Showcase Gala on tap March 30 in Kennewick

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerMarch 29, 2013 

Two 11-year-old Tri-City girls are featured at this year's Showcase Gala dance exhibition, which is March 30 at the Shuffler Shanty Dance Hall, 717 N. Irving St., Kennewick.

The showcase also features an array of popular dance types from ballroom to swing and from Latin to country. It's open to all levels of dancers, from beginners to advanced.

And don't think all this dancing is for grown-ups, says showcase director Beth Trost.

Hannah Craigo is the daughter of DeLynn and Clayton Craigo of Kennewick, and MaKenna Monroe is the daughter of Jennifer Monroe and Larry Monroe Jr., both of Pasco. Both 11-year-olds are thrilled to be dancing with the grown-ups at the showcase gala.

"The girls really are very excited to perform, which is a rare combination in any dance event," Trost said.

Hannah and MaKenna are eager to show off their fancy footwork too.

"For as long as I can remember, I've thought dancing was fun," Hannah told the Herald in an email. "I started dancing with Beth Trost's group at the beginning of March."

Hannah is home-schooled and attends the Mid-Columbia Partnership, a Kennewick School District program that supports home-schoolers.

"My mom, sister and I wanted to be more active, so we joined the ladies' group that meets at our church each weekday morning," she said. "On Fridays, the ladies do line dancing, and I love it. Mrs. Trost invited the line dancers to perform in the showcase, and I love that idea too."

MaKenna, a fifth-grader at Maya Angelou Elementary School in Pasco, couldn't agree more.

"I love to dance because it shows people the kind of person I am," she said. That person, she goes on to explain, is a kid who likes to have fun, and that includes dancing with the adults.

"Just because you're a kid doesn't mean you can't do big things," she added.

Dana and Christian Camerena, from Salsa Con Rumba Dance Studio in Kennewick, are the featured Latin performers. And new to this year's event will be an appearance by the Tri-Cities Melody Mixers, who will perform choreographed ballroom dance, and a group of young Tri-City swing dancers, who call themselves Triple Threat Swing, Trost said.

The spectator fee is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. There is no charge for dancers who will be performing. For advance tickets, call Trost at 586-7609.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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