The world of dance is one of passion. The jumps. The twirls. The lifts. Everything about it says “love.” Enter into this enchanting realm Ronda Runnels — the visionary force directing Human | Artist | Dancer who has devoted her life to igniting the passion of young dancers.
Runnels’ journey into dance began at age three, driven by an unwavering passion that defied financial hurdles. Reflecting on her childhood, she shares, "I started dancing when I was three years old because most moms want their kids to dance, and fell in love with it." At 11, a pivotal scholarship for a ballet program in San Antonio marked the birth of her commitment to dance. "I took away a great value of the gift of a scholarship and felt that someday I would want to be able to offer that privilege and that honor to dancers like myself."
From this passion, Human | Artist | Dancer emerged out of Trilogy Dance Center and Trilogy Hill Country to provide scholarships for high school dancers. In its inaugural year, two $5,000 scholarships spurred recipients toward dance careers. Subsequent years witnessed increased amounts, aiding college education and elite training. Runnels proudly shares, "Our second year we gave away $14,000 in scholarships and both of those students used the income to go to school."
Beyond performance, Runnels’ devotion lies in mentorship and education. Trilogy Dance Center has become a haven, nurturing creativity and authenticity. “I feel like it's a gift to have a program where you're being held accountable, where a person wants you to show up and wants you to be the best expression of yourself.”
Human | Artist | Dancer not only supports financially but also instills vital life skills. Runnels emphasizes resilience and coping with rejection, stating, "I tell them you have five minutes to be disappointed. Cry it out, let it go, and then wipe the tears and get back in the game."
Supporting Human | Artist | Dancer becomes a community performance. Through donations, sponsorships, or attending the annual gala, individuals fuel the dreams of aspiring dancers. Runnels urges even the smallest contributions, emphasizing that collective support fortifies the program.
Runnels’ story encapsulates a journey from a dance enthusiast to a mentor and nonprofit founder. As she wisely states, "Never give up on your dreams... continue to try to turn that into an opportunity and believe that if you set your trajectory the way that you see the end product, you can get there."
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"Never give up on your dreams... continue to try to turn that into an opportunity and believe that if you set your trajectory the way that you see the end product, you can get there."