A 2012 graduate of CalCreative, Mayumi Rhone went on to high school at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). As a dance major at LACHSA, “I have dance every day– from ballet and modern to jazz,” Mayumi reported. “It’s a lot, but I love it!” Mayumi also continues to dance and perform with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, which she has been doing since before her time at CalCreative.
“What I remember most about CalCreative is the community,” Mayumi noted. “The community was so strong. From birthdays to field trips, the kids and parents all knew each other. There were such strong bonds.” With regard to academics, Mayumi felt that her time at CalCreative helped “nourish and blossom my love for reading,” especially her 4th grade teacher, Mr. Edwards. “He helped me learn how to think, how to put things together. It was challenging, but in a good way.” The arts classes were “always highlights of my day,” Mayumi recalled. “It made learning much more fun.” For instance, “dance would be tied into what we were learning in history. I learned a lot more that way.”
Although Mayumi has a full schedule with academics and dance every day, she “still [has] friends and freedom…. I make a few sacrifices, but I’m still able to do other things I want to do,” particularly during the summers, when she takes up horseback riding, designing clothes, and being a junior lifeguard. “I’ve seen other kids who only do dance or their specific activity, and that attitude can cause you to lose your love for it,” she explained.
After high school, Mayumi hopes to continue dancing, ideally in musical theater or on Broadway one day. “I love being on stage– acting, dancing, I love it all,” she said. “I also love being surrounded by other people in the visual arts and other disciplines and learning from them as well,” she added. According to Mayumi, CalCreative helped her develop these lifelong skills and passions. “It was challenging at times, but it paid off.”
Mayumi’s mother, Shari Rhone, added that “as a parent, I never felt more taken care of than I did at CalCreative. The staff went out of their way to help my kids and make sure they were creatively engaged. They really went above and beyond to communicate with us. We loved our time there, and I have no doubt CalCreative gave my kids the best foundation for the rest of their educational careers.”