Growing up I had really bad social anxiety. Not being able to communicate and relate to other people often made me feel lonely. I began my ballet training in Hamilton Ohio at 8 years old because my step Father owned a small studio and initially I didn't have much say in the matter. Needless to say, at first I really struggled with ballet. Being the only boy in my dance classes didn't make things easier and I was constantly bullied in school because of it. I just wanted to quit.
When I was 14 years old, I attended Virginia School of the Arts; a dance boarding school for aspiring ballet dancers. For the first time I met other guys my age who were also doing ballet. They were nice to me and accepted me for the shy geeky kid that I was. It was the first time I really felt truly accepted, like I belonged. Dance became my language, it’s how I learned to express myself.
Two years later I moved to Cincinnati Ohio to start training at De la Arts Dance School under the direction of Meridith Benson and Mario de la Nuez, former principal dancers with Joffrey Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. These two teachers spent a lot of time and patience with me working on my partnering skills and refining my technique.
After high school I attended the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music to work towards my BA in fine arts majoring in Ballet. My senior year in college I was asked to join BalletMet in Columbus under the direction of Edwaard Liang. I danced with this company professionally for about 7 years and I had the opportunity to dance many soloist and leading roles; two of my favorite roles were Peter Pan in Peter Pan, and the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. During my time in college and dancing professionally I had many teaching opportunities, where I was able to pass on what I had learned.
I now work as freelance dancer and teacher. I can’t imagine a life without this type of expression and outlet. This is why I’ve been so inspired to offer ballet classes to ALL (even complete adult beginners). I want everyone to have the opportunity to feel connected to dance as a way to express.
Thank you for listening to my story and a huge thank you to my current students. Teaching you has brought me so much joy and purpose during this pandemic. I love our tiny but mighty community.