Makayla Thacker. Photo by Lisa Schaaf, PG Photography
[quote_box_right]IF YOU GO
What: ArtsFest Maricopa
When: Oct. 19, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Where: MHS Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: $18 at the door (October and February sessions $24 thru Oct. 7 and $30 afterward)

[/quote_box_right]Dancers from Desert Sun Performing Arts will perform as part of the inaugural ArtsFest Maricopa this month. The evening is “Music & Movement,” featuring Maricopa Music Circle and DSPA on stage, a school ensemble in the lobby during intermission and art by professionals and students.

Among the DSPA dancers is 15-year-old Makayla Thacker, daughter of Vince and Kimberle Thacker, who has been with the company since she was a toddler. “When I first opened my studio, she came in on Day 1 on her tippy-toes and in her diaper,” instructor/choreographer Ceylan Gentilella said of the now-established performer.

What to know about Makayla Thacker

Residence: University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center
School: Heritage Academy
Class: Sophomore

  • I started dancing at 2 years old.
  • I dance because I want to help people feel and express emotions. I used to think that showing emotion was weakness, but showing emotion is what makes us human.
  • My favorite style of dance is Lyrical.
  • My favorite piece of choreography is choreographed by Ceylan Gentilella. The piece is about being betrayed so severely that you just can’t forgive them. The song to this piece is titled “Uninvited.” I like this piece the most because it gives me the chance to get all of the negative emotions out.
  • When I’m not dancing, I usually like to sing and hang out with my friends.
  • I plan on going to a college with a good arts program and auditioning for ABT (Arizona Ballet Theatre). After that I am not really positive on my plans, but I definitely want to dance for as long as I can.
Makayla Thacker. Photo by Lisa Schaaf