Cara Fleury’s love for dance and musical theatre led her from the stage at Oakcrest to the stage on Broadway. And although she has since left New York City, she continued to share her passion for theatre at schools throughout the DMV area.
“From a very young age, I have loved to dance and sing. My grandfather used to tell me stories about his days as an usher at Radio City Music Hall and I would daydream about what it must have been like to meet movie stars like Ruby Keeler,” Cara says. While she’d dreamed of being onstage ever since she could remember, it was seeing an Oakcrest Variety show in 5th grade that made Cara’s dream feel palpable. She started at Oakcrest in the 8th grade and began to pursue dance seriously—ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical study. She performed in variety shows throughout her time at Oakcrest. Cara recalls with special fondness learning a combination from “Footloose” taught by the legendary Pinky Puno, and says that show rehearsals always brought the best memories. “Seventh graders could be dancing alongside eleventh graders and I thought that was always so amazing,” she notes. “What better way to offer a young girl a role model than to put her next to an upperclassman under the bright lights?”
Cara says her education at Oakcrest taught her how to think critically, listen with an open mind, articulate an argument, and debate with grace and poise. She was particularly impacted by her philosophy classes with Dr. Edwina Maksym, which she says are, to this day, some of the most intellectually challenging courses she’s ever taken. “Dr. Maksym taught me how to debate gracefully, but with unreserved conviction for the truth,” she says. She is also grateful for the way Oakcrest taught her about her faith. “My faith is my compass and has never steered me wrong.”
After high school, Cara went on to study dance in college and then pursue a career on Broadway following graduation. For two years, she auditioned for countless Broadway shows and worked with many fantastic artists, choreographers, and musicians. When she eventually moved back to the DC area, she dedicated herself to putting her gifts to use for area high schools. She has choreographed professionally for many schools, including Oakcrest. She now runs a baking blog called Brave Marshmallow that can be found on Instagram and Facebook. This year, she’s also gotten involved in Oakcrest life in a new way, joining the Oakcrest Alumnae Association Board.
Cara's advice to Oakcrest students after they graduate? "Keep your Oakcrest friendships and faith in Christ close," she says. "Stay in touch with your friends—they know all of your inside jokes and will always laugh at yours. Be proud of who you are—a beautiful and courageous daughter of the King! Go out and let your light shine!"