Please enjoy my way of welcoming 2016. In no particular order, here are 16 people who have greatly influenced my life! Enjoy!
|My mom with her Husband Jerry|
2. Larry Rappoldt - The first artist that I met who truly showed me what it is to love your art was this man. At the age of 5, my mom hired Mr. Rapp to teach me how to play the piano. We spent time together nearly every week for 12 years. From weekly piano lessons to joining his middle school concert band, this gentleman inspired me to be passionate about music. I remember the first time I noticed him swaying back and forth as he played a beautiful solo. I asked him if he swayed to match the beat and he responded, "I sway because I feel the music inside my body and it moves me." This moment changed the way I saw music and has probably influenced me more than I realize. I wouldn't be the same dancer, choreographer, or artist if I hadn't worked with this wonderful teacher.
|Visiting Ray last year|
|Kelly & me (Left: 1987 & Right: 2015)|
|Jock Soto w/Wendy Whelan (Photo: Paul Kolnik)|
|Abby & me in Swan Lake at PNB|
|Claudio Munoz teaching at HBA (Photo: Bruce Bennett|
14. Chris Thomae - As I've mentioned before, I didn't grow up in a family with great financial resources. And like I have said in previous posts, I was definitely raised by the village. Chris was a strong force in my village. While I first met him as a kid in the masculine discipline of Tae Kwon Do, Chris was interested in all things culture. He loved dance, food, theatre, and more. Coming from the suburbs and having limited access to culture, Chris made sure that I sampled things like Vietnamese food, saw plays at the local theatres, learned how to play pool, and knew to read books that shared opposing views to my upbringing. While we are no longer in contact, Chris helped develop my hunger for new culture and openness towards the unknown.
|Lauren & me|
|Boyd hanging out w/Puck in the physical therapy room|