Darkish Circles Up to date Dance to open community-focused dance studio

LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces will be welcoming a new, community-focused dance center this summer on 17th Street as part of the world-renowned Dark Circles Contemporary Dance company.

Nine years ago, DCCD became a nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to crafting and curating innovative work that has its origins in the truth of human emotion for a worldwide audience, according to a news release. It was founded in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea with a Dallas-based branch, according to a news release.

Associated dancers have performed nationally and internationally at numerous festivals and venues.

Related:Dark Circles offers free dance classes for the Mesilla Valley

Last spring, the company relocated to Las Cruces and, in the summer, presented two free performances of two world premiere dances on the stage at Plaza de Las Cruces during the Farmers and Crafts Market of Las Cruces before being featured 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 hold ongoing free community masterclasses once a month led by sought-after dance artists and choreographers. Forty-eight dancers participated in a recent class filling the gymnasium of 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 creating, learning, and, most importantly, community,” said Founder and Artistic Director Joshua L. Peugh in a news release. “In addition to being a place where Dark Circles’ professional dancers can train and develop their artistry and excellence, we want it to be a place where the community can gather and dance recreationally or train. We want to remove the barriers and stigmas associated with dance as an art form; dance is a ritual of joy and pleasure embedded in the deepest parts of our humanity. We want to remind people of that with all of our programming and in our new home.”

The new dance center will be located at 301 N. 17th St., Suite B in what was formerly a warehouse. Peugh said the company has installed a sprung dance floor and marley flooring in preparation. 

Weekly drop-in classes will be held in ballet (Mondays at 6 p.m.), improvisation (Tuesday at 6 p.m.), burlesque (Wednesdays at 6 p.m.) and line dancing for adults. Ballet and improvisation will be open for people ages 14 and up while burlesque will be open to people 18 and up. Classes begin Aug. 29.

Classes will cost $110 for a 10 class pass to be used on any dance form or $12 per class for the drop-in rate.

“I grew up dancing in Las Cruces before moving on to university, family life, and a career in hair care,” said Emilee Rush, president of Dark Circles’ board. “I’m excited to have a warm, friendly place where I can exercise my love of dance as an adult with other people who share my history with dance.”

Executive Director Chadi El-Khoury said, “We want our new home to be a welcoming, creative, community-focused safe space where people of all kinds and skill levels can dance and express themselves.”

Peugh is also from Las Cruces and grew up dancing at Michele’s Dance Academy. When his dance company relocated to his hometown, they quickly became involved with the students learning locally. With their own studio, DCCD will be more widely involved, the release stated.

“We found it challenging to serve the community and our mission as a charitable organization from inside one specific dance studio. Having our own space allows us to neutralize and offer opportunities not only to students from all of the local dance schools but to people from more significant portions of the community at large,” Peugh said.

For information or to support Dark Circles’ programming, visit DCCDUSA.com.

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