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NMSU Dancesport to host annual ?Look Who?s Dancing? event featuring local community members

The New Mexico State University DanceSport Company is gearing up for its annual ?Look Who?s Dancing!? fundraising event featuring guest dancers representing the Las Cruces community.



Several community "celebrities" will join students in NMSU's DanceSport Company for this year?s ?Look Who's Dancing!? fundraising event. (Courtesy photo)

This year?s event takes place at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Pan American Center. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $5 for children 12 and younger. On Monday, Nov. 2, ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $6 for children 12 and younger.

Guest dancers are Janet Acosta of Haciendas at Grace Village; Janie Blue of Billy the Kid Salon; Lynn Derksen of Mary Kay; NMSU Regents Biology Professor Michelle Nishiguchi; Steve Chavira, CEO of the Las Cruces Home Builders Association; Oswaldo Luna of Bank of the West; Frank Paul Salopek of Pancho Salopek & Sons Pecan Farms; Sam Salopek of the New Mexico Pecan Company; and Joshua Silver, dean of students at Arrowhead Park Early College High School.

DanceSport Company director and NMSU Assistant Professor Hannah Cole said this year is the first time two family members, the Salopeks, have been allowed to compete in ?Look Who?s Dancing!? at the same time, ?let alone two people from the same industry.?

?We try to bring in people from all areas of the community, which is what makes this one of the premiere community events in Las Cruces,? Cole said.

The annual event is DanceSport?s primary fundraising event. Cole said she hopes the company will raise $80,000 from this year?s event. Proceeds are used to help company members, who are NMSU dance students, travel to regional and national competitions. Proceeds are also used to produce local dance shows and provide community services such as free dance lessons.

?People will have a really good time,? Cole said. ?Coming to ?Look Who?s Dancing!? is more like going to a basketball game or other athletic event in that people will hoot and holler and bring their banners. They?ll be screaming and supporting our celebrities. It?s as much about that as it is about the art of dance.?

The event will also feature performances by DanceSport members and students from Ysleta High School in El Paso and visiting DanceSport alumni Ariel Freilich and Zachary Pohl.

?Aside from raising money, this event is a tremendous bridge between the community and the university,? Cole said. ?Personally, when I get to watch this whole show take place, I see 18 people, students and community members, really grow and blossom and become a family. It?s a beautiful event.?

Following the event is a VIP red carpet after-party featuring food from Hotel El Encanto, Lorenzo?s, Andele and other local eateries, door prizes and performances by local band Steppin Up and DJs from Sight and Sound Entertainment. The VIP event will take place at the Azul Ultra Lounge, inside the Hotel El Encanto, 705 S. Telshor Blvd. Tickets to the VIP event are $25.