A local author is seeking help: Giglio Theater School of Dance

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Local Author is Seeking Help

By Jon Ann Cruver

Marjorie Rhodes is a local author who has spent many hours researching for a new book she is writing. Part of this process lead her to the archival pages of the Shoreline Area News where she discovered a photo of someone playing the octopus piano during one of the early community Painted Piano days. 

Ed Cruver playing the Octopus piano 2012
He played every piano that year
Photo by Jon Ann Cruver

Dear Editor of Shoreline News; 
I came across a photo (online) in the Aug 8, 2012 issue of your paper, featuring a man, Ed Cruver, at a unique piano. Many years ago, I was a dancer with a Seattle school and company in which there was a dancer by this same name. It is a long shot but I'm wondering if this could be that same Ed Cruver.

Yes, that was “that same Ed Cruver.” Who just happened to be one of the lead male dancers for the Giglio Theater School of Dance / Theater Dance Players, um.. a long time ago, when he could do stuff like this:

Ed Cruver in his dancing days

The school was an important part of his family and to hundreds of others who were involved with the school, which was headed by a beloved couple: Henriette and Giovanni Giglio. In addition to those students Giglio taught special education students for three years in the Shoreline Schools.

Rhodes notes in her website that “several Giglio dancers performed individually with Seattle Opera, in local musical theatre productions, night club revues, and northwest television appearances. 
"Some Giglio dancers had professional careers in other parts of the country and other parts of the world: e.g. NY’s Radio City Hall ballet troupe, Broadway musicals, Las Vegas, and Europe and Asia.  
"The Giglio company dancers were trained and experienced in various dance arts: classical, musical theatre, jazz and flamenco.” 

The couple were honored to be asked to help teach dance with Flamenco artist Jose Greco, who took them to Spain, away from their school.

Their daughter, Cleo Lee King, kept a studio in Shoreline going for several years, so the Shoreline connection is strong. Upon retirement Cleo Lee danced with a tap dance class at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center.

Rhodes says “I’m seeking information through newspaper articles, programs, photographs, and personal memory stories for a history project on the Giglio dancers and school. I need names, dates, places, and sources please.” 

She can be contacted through her website which also includes an incomplete list of people who were in the company.


Anonymous,  September 7, 2022 at 5:55 PM  

I just stumbled across this article from 2020 about Ed Cruver and my uncle Giovanni Giglio, the person was seeking more info on my uncle, I would be happy to share

Kim Dobson Naten,  October 28, 2022 at 2:25 PM  

Oh my gosh - I'm writing a short sermon in which I'm recalling my 3 years as a student at Giglio, and (on a whim) decided to Google it to see if there was any information out there. Imagine my delight to find this post! I was trying to think of their daughter's name and you've provided it, but also affirmed that I am not alone in holding those childhood memories of classes and recitals so dear, and my lifelong love of all forms of dance. The Giglio school was a landmark in the early days of Shoreline and a cherished memory of mine!

Anonymous,  December 4, 2022 at 10:15 PM  

I took dance lessons from Mrs King for many years! It didn’t lead to a dancing career but it led to a ski racing career. I learned to be balanced and fast on my feet for ski racing. Ballet and tap are good for fundamental sports activities. I am so grateful to have had such great training.

Sylvia Riveland,  February 6, 2023 at 6:53 AM  

I took ballet, tap, and flamenco lessons at Giglio from kindergarten to junior high. (Though my early classes were with Mrs. King at the Shoreline studio, I later “graduated” to the Green Lake studio where I studied en pointe under her parents, Henriette and Giovanni.) My main inspiration to begin dancing was my kindergarten teacher, Fern Cruver, who was featured in Giglio recitals. I remember her performing once in a gorgeous, iridescent green butterfly costume! I assume she was kin to Ed Cruver?

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