Freshman Friday: Ruby Martinez

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Freshman Friday: Ruby Martinez

By Farheen Khan

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While many of us don’t find our passions until later in life, freshman Ruby Martinez has held a passion for dancing since birth. Being exposed to dance through her mother at such a young age, Martinez immediately fell in love.

Martinez’s first memories of dance go back to when she’d go along with her mother to the Joffrey Ballet Company studio.

“I started dancing when I was eight because I always looked up to my mom, and I practically grew up at the dance studio because after I was born, my mom still took dance class and she had to bring me with,” Martinez said. “My mom was the whole reason I started dancing in the first place, but right away I fell in love. She has helped me expand my dancing from just in the studio to getting me auditions. She always knows how to help me when something hurts, and something always does.”

For her mother, seeing her daughter following in her footsteps has been very exciting.

“Yes, Ruby is following in my footsteps with her dancing. It is fun for me, and I think it’s a great compliment to me that Ruby would want to follow in my footsteps and pursue the art of ballet,” mother Jill Skintges said. “I hope that if she should choose ballet as her career that she is truly passionate about it, and I will support her one hundred percent. If she finds ballet is not her passion, that is fine too. Whatever she finds her passion in life to be, I will be there to help her in any way that I’m able. She’s a great kid, and no, I don’t have on my mom glasses.”

Martinez loves to “move with music,” which stems from her growing up with a musical family.

“I don’t know how to explain why I love to dance, I just do. I love to move to be with the music, whether it’s in my head or on the radio,” she said. “I think part of that is because my family is musical. Everyone I know at least used to play an instrument, including me. I played guitar and piano. Plus, I sing. I was in choir all of middle school, but had to give it up because of dance,” Martinez said.

Martinez takes part in Orchesis at Niles West, but with the start of her high school career, she finds that her work load has increased, and may not have the time to participate in it any longer.

“I take part in Orchesis, but I don’t think I can be in it much longer because I have taken way too much to chew. I take dance class around six times a week, and it’s after school till around 8:00 to 8:30, depending on the night,” Martinez said. “I also auditioned for the Nutcracker, and now have rehearsals for that as well. I wish I could do all of it, but with starting high school this year and the homework, I don’t know if I can still part take in Orchesis.”

Martinez’s friends notice her hard work and efforts juggling dancing, her schoolwork, and maintaining her friendships all at once.

“I have known Ruby since sixth grade. We met by the bathroom door when she heard about my audition to swing choir. She is loyal, trustworthy, and she brings light during your darkest times. She’s one of those people who just naturally brings out the best in you, even when you feel your worst,” freshman Lynn Nguyen said. “Ruby is so committed to her dancing. She’s juggling so much. Honors classes, the Nutcracker, ballet, Orchesis, and probably even more because I can’t keep up with her. She is an amazing dancer, and I believe that her inspiration to be so good is her mom. You can tell how proud both of them are of each other, and it’s so adorable.”

Dance is something Martinez would like to pursue, but she also knows she should have other career options.

“I would like to dance for my career, but let’s be realistic here. I honestly don’t think I am good enough, so I have to have a Plan B and C,” she said. “Plus, you can’t dance your whole life, so you need another career. I would like to do something medical, like a doctor, or do something with animals. I have always loved them.”