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Miami High News

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Dance, Lead, Succeed: Gabriela Martinez

Meet Gaby, our dance team captain who choreographs success on and off the stage.

Junior Gabriela Martinez, also known as Gaby, is a hardworking student and captain of the BNG Dance Team. 



Gaby has been dancing since she was 7. Initially, she was a shy girl, but dancing quickly became her safe place. When she first came to Miami High last year, her intention was to join cheerleading. But after seeing the BNG Dance Team perform, she changed her decision. 

Now as the Blue and Gold captain, she says, “It’s a surreal experience. I’ve been entrusted with this gift and while the responsibilities of leadership can be intimidating, the support within this group of girls makes my job a lot easier. I genuinely feel blessed to lead the BNG team.” 

To keep her and the team motivated, Gaby practices her motivational speech the day before performance days. “I usually send a message in the morning with encouraging words, and minutes before the performance, we come together and share some good thoughts,” she said.   

Gaby’s proudest achievement lies in the sense of community she builds and the bond that she creates over late basketball games and long practices. To anybody that wants to join BNG, Gaby advises to dance with confidence and self-expression.  

Gaby stated, “Teens face various challenges like self-esteem, grades, and family issues. Dancing provides an escape from these struggles. Onstage, surrounded by a supportive group, sharing your passion creates a unique sense of freedom.” 


Newly arrived 

Just a year ago Gaby was in Cuba. She left in February of 2022 and lived in Mexico for a bit and then got to Miami in May. Although Cuba is Gaby’s home, she said it didn’t have a sense of security and she saw no future there for her and her family.  

Now, she’s trying to stay organized, but keeps health as her top priority. “If I’m not healthy, I can’t overcome challenges the way I want to,” she said.   

When she first got to Miami High, she was impressed. She had never seen anything like it.  She knew that it would be hard at first, but it would eventually become her home. 



Gabriela comes from a large and lively family, with three sisters and two brothers. Despite the chaos that comes with such a big family, they always stand by each other and support one another’s passions, no matter how wild their dreams may be.  

One of Gabriela’s cherished memories is the game nights her family has. During these game nights, she and her brother would get competitive, but would put their fights on hold just to win against their parents. 

Her mom holds a special place in Gabriela’s heart; she is not just a mother but Gabriela’s role model and best friend. Her mom’s influence has shaped Gabriela into the person she is today. Her dad has always been her biggest supporter, making her feel like the spoiled girl she is now.  

Gabriela said, “My dad would take me to the end of the world if I asked him to. He would take me to dance classes at night after going to my English academy.” One of their proudest moments is their ability to overcome challenges. 



  Juggling school and captaining the BNG team can be a challenge. Gaby mentions that she has a great team supporting her and co-captain, Genesis Lopez; they manage to work together and always support one another. 

Gaby says that BNG club sponsor Ms. G., also her biology teacher from last year, has been an amazing role model for her. She has always listened to Gaby and offered advice, and she has been there for her when she needed it most. Ms. G encourages her to remain humble while also being the best version of herself.  

Gaby notes that although her English teachers from the previous year, Ms. Utrera and Ms. Suarez, probably aren’t aware of it, they helped her become more confident in speaking and writing in English during her first year in the country. With her energy, Ms. Suarez has always inspired Gaby to strive for excellence and push herself. Gaby was also able to improve as a student thanks to Ms. Utrera’s dedication and patience. 



To stay motivated, Gaby looks at her mom and remembers how proud she wants to make her. Another thing that helps is looking past this moment and imagining the person that she’ll become once she accomplishes her goals. 

Gaby is pushing through junior year. She’s all about keeping up with her grades and giving her best in class as a student. Beyond that, she’s striving to be a better person, a reliable friend, and a good daughter. Gaby’s on a journey to foster a healthy mindset, aiming to bring peace and happiness to her life and those around her.  

When it comes to dancing, she’s dedicated to improving her skills and becoming a better performer. As the team captain, her focus is on what’s best for her team—she wants them to cherish these moments, see her as a constant support, and leave a positive mark on the BNG legacy.   


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