CVHS Senior Ryan Garcia stole all our hearts during his Valentine’s Day performance


Carnegie Yearbook

Ryan Garcia mesmerizing the crowd during the Valentine’s Day pep rally with his spooky zombie-thriller hip-hop routine.





If you have attended any of CVHS’s pep rallies, chances are that you know who Ryan Garcia is. Maybe you remember his excitingly haunting performance from the Valentine’s Day pep rally when he strutted through the audience in a fake blood-stained shirt just before blowing us all away with a captivating novelty routine that he both choreographed and performed a solo in.

From a young age, Garcia has been dancing, but he only really began to express himself through dance once he got to middle school. His parents played a major role in the spark of his dancing career by convincing him to audition for the Lanier Dance Team. When he was able to land a spot on the team, this opportunity gave him confidence, and his passion for dancing began to grow.

“My dad pretty much convinced me to do it, because he knew that in elementary school, I had wanted to dance, but I was really shy. So, sixth grade was a way to kind of get out of my shell,” Garcia said.

Garcia showing his Carnegie Spirit during Senior Spirit Week on Bikers vs. Surfers. (Carnegie Yearbook)

Garcia never fails to create exhilarating choreographies for CVHS’s competitive dance company, whether it’s a spooky zombie-themed thriller dance or an 80s-themed hip-hop routine in tracksuits. However, no great artist comes without the expected writer’s — or in this case, dancer’s — block. 

“Like writers have writer’s block, I get dancer’s block, because I don’t want to copy any moves from other people. I’m very picky when I choreograph, because I like when people see my routine and know that it’s me. It’s my style. I want people to like look at it and go, ‘Oh, that makes sense. Yeah, that looks exactly like Ryan,’” Garcia said. 

The roots of Garcia’s creativity can be attributed to being exposed to many different styles of dance, but to him, at the end of the day, none compared to hip-hop. Garcia was drawn to the fluidity, style and energy of the genre right from the start. 

“Back in middle school, I was on a team where they did contemporary and jazz, and for fun, I would just try to dance with them. It was fun to be there and get that new perspective,” Garcia said. “A lot of it has to do with energy. So regardless of how bad or good you are, if you look like you’re having fun, you automatically look good doing it.” 

He has performed in a variety of different competitions for Carnegie’s competitive dance team: Districts, States, Regionals — you name it. But most importantly, Garcia has helped lead the team to victory time after time, filling up an entire case of awards in the science hallway, placing first in hip-hop this past month at district competitions and even as a solo performer at past competitions.

Garcia being carried away by fellow performers during the Valentine’s Day pep rally. (Carnegie Yearbook)

“I’ve placed third at two competitions in middle school and then second at a national competition. And freshman year and sophomore year, I placed second at a regional competition,” Garcia said.

However, his confident demeanor during dances doesn’t come without the normal nerves that come before, especially with such high expectations he has set for himself and his performances. 

“In seventh grade, it was the worst, because I actually started competing. And sometimes, I’ll even get it now. It’s not as bad as it was when I got my first competition. But like, once I’m on the floor, the stage fright kind of just dissipates. Just kind of leaves,” Garcia said.

Even though Garcia still gets stage fright, he takes comfort in his fellow teammates to combat the nerves. 

“I like to talk to my team. I just talk about whatever. I talk about how excited I am, how proud I am of the team, and then that kind of calms me down, because then I’m like, ‘Yeah, I got this. We got this,’” Garcia said.

While Garcia has successfully led his team and himself to success, he also expressed concern about the judges and a current bias in competition between genders. He expresses that even he has experienced this gender bias when performing hip-hop routines.

“Sometimes I actually think I do feel like there is bias in dance where it’s majority girls. When judges see guys performing routines, they do like it more because they see diversity in gender,” Garcia said. “The majority of guys that do break dance and hip hop have that advantage, because there is a stronger liking for it.”

Garcia has never let anything stop him from continuing to dance and would like to pursue dance as a hobby in the near future. From being a shy kid in elementary school to being a leader on the dance floor, Garcia has proven that no obstacle can hold you back, no matter how big. And he continues to practice this mindset today, believing in himself, his talent and, most of all, his passion, no matter what. 

“There’s no wrong way to dance. If they want to dance, they can never be bad at it. They’re just unique; they have their own unique style. I feel like I learned, and I at one point did feel like I wasn’t going to dance in elementary school, but once I started in middle school, I proved myself wrong, and I’m glad I did,” Garcia said.