2023 FOUNDER'S LEAP FORWARD
We are thrilled to announce the recipient of our 2023 Founder’s Leap Forward Scholarship: Congratulations to Zach Rose @z.is.for.zebra! This $5,000 scholarship is awarded to an exemplary young dancer who embodies the mission of Backstage, displays incredible character, serves their community, and has talent that captures the hearts of every audience. Our Founder, Kari Hovde, says, “Zach was a standout from our first meeting in both talent and character. He continued to show up with a willingness to grow and serve others while living out the core values of Backstage with grace and a humble attitude.” Zach, we are so proud of you and feel honored to be a part of your dance journey. You are changing the world… we believe in you, and we can’t wait to see where you go with your dancing this year!
Because of you, I am able to grow in my dance education, my confidence, and in my community.
Backstage is family!
Zach performing with Kollective8 Arts Studio at our 2023 Backstage annual fundraiser, In The Spotlight.
I am Zach Rosenberger and I live on Whidbey island. I have been dancing for 6 years. Even before I started dancing I was always full of energy and this inner love to create. So when I learned about dance I wanted to try it. I first started by taking Hip Hop and Jazz classes at the local studio. Performing in the studio recitals showed me that it wasn't just dancing, but performing in front of an audience that feeds me.
When I walk into a studio the first thing that pops into my mind is the music playing in the background. That music fills me with something that little to no other place on Earth can give me. When I get in front of that studio mirror again, in front of the stereo, it just changes my mindset from just a day-to-day walking down the street to “OK I'm composing. I'm making something. I'm freestyling. I'm using what my body has to offer to give.” That feeling allows me to throw everything that has happened on that day, week, or month, away and just dance. I often get stuck in my head dancing for hours. When I'm on stage I'm given the ability to provide the audience with a unique energy. Something that not everyone has the ability to give. When I am with a team of people who all love to dance it creates this energy and vibe that is discoverable. That energy of making people feel some sort of way is why I love to compose and why I love to create.
When I started dancing I would experience people harping on me because I was a male and dancing, which made them uncomfortable. Being one of the only male dancers on the island I would constantly get called out and put down because I wasn't fitting the norm. This incidentally made me want to dance and express myself more, which led me to start taking classes off the island.
Now I am a part of many groups that give me so much to the point where I can't even name it all. Kollective 8 Arts studio, The Garden, Rthmz, and PG boys. These groups have trained me to the point where I can go out in the dance world and be remembered, which is scary how amazing that is. This training has allowed me to be awarded scholarships from Monsters of Hip Hop and to attend competitions and constantly place high in scores. With these groups helping me to become a well-respected dancer, my goal of becoming a dancer that can hold their own, even in a room of professional dancers, may not be as far as it seems.
Out of dance, I also like to create books and short stories, which allows me to express myself in a different way and gives me a little more insight into how my brain works. They also have a trend of giving me inspiration for dance.
Thank you for supporting The Backstage Foundation. Because of you, I am able to grow in my dance education, my confidence, and in my community. Backstage is family!