Center Staige: Missy Elliot reposts 7-year-old second line star

Rap legend Missy Elliot's tweet Thursday video of 7-year-old Staige Santa Cruze quickly went viral.

by Mary Staes
November 16, 2018

65,000 views in 8 hours.

On Thursday afternoon, that’s how many people saw 7-year-old Staige Santa Cruze break it down in the 2018 Sudan Second Line, and they weren’t even at the parade.

Rap legend Missy Elliot tweeted a video of Staige, commenting that the youngster’s swag was the way Elliot wanted to roll into the new year; focused. Even when her right shoe came off mid-air during a buckjump, Staige wasn’t phased. She kept it moving.

Staige started dancing fours years ago, following the footsteps of her father and grandfather, who are members of Sudan and the Footwork Family clubs. She also participates in a dancing group called Kids Nation.

Her mother, Sophia Davenport, started an Instagram about two years ago. It wasn’t long before videos posted to her page and photographer Brandon Shelly’s page, better known as Itchy World on Instagram, went viral.


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A post shared by Staige I’Yonn (@2ndlinestaige) on

“She was really young, and I would say, ‘Look at this video,’” Davenport recalls. “I would show her all the likes and comments and she would be like, ‘Wow, everybody is watching me?’”

While she might the center of attention at the second line, Staige says she doesn’t feel it when she moves.

“I don’t pay attention to everyone, it’s like I’m by myself,” she said. “I feel happy. I get so excited because I get to move a lot and dance.”

When she saw Missy Elliot posted a video of her, Staige was ecstatic.

“I felt like I was a star,” she said.

Her mother said just like her unique name, she’s far from average.

“I can show you a sheet of paper from way back in 2010,” Davenport remembers. “When I was writing every name I could think of. And once I had her, all of the other names went out of the window. The day I had to pick a name, everything was saying Staige. Ever since, I’ve been saying, ‘Oh my God, I named her the right name.’


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Staige… @2ndlinestaige #Itchy2ndLineVideos

A post shared by Itchy (@itchy_world) on

Carrying on the second line tradition is something that runs through Staige’s blood, and she takes it in stride.

“She so helpful, considerate, smart,” Davenport said. “Everybody always says she has an old soul like she’s been here before.”


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c’mon Staige… @2ndlinestaige #Itchy2ndLineVideos

A post shared by Itchy (@itchy_world) on

All photos and video courtesy Sophia Davenport and Brandon Shelly.

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

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