I Can’t Dance …


The marvelous Tony nominated choreographer Donald McKayle recently left us at the age of eighty-seven. Although he had no formal dance training he became a force on Broadway in shows such as “Raisin” and “Sophisticated Ladies” to name just a few. I was lucky enough to work with him as a student at the Denver Center in a 1986 production of “South Pacific” in which I played a singing and dancing nurse. I hoofed around and sang, pushing hospital equipment with the other nurses, washing that man right out of our hair, struggling to hit my marks and keep in time with the other members of the chorus. I’m sure it showed that I was playing keep up; Donald took me aside the first day and said that I shouldn’t worry.

“Wendy, when I’m done with you, I’ll have you dancing like a flea in a griddle!” he laughed.

He was kind and patient, and eventually – I got it. I’ll always remember his warmth, humor and grace. Rest in peace, dear man. You are dancing in Heaven now …

#donaldmckayle  #choreographers #dancing


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