Boulder is a community made unique by its local scene, which doesn’t quite look like the concert-heavy, nightlife scene in Denver. Many folks in Boulder are involved with active arts like yoga, hula hooping, fire play, and other cool, creative pursuits. Ana Cruz is one of those people, and she’s also a member of the queer community. Her mission? To bring her cool, creative flow to as many Pride events as possible, and to dance and make art all over Boulder. We chatted with her about her upcoming appearance on stage for Boulder PrideFest.
How did you first get involved with performance art?
When I was little, I always loved dressing up in my mom’s clothes, things like that. I was a born showman. As I got older, I took a bunch of dance classes. Then, this woman who runs a silent disco found me, and I got into that. Then I started hooping and got more interested in that side of it, and then a friend brought me to a fire jam, and I started doing a lot of fire stuff.
How did you get involved with Boulder PrideFest?
I’ve gone every year since moving here, but this is my first year actually performing. Pride is something that I’ve been participating in since I lived on the East Coast.
Do you think your art is well-received in the LGBTQ community?
My art is definitely appreciated. I love how LGBTQ spaces are places to be yourself. I’m happiest when I get to do what I want to do, just performing and making people happy. The community is definitely near and dear to my heart.
How did you first get involved with the queer community and going to Prides?
When I was about 18 years old, I was invited to march in Philadelphia; I used to live in New Jersey. I came out when I was 16. Marching in my first Pride was such an awesome experience. When I lived back on the East Coast, I would go to all of the local Prides, about one a week during June. It’s been a huge part of my life.
Do you have anything else cool coming up that you want to announce?
I am definitely going to be performing at some haunted houses across Colorado soon. I’ll be sharing more details shortly, so be sure to follow me online.
Do you have any goals or objectives you’re working towards?
Eventually, I’d like to perform internationally. I would also like to be full-time self-employed through my art. Right now, I still have to have other avenues of income, Now I am self employed, but I have other avenues of income, but eventually I’d like it to be only from my art.
I noticed a lot of your photo shoots are nature-based. How does nature impact your art, and how does living in a beautiful place like Boulder influence you?
Oh, absolutely. I really, really, really appreciate being outside in nature after coming from the East Coast, which is a concrete jungle. Even though I love loud music and concerts, I do appreciate taking a moment to relax and take it all in, which is something I didn’t grow up doing.
To keep up with Cruz and all her performances, follow her online anacruzperformance.com or on Facebook at @Anamalhoops.