KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- People walk through the studio doors at Quixotic with high expectations and a little more pep in their step, but it could be the heels.
The mass of dancers filing in are there to take a late-night heels dance class from Edith Cruz. The more than 60 people buzzing around are there for what Cruz brings to the table.
But, you haven’t heard her name or seen her on television, until now.
Cruz is starting a movement at a small dance studio next to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts that will soon spread across the city if Wednesday night class attendance keeps trending upward.
“It’s not just a heels class. It really isn’t,” Cruz said. “This is an empowerment, confidence-building class and the outlet we use is dancing in a heel.”
Her classes didn’t begin with this inherent message. Cruz started teaching heels classes directed towards experienced dancers, then people with less experience waltzed in.
“But, I knew that I felt good doing it,” Cruz said. “And if I felt good doing it that means other people might feel good doing it.”
With a quick change of direction Cruz turned her attention to the way dancing makes people feel.
“It’s good for your soul,” Elisa Lanter said. “It’s good for confidence.”
“Everybody’s in here having a good time, looking good and feeling good and dancing their heart out,” Brissa Gallegos said. “It’s just a good vibe in here.”
Both women were looking for something Kansas City doesn’t have in abundance.
Lanter said there are very few dance classes for young adults. Even fewer that focus on building your confidence while you dance.
“Yeah in the class you’re here in the heels, but when you leave you still feel like you’re that girl,” Gallegos said. “That confidence follows you.”
Cruz can tell when she’s changed someone’s outlook.
“I made somebody feel good for that moment and hopefully that’s the start for them to feel good for an eternity,” Cruz said.
It comes from the small notes of encouragement throughout the one hour and 15-minute class.
She has a few famous lines too:
“I always say, ‘how would your significant other touch your body,’ Are they going to touch you like they’re scared, no they’re going to touch you!”
“We’re all going to have big booty’s today!”
“We’re not here to audition for Beyoncé or Rihanna or any of those great artists. One day! We’re just here to have fun.”
Fun tag lines aside, Cruz takes the time to make her dancers heard.
“It’s not about the steps that we’re doing, but it’s about the way we feel when we’re dancing,” Cruz said.
At the end of each class Cruz gathers her dancers together for a moment of reflection together while they slowly walk towards the front of the class, and out into the world.