Guest blog by Ian Burns, Theater Apprentice for the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center.
In addition to my theater apprentice tasks, I have been helping Susan Downey with some choreography over the past couple of weeks. When Susan asked me to help her by letting her bounce ideas off me and stand-in as the male in a duet she was choreographing, I was shocked. Susan knows me well and that I’m not a very good dancer, but she did ask and I stutteringly said y-y-yes.
She had to choreograph a tango. First off, I was elated to work with Susan. She is not only an incomparable dancer and choreographer, but her energetic personality is contagious. It’s wonderful to work with her. Second, I got to choreograph, which is something I have never done and was a joy every minute! Finally to top it off, I helped her teach it to the NGB dancers. Having a sister in the ballet program, and working with ballet dancers in previous PCYT productions, I knew it would be either a triumph or a flop. But as I predicted, they did marvelously.
This project meant a lot to me. I’ve always wanted to dance, but never had the courage to ask my parents when I was younger. This project allowed me to fill in some pieces of a far fetched dream.