LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces will host a new community-focused dance center on 17th Street this summer as part of world-renowned contemporary dance company Dark Circles.
Nine years ago, DCCD became a nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to creating and curating innovative works that have their origins in the truth of human emotion for global audiences, according to a Press release. It was founded in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea, with a branch based in Dallas, according to a press release.
Associate dancers have performed nationally and internationally at numerous festivals and venues.
Last spring the company moved to Las Cruces and over the summer presented two free world premiere performances of two dances on the Plaza de Las Cruces stage during the Las Cruces Farmer and Craft Market before to be presented in three sold-out performances. of “The Nutcracker” at New Mexico State University.
The company has partnered with Las Cruces Public Schools Fine Arts to host free, ongoing community masterclasses once a month, led by sought-after dance artists and choreographers. Forty-eight dancers participated in a recent class that filled the gymnasium at Picacho Middle School.
Now the company has announced the opening of its own dance center in the heart of Las Cruces.
“The facility will be a space for creation, learning, and most importantly, community,” Founder and Artistic Director Joshua L. Peugh said in a press release. “In addition to being a place where professional dancers in Dark Circles can train and develop their artistry and excellence, we want it to be a place where the community can gather and dance recreationally or practice. We want to remove the barriers and stigma associated with dance as an art form; dance is a ritual of joy and pleasure rooted in the deepest parts of our humanity. We want to remind people of this with all our programming and in our new home.”
The new dance center will be located at 301 N. 17th St., Suite B in what was once a warehouse. Peugh said the company installed a spring-loaded dance floor and marley floor in preparation.
Weekly free classes will be held in ballet (Monday at 6 p.m.), improvisation (Tuesday at 6 p.m.), burlesque (Wednesday at 6 p.m.) and line dancing for adults. Ballet and improvisation will be open to people 14 and older while burlesque will be open to people 18 and older. Classes begin August 29.
Classes will cost $110 for a 10-class pass to use on any dance form or $12 per class for the drop-in rate.
“I grew up dancing in Las Cruces before moving on to college, family life and a career in hair care,” said Emilee Rush, chair of the Dark Circles board of directors. “I am thrilled to have a warm and friendly place where I can exercise my love of dance as an adult with others who share my story with dance.”
Executive Director Chadi El-Khoury said, “We want our new home to be a safe, welcoming, creative and community-focused space where people of all kinds and levels can dance and express themselves.
Peugh is also from Las Cruces and grew up dancing at Michele’s Dance Academy. When her dance company moved to her hometown, she quickly became involved with students learning locally. With its own studio, DCCD will be more widely involved, the statement said.
“We have found it difficult to serve the community and our mission as a charity inside a specific dance studio. Having our own space allows us to neutralize and provide opportunities not only for students of all local dance schools, but to people from more important parts of the community as a whole,” Peugh said.
For more information or to support Dark Circles programming, visit DCCDUSA.com.