Dancing Dreams – How they came true

May 24th, 2016 | Posted by Kathy Levyn

When I was a child, mostly I would get up and dance around the house. Did I know what I was doing? Not at first. At age 6, my mom enrolled me in a Ballet class, and that was the beginning of my training towards becoming a professional dancer.  The joy of moving was always in me and dance classes were the step forward on my journey.  In fact dancing was my safe place where I could be myself and do what I loved.

As the years moved onward, I started Jazz classes and realized that this style of dancing was a good fit for me, especially since my turnout was basically not happening.  I do appreciate and know that Ballet is a wonderful foundation for all styles of dance.  At 12, my mom took me to an audition for a production of Nutcracker. I did not get it, and was so disappointed.  After high school, I went to the American School of Dance in Hollywood, where many types of dances were taught. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Flamenco.  So my instruction continued with all of those for 4 years and then I started the audition process.

The audition world was not an easy place for me.  So many people wanting a chance to dance, lots of competition and hoping you are what they are looking for.  Yet, I pursued it anyway even if  sometimes protesting.  Many times, I was told thank you, which is their way of saying goodbye.  But I also prevailed and my first job was in a dance fashion show at of all places, the Ahmanson Theater.  That was interesting, because in one of the numbers, which used gym equipment, I used one and ended up falling off of it.  So embarrassing, and that was the end of that.  Next, I joined Ringling Brothers Circus and  traveled the U.S and Canada, on a train for a year, in a room 6’x 4′, and doing an ariel ballet 25 feet above.  Definitely something only a young person would do, yet, it was my first time on my own, so I am grateful and learned a lot.  Then, with one of my jazz teachers recommendations, I auditioned for a show and moved to Las Vegas.  Another good life education time, living more late at night and dealing with different kinds of show people.  After 2 shows and 4 years, I was off to the Philippines for over a month, and the last night of our show, my foot got caught in the dress and was badly sprained. Got through that and back to Las Vegas, once healed, I was off to a show going to Japan.  The Japanese are a diverse kind of audience.  The show was in a nightclub atmosphere, and the crowd was either trying to get up on the stage, or have their back to us. That lasted about 2 months and was eventful both in dancing and seeing a new culture.  I was really excited to be one of the 120 pennies in “Pennies from Heaven”.  That was 3 days of easy dancing, and lots of waiting around, yet a nice paycheck. There were other small group shows I also danced in.

Never thought I would want to give up dancing professionally, yet there comes a point when it is the right time to do so.  In 1986 I got involved with partner dancing, Ballroom and Swing, studying at Arthur Murray’s Studio.  I do enjoy coordinating with another person, and my benefit of having a ballet and jazz background, has greatly helped my styling and partnering.  So, I became an instructor, first at some studios, and then eventually on my own.  At this point, I have a studio in my home, for private and small group lessons, teach for a community college, and do theme parties and events.  I specialize in wedding choreography, and also do country western 2-step and line dancing.  I plan on dancing for as many more decades possible.  My dancing dreams happened and they still are my reality.

 

 

 

Written by Kathy Levyn

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>