if you just keeping pushing yourself you can take yourself further.
Do you have anyone that inspires you to dance?
Toby: Originally when I started dancing as a young child it was my mom inspired me to dance and start dancing because she was a dance teacher, and then as the years went on she is still one of my inspirations, but also the Rugcutterz family. Just watching and being in the world of dance, it’s just crazy. Like I aspire to do so many things in the dance world and every day when something new comes out online or anywhere that I see it that pushes me and inspires me to be a better dancer.
What are your long-term goals right now for school or for dance?
Toby: Well right now, I’m at my second year at Humber for Graphic Design and it’s my last year, so I graduate and finish school at the end of April this year. After that, I eventually want to become a teacher and work with younger kids. I got the experience last year to teach four and five year olds at Rugcutterz, and it really generated a love and the idea that I want to work with younger kids because I really enjoyed it. However after graduating high school and leaving Rugcutterz, I actually looked to move to Los Angeles to pursue my career in dance and I was selected to be in a show in Hollywood, a contemporary show. Following this year from graduating from school, I hope to be able to pursue my dance career even more.
What did you teach the kids here, what style?
Toby: I taught four and five year old Jazz class and Tap class, and then, I actually assisted in Acro class last year as well.
Do you have any words of advice for any kids that want to become dancers?
Toby: Just never stop believing and trying. Never think that you can’t do better because you always can, with more work you can improve no matter what.