From Edmond to West Side

west side story dancer

Eloise Kropp began dancing lessons in Edmond as a child. She’s now dancing in musicals with some of the biggest names in the business. 

Currently, Eloise is in the cast of the Broadway musical, The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. The show, dating back to 1957, is the genre Eloise loves best. “I love the classic musicals! Somehow, they are more timeless than the newer shows. The most modern musical I ever did was Cats, but at least it had a classic feel,” Eloise said. 

Pandemic Intermission 

The Music Man, originally slated to open in 2020, now has a February 2022 opening. As with most performers, the pandemic left her in limbo, so she returned home to Edmond to rethink her future. 

“I love the arts. They are essential, but I had to think, ‘What do I want to do if theater doesn’t come back?’ So, I finished my college degree through the University of Central Oklahoma and assisted with one of their theater productions. I also worked for my dad, who is a pediatric urologist. I might look at nursing school someday,” Eloise said. 

Eloise enjoyed being home with her family, who moved to Edmond when Eloise was five. She began dancing and acting at the Dance Unlimited studio, and by the time she started college, she was getting job offers. Eloise worked at several out-of-state theaters in musicals such as Carousel and The Honeymooners. She moved to New York for a show that ended up canceling, so she began auditioning for other shows and landed a few parts on television, including the series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

Waiting on West Side

In 2018, Eloise was thrilled to be cast as a dancer for the Steven Spielberg movie, West Side Story. The original Broadway musical, also from 1957, explores forbidden love and the rivalry between two street gangs of different ethnicities, the Jets and the Sharks. The movie was set to open in 2020, but again, the pandemic delayed the release until December 2021. 

“Steven [Spielberg] was insistent that it not be released to streaming platforms. He said it needed a theater release for the full impact,” Eloise said. “It feels like a movie–a real movie full of suspense and love and drama, not just a musical put onto film.”

For Eloise, the dancing role was especially joyful, because she was on the set with so many dancing friends from previous shows. “My big dance number is the gym scene. I’m a Jet girl dancing with Jess LeProtto, who was also in On the Town and Cats with me,” Eloise said. 

“It’s hard to believe we filmed West Side Story two years ago. It was a blast, a dream come true working with my best friends, yet on this crazy-large scale! I think you can see how much fun it was on screen. Our relationships are real; it’s not just acting. The movie feels fresh and revitalized, because Steven has incredible vision, and yet West Side Story still feels like a timeless classic.” 

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