Local instructor takes her cultural dancers to state championship favorites

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    NEWTON-The authentic cultural dances of Tahiti and the South Pacific were the judges' choice for the New Jersey State Dance Championships held in Lawrenceville on May 15. The ethnic dance troupe "The New Jersey Shakers'' dazzled the audience as they danced to ancient Tahitian drum beats. The group, directed by Nanci Cruz, has received many outstanding awards this season, ranking platinum and gold in the cultural dance divisions. "I have a great deal of respect for the dance carried on with such integrity and particular attention to details," said one judge at the championship. Another said, "It sent chills through my body." The troupe trains many hours at the Merriam Gateway Fitness Center in Newton. "The girls are dedicated to developing the enrichment and versatility that comes from spending time in other cultures," said Cruz. "I guess that is why they have been so successful for the past two years." The New Jersey Shakers can be seen this summer at various community functions. They will perform their "LeLe" on June 19 at the Sheridan's Lodge Luau on Lake Iliff.