This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 Life Without Limits issue of Showstopper Magazine.

Photo: Ana Ochoa, Design: Holly Childs

Embarking on a creative journey often involves navigating uncharted waters, and for Brooke Maroon, the path from small-town Iowa to high-energy Los Angeles has been nothing short of an adventure. Brooke’s childhood was infused with dance, and she describes herself as “being a hyper kid that wanted to show everyone the dances that [she] made up.” Now, after a decade on her evolution as a professional dancer, actor, and choreographer.

Small-Town Start

Brooke’s childhood dreams of being a professional dancer never waivered. Despite not being the standout dancer in local competitions, she harbored an unshakable belief that she would dance professionally in Los Angeles. “I believed it so heavily in my heart that there was no other option,” Brooke shared. With the support of her mother and newfound training, Brooke’s journey to Los Angeles started right after high school. “The second I graduated, I packed up, and my mom and I drove my Honda Civic Hybrid out to Los Angeles and that adventure hasn’t stopped since.”

The journey didn’t come without fear, but Brooke used this as motivation. “I didn’t really know anyone in Los Angeles, so I was going into uncharted territory,” she explained, “but it just felt like I had no other choice other than to do it and to see what happened. I think I switched any fear I was feeling into excitement. Any nervousness turned into butterflies in my stomach because that feeling meant that I cared about what I was doing and that I wanted it.”

Overcoming Doubts

The challenges didn’t stop there, and Brooke faced a lot of skepticism early in her career. “I had A LOT of people doubt me,” she revealed. “So many people thought that I didn’t have ‘what it takes’ to dance professionally.” Brooke didn’t let that stop her from chasing her dreams. “Those doubts kept me pretty motivated for a long time. I felt like I had to prove to everyone that I could do it.”

Soon the motivation to prove others wrong became the drive to prove herself right. “Now, I am self-motivated,” Brooke said. “I want to push myself past limits that I never believed that I could do. I want to prove to myself that anything is possible and that I am worthy of those dream moments.”

Finding Inspiration

Pushing past her fears definitely paid off. Los Angeles has been the perfect backdrop for building her dancing and acting career—both in opportunity and exposure to diversity. “Los Angeles is filled with people from everywhere… places you have never even heard of,” she shared. While Los Angeles itself is a melting pot of people, it’s at Brooke’s restaurant jobs that she believes she’s gained the most insight. “You get to see and meet people on a different level than just meeting them on the street,” she explained. “You see how they act at dinner, how they interact with their friends at the table, the kind of food they order, what their table manners are, what kinds of questions that they ask, how their posture is, if they are kind to service industry workers, etc.”

Now, she uses these experiences as a perspective when she’s acting. “When you are an actor, you are playing characters that grew up in all kinds of places and situations,” Brooke shared. “Those are the things that have a huge impact on the kind of person we all become. Those things shape us, and I believe that observing different types of people with different lifestyles has helped me be able to understand some characters that didn’t grow up in Iowa with the lifestyle that I had. If I am not exposed to something, how would I ever be able to portray it truly?”

Trusting Her Gut

There’s not shortage of inspiration in Los Angeles, and while this has helped Brooke, it’s also proved to be a challenge. Describing herself as someone who feels like many different things on different days, Brooke’s artistic pursuits span dancing, choreography, acting, and even working for Showstopper! This many passions make it hard to choose, but Brooke trusts her intuition when it comes to prioritizing. “I try to ask myself what I feel most excited about and see whatever is flowing my way. I find that when I try to force something it never works.”

Brooke uses the same approach when it comes to the art that she creates. “I think as dancers, we are all pretty in tune with our body,” she shared. “It’s our instrument, so we need to be.” So when she creates she and tries to “stay out of [her] body.” Her advice for others wanting to create art that’s authentic? “Trust your gut. Trust your heart. Trust your feelings. Sometimes your brain si trying to protect you a little too much to where it holds you back, and I think there is something in our heart that sees the path a little clearer without judgment.”

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Holly is the Editor-in-Chief of Showstopper Magazine! A designer, writer, and photographer, keeping up with Holly is easier said than done as she regularly travels to new places. As the mastermind behind the magazine, Holly has a knack for finding great stories and getting them on the page. She and her furry assistant Cornelius are always up to something fabulous! You can follow Holly's travels and breathtaking experiences (and even magazine updates) on Instagram (@hollyachilds)!