Gerald the Dancer

Gerald started studying dance when he was 18.  That was not unusual for a male modern dancer in 1963. At the University of Colorado a male could not major in dance.  Dance was a part of women’s physical education and no male was allowed to major in women’s PE. I was a Theatre major. I could and did take all the dance courses but still was not an official dancer. My first teacher was Charlotte Irey, one of the original “Bennington Girls.”  What a wonderful teacher to have had as my first.  I last saw her on her 80th birthday held on campus at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

After graduating from the university I moved to New York.  I like to joke that my parents drove me to New York which in fact they did. We loaded up the car with all my earthly possessions and drove to New York. They helped to find an apartment which was on Mott Street in Little Italy.  What a lucky place to begin my life in New York.  I was in the heart of so much and yet it was a real neighborhood.  There were fruit and vegetable vendors  that set up every morning in front of my building.  I was impressed.  I could walk to the Henry Street Settlement Playhouse where Alwin Nikolais had his school since 1949.  That is where I began my professional training. Once again, how lucky I was.


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