#30DaysofSpotlight – A Letter from Ebony Ruffin

A Message from Ebony Ruffin, alumnus, The Music Center’s Spotlight program (Non-Classical Dance, 1997)

Dear Friend,

In 1997, I was a non-classical dance finalist in The Music Center’s Spotlight program.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I waited nervously in the wings of The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion before taking the stage to perform my solo. I took deep breaths, and, when it was time, I stepped on stage and did what I did best: I danced my heart out.

If I could sum up my Spotlight experience in a few words, I would say it was life-changing. Participating in Spotlight allowed me to envision a bigger dream for myself. I could see the sky was the limit and that if I stayed committed, I would become a professional dancer.

Spotlight has changed the lives of thousands of students. And, today, The Music Center needs your support to continue transforming young lives through the arts.


Ebony’s headshot for the 1997 Spotlight Grand Finale

I am so grateful for Spotlight because of the tremendous mentorship I received, the lessons I learned and the character it helped me build. A year after dancing on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage, I moved to New York to attend NYU and ended up staying in New York for almost 20 years working as a professional dancer, educator and choreographer.

Today, I’ve come full circle as I now work at The Music Center’s Education Department, another dream come true. I am proud to be a Spotlight alumni and a member of The Music Center family.

I hope you’ll join me in participating in our 30 Days of Giving Campaign so we can expand Spotlight even further and reach more young people, especially in underserved areas.

Will you please make a donation today on Facebook to support Spotlight and The Music Center?

Thank you for helping us continue to transform young lives.


Ebony Ruffin
Manager, Professional Development
The Music Center