Local superstar Nicky San Gusto Cruz, better known as Nicky Buggs, is an actor, dancer, director, acting coach and has worn just about every hat in the industry. One of the unique ways she stands out is through her work with the youth in helping them to discover their talents.  

The New York native was trained as a technical dancer in ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical/contemporary and jazz before making her way to television. Her talent dates back to high school, when she played softball, tennis, volleyball, track and swimming. She has it going on and she knows it.

“I am ambitious, driven, compassionate, passionate, considerate, courageous, reliable and selfless,” said Buggs.  

You may think Buggs was raising her voice and kicking up her heels from an early age, but it took a little extra encouragement to get her started. She struggled with shyness and turned to dance class to help her emerge from her shell.  

“By my 10th-grade year of high school I somehow landed on stage of a show, and from that point forward my dance propellers began slowly taking flight,” explained Buggs.  

While it would be easy to get caught up in the limelight, Buggs wants to give back and work with youth.  

“They are so fun, and kids are amongst the most charming and interesting groups to work with,” shared Buggs, adding that she enjoys the opportunity to get to know them and help them shine.  

“Each one is unique and therefore brings their own life anticipations, wishes and experiences to the room, and their wide-eyed acknowledgement that everything and anything is possible,” said Buggs, noting that she likes how the kids do not see boundaries to what a character or scene can accomplish.  

“The individual journey of that student will not be the same for the classmate sitting directly next to them,” said Buggs.

The unpredictability of the job is one of the best parts.  

“The work can sometimes be challenging or incredibly rewarding, but it is never boring,” shared Buggs. 

When it comes to accomplishments, her list is long. Buggs named mastering her shyness and eventually stepping onto the public stage; dancing for NFA, NBA and AFL; attending the Super Bowl five times; instructing public school and pushing students, watching them graduate and staying in touch with them; giving back; directing and performing as a few of her biggest honors.  

“I’ve taught dancers and actors and watched them go on to work on fantastic projects, like dancers for Jay-Z, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Las Vegas Celebrity Headliners and The Grammys,” said Buggs.

It is never too early or too late to get involved with the performing arts, Buggs assured.  

“Your teachers want you to succeed so you should take advantage of all of the opportunities presented to you each time,” said Buggs. “Every experience is a gift, so be receptive, be quiet, listen and apply,” said Buggs.  

To learn more about Buggs, check out her Instagram at Nicknackable or visit her website at SanGustoCruz.wix.com/NickyB.