Students Exemplify Strengths of CPS Initiatives
It’s a good thing Mikayla Renfrow’s day at the School of Creative and Performing Arts includes conditioning, because this sophomore is reaching for the stars.
“I think I was born to perform,” says Mikayla, who is also a top academic honor student at SCPA, the nation’s only public K-12 arts school. “I was born with a gift, so I might as well give it back. I look forward to working on the stage the rest of my life, hopefully as a career but always as a passion.”
Administrators call Mikayla a “triple-threat” excelling in singing, dancing and acting. She’s currently preparing for her role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opening November 6 at SCPA.
“I love SCPA,” says Mikayla. “It’s my second home. I’m there from 8 a.m. until 6 or 7 p.m. nearly every day. I love performing with friends and peers, and performing in general. I love learning new combinations and learning new music, and then putting what we’ve worked so hard for on stage and hoping the audience likes it.”
Mikayla’s day includes a prestigious musical theater program led by SCPA alums Drew and Leah Lachey. “We condition, get stronger, work on our core, move into routine and combination, dance technique,” explains Mikayla. “We incorporate ballet, jazz, hip hop, all different styles we can use that prepare you for a career on Broadway.”
She also works on vocals and drama, developing acting behind the song, honing monologues. And she’s in Meridian 8, a group that learns and performs vocal jazz pieces and the occasional pop song.
“I have learned so much here,” says Mikayla, “from learning to read music to perfecting different audition techniques.”
Though confident, Mikayla is surprisingly humble. She notes that there are always “a lot of people better than you” and that you have to work hard to make your stamp on life. “Take critiques, it’s all to make you better. Have that fire and drive, never lose it, keep working on it and have a wanting and yearning to keep working hard, and give the gift out to the audience on stage every night. Give the audience something to think about.”
And that’s advice that students and professionals alike can take to heart.