En Croix Dance Studio’s Spring Show
By H. Haveman
Spring, the season of anticipation, is here and summer is fast approaching. This time of year, it’s hard not to be filled with the expectancy of new life. Everywhere you turn, there are new bursts of color and various melodies on the wind. As the school year comes to an end, it is the time for celebration and presentation. On Friday, June 1, Gallup’s En Croix Dance Studio is putting on its spring show, “Tickled Pink,” to help pave the way for summer and all its possibilities.
Hannah Stokes-Daugherty, En Croix founder and instructor, speaks excitedly about planning for the show, which she conceptualized and choreographed. Inspiration came from The Muppets – but there won’t be any fuzzy puppets dancing on stage. It’s the music, joy and imagination that The Muppets exude that captured Hannah’s curiosity. The finale piece is set to “Life’s a Happy Song,” an original song from The Muppets movie (2011). It’s hard not to smile when you hear it. It expresses the idea that anything is possible. It repeats the phrase, “I’ve got everything that I need right in front of me. Nothing’s stopping me. Nothing that I can’t be . . .” Other familiar tunes provide the soundtrack for a creative story told through dance, with bright colors, polka dots and stripes, jump ropes, hula hoops, and hide and seek setting the stage.
Dancing herself, since she was three years old, Hannah studied at the University of New Mexico, aiming toward performance. However, she found a love for choreography and teaching. “As a teacher you get to give happiness,” she explains. So, Hannah’s mantra changed from Broadway or bust to Bring Broadway here! She’s determined to produce a top-notch show for Gallup from Gallup. “Good things can come from [here], too. They don’t have to come from other places,” she insists.
Hannah’s passion for dance and instruction has turned into a successful dance studio with about 60 students. For now, she is concentrating on growing slowly and investing in her students, who range in age from 3 to 17. She teaches a variety of dance styles, ranging from ballet to modern. Ballet was the focus during the fall semester, which culminated in a holiday performance of “The Nutcracker.” On an evening last December, the El Morro Theatre was filled to capacity, with nearly 500 seats occupied. Hannah hopes to repeat “The Nutcracker” annually, adding something new to each year’s presentation.
During the spring, more dance styles have been included, which has made preparing for “Tickled Pink” a lot of fun for the students. They will continue to work hard throughout this month to perfect the 17 dance numbers and transitions. With the non-stop action of Cirque du Soleil in mind, Hannah envisions a seamless show, one-hour in length, where the audience is constantly entertained, hardly noticing the changes between pieces. It will be a show for all ages, during which giggling, foot tapping, and head bobbing are encouraged! When you attend, you’ll surely be tickled pink!
“Tickled Pink” will be performed on Friday, June 1 at Gallup High Auditorium at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for five. Children 3 and under are Free, but must sit on a lap. Tickets on sale at 5:30 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm. No admittance after 6:35 pm.