By Steffen Blanco
Dance is an art form that many of us have enjoyed from a young age. I’m sure some of you reading this are probably thinking "I enjoy dancing, I’m just not good at it”. As someone with two left feet (figuratively, not literally), I can relate.
When I was asked to cover a dance recital, I couldn’t help but think back to times when I watched others dance in popular shows like "Dancing with the Stars, or even "America’s Best Dance Crew”. I would catch myself thinking "I wish I could dance like that”. Those thoughts didn’t change when I watched Cinderella as presented by Gigi & Company Dance Studio.
As someone that’s seen Gigi & Company’s dance studio before, I was pleasantly surprised to see how it had been transformed for this recital. Upon entering, I saw that half of the studio was curtained off, hiding what I believed was the main stage, while the other half had rows of seats that were quickly filled with eager friends and family members of the dancers. The way that the room was set up made for a very cozy and intimate setting for the audience members to watch and enjoy.
Soon after I was seated, the lights dimmed down and the curtains were drawn back to reveal the stage along with a few little mice and birds to start off the show.
And soon after, the story of Cinderella and the little glass slipper begins….
Cinderella (Molly DeRosa)
Cinderella (Molly) meeting her Fairy Godmother (Sierrah Rose)
Cinderella (Molly) dancing along with her Prince Charming (Jett Griffin)
Drisella (Elanna Santiago) and Anastasia (Emily Panepinto)
The recital itself was incredibly well done and I was fortunate enough to see it on it’s final showing last Sunday. After the recital, I had the opportunity to ask Genevieve Quinones who was the Artistic Director for the show.
Steffen: So what inspired you to do Cinderella for the recital?
Genevieve: The inspiration was for the cast that we had, we wanted a theme that fit the personalities of our current cast. We were looking for something that was elegant, peaceful, calm, but most importantly fun and relatable for the audience. We also wanted something to showcase pointe ballet as this would be the first time we showcased it in a recital.
Steffen: How long had everyone been practicing to prepare for this?
Genevieve: The idea itself was created back in August 2021. We then opened up auditions to the public in September and started to workshop and choreograph from there. At first it was hard to find dancers that fit the team that we currently had, but we were able to find people that fit like Montae Rivers (The King).
Steffen: Why did you decide to do this recital in the dance studio instead of a traditional theater?
Genevieve: We’ve always explored the idea of using the dance studio for a recital. Due to covid, it is very hard to find stages that we can rent out for our recitals, so we decided to make a push to create our own space. We definitely have improvements to make on the space, but overall we’re surprised and happy with how well it worked. It created a much more intimate environment between the performers and the audience. This also gives us the opportunity to have performances and recitals more frequently.
Steffen: So what can we expect next for you all?
Genevieve: We’re already starting to choreograph for our June recital. We’re looking to incorporate tap dance, ballet, breakdancing, contemporary, musical theater, and also looking to showcase singing for the first time. The theme’s been picked out already but that’ll be a surprise.
Gigi & Company Dance Studio has been doing these recitals for 11 years now, with a few notable performances being their Alice in Wonderland winter recital, Broadway medley-inspired recital, and the Celebrate Earth Performance.
If you’re interested in dance or learning how to dance, be sure to stop by 564 Main Street Stroudsburg, PA to Gigi & Company Dance Studio.