Dancing with Kaycee Stroh
High School Musical 2 star tells how she got her start
Kaycee Stroh on the set of High School Musical 2. (Photo: Courtesy Disney Channel)
Kaycee Stroh dances her way back into hearts as Martha Cox in High School Musical 2. Read on to find out what she told Scholastic News Online about growing up as a dancer, and her amazing HSM audition story.
Q: How did you get started as a dancer?
Kaycee: I had two older sisters who were dancers. So, my mom took on a job as a secretary at a dance studio when I was just a baby. I began dancing at age two. I really do remember the thrill that I got from performing. It’s like I always knew it was going to be. My life mission was to be in front of people and make them laugh and smile.
Q: Did you perform when you were in school?
Kaycee: In fourth grade I auditioned for The Wizard of Oz and I got I got the role of Dorothy. In junior high and high school, I was involved in the plays, and I started teaching dance to really young kids. When I turned 18, I was hired as a dance teacher and that’s when I decided that I wanted to do this professionally.
Q: How did you get the role in High School Musical?
Kaycee: I actually did do a small film before High School Musical. Then I heard about this audition for a Disney channel movie and they said that they needed dancers of all shapes and all sizes and all different looks. I took my dance students to the audition and thought, “Why not, I’ll give it a shot, this is my dream too . . . ”
Q: And this was in Utah?
Kaycee: Yes. At the audition I said, “No matter what happens, this is a really good experience.” But then, I auditioned and Kenny Ortega grabbed me and pulled me aside and said, “Wow, you’re so different! I love it! I love that you’re different! I want you to audition for this part because I see on your resume that you’re an actress and a singer as well.”
Q: What an amazing story!
Kaycee: I know! I always tell people, “I am the Cinderella story. I am the American Dream!” I love to get that story out to kids, because I remember as a little girl thinking I really, really want this, but it just doesn’t happen to people like me who aren’t living in Hollywood, who are from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Q: Tell us about your character, Martha. How has she changed in High School Musical 2?
Kaycee: I’m thrilled with the changes that Martha has gone through from High School Musical 1 to High School Musical 2, because in the first one she was just barely confessing [that she wanted to perform], and in the second one, she is completely out. She is intelligent, definitely has more confidence, and she’s part of the group. You see that even though she is a little bit bigger girl, she can still be beautiful and funky and fun. She is that friend that is very uplifting and positive to be around.
Q: If Martha were a real life person, would she be a friend of yours?
Q: What’s the best advice or story that Kenny Ortega gave you?
Kaycee: Kenny is a very passionate director and I love to watch him work, because he is not mediocre and he won’t let us be mediocre. I think that’s really what I’ve learned—don’t settle for something that is just okay. He is always passionate and won’t do anything halfway. So, I am definitely going to take from that.
Q: Do you have a favorite dance movie?
Kaycee: Favorite dance movie? I’m going to have to go with Newsies.
—Interview by Marie Morreale
Troy, Gabrielle, and the gang are back for High School Musical 2. Check out our special report to read more interviews with the cast!