Eisenhower Dance Detroit’s Lindsay Chirio-Humenay has deepened her connection with her Jewish roots through dance.
By Stephanie Ruopp
Featured photo courtesy of Eisenhower Dance Company
As Detroit continues to grow and evolve, so does the Eisenhower Dance Detroit company, consistently ranked among the finest dance ensembles in the United States. During its 28 years, it has received national and international accolades.
Eisenhower Dance Detroit will be dancing in the street, sort of, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Campus Martius in Detroit to the sound of Motown Music as part of the Culture POP series made possible by Culture Source and Quicken Loans Community Fund’s August series of events.
Three of Eisenhower Dance Detroit members are from the Detroit area, including Lindsay Chirio-Humenay, company manager and the sole Jewish dancer in the ensemble.
Originally from West Bloomfield, Chirio-Humenay started dancing when she was just 2 years old. By age 9, she was training in competitive dance. Her grandmother and mother both danced while they were growing up and she attributes much of her love and passion for music, rhythm and glitz to them. Plus, her maternal grandfather, Burt Levitt, was a record salesman, and the music he played always inspired her to move and groove.
Chirio-Humenay attended Oakland University’s dance program on a scholarship. It was there she discovered Eisenhower Dance Detroit. She said she quickly fell in love with the company’s training style, technique and alignment philosophies developed by artistic director Laurie Eisenhower. Just prior to graduation, Lindsay accepted an apprenticeship with the company.
She says being a part of Eisenhower Dance Detroit has given her opportunities she never imagined possible — many that have given her a deeper connection with her Jewish roots. In 2017, the company traveled to Israel. She was deeply moved by the culture, the people, the support for the arts, the gracious hearts of the locals and the beautiful scenery.
She said she never forgets that none of this would have been possible had it not been for the bravery of her great-great-grandparents immigrating to the United States. “I am thankful that they took the leap to move to the U.S. to give our family so many amazing opportunities and for being proud of our Jewish heritage,” she says.
“They passed down the expectations that you work hard — no excuses — and you respect everyone, regardless of race, religion, etc.”
Chirio-Humenay says she is “proud to be a part of a group that accepts and loves each other because of their differences.” And these days, that’s more important than ever.
The Eisenhower Dance Company will also be returning to the Berman Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 15, 2020.
“We are proud to have been able to create and to continue to create relationships with the Berman Center and the Jewish community,” Chirio-Humenay says.
Campus Martius, Detroit
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 27