What My Teacher Taught Me: Ray Leeper

Leeper, right, coaching a student

"So You Think You Can Dance" jazz choreographer Ray Leeper just created his first piece for the dancers of Giordano Dance Chicago, which will premiere next week. But Leeper owes his Giordano connection to his dance teacher, Carolyn Norris, who took him to his first dance competition and convention when he was 12.

"It wasn't like today, where studio owners bring their entire studios. Carolyn brought our one little group. At the convention, I took my first master class from Gus Giordano. He pulled me up onstage! Because of Carolyn, I had my first exposure to Gus, and now, 30 years later, I'm setting a piece on his company."

Leeper's Feelin' Good Sweet will premiere October 24–25 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, Chicago, at 7:30 pm.



Photo by Matthew Murphy

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