Private, who gets his nickname from 11 years with the Army National Guard, is a self-described renaissance man. The Colorado native loves all forms of art, from dance to painting to music. Although he has always been an artist, he didn’t always plan to become a dancer.
When Private discovered dance, he was on the path to become a police officer. He was a 21-year-old student at Colorado State University and found himself in need of an arts credit. He took a course in understanding dance and got hooked.
“I started taking more dance classes,” Private says. “I focused on ballet training, because it was important foundation stuff. In my first company classes, I didn’t know half of what they were talking about.”
Private was first given a partnership with Canyon Concert Ballet. Later on, he took a workshop at a modern company in San Francisco. They needed a male dancer and offered him a contract. After 12 years in with ODC/Dance in California, Private landed here at BNC.
In his first season, he has performed in four shows and will be appearing in his fifth performance, Rock Ballets, in April. His favorite performance so far has been Love in the Digital Age, particularly because of the piece “Touch” he performed with Sarah Tallman.
“Partnering is pretty special and is something that I’ve always done well,” he says. “As I grew as an artist, I found that was the most wonderful way to dance. To share that moment with somebody else on stage, I’ve had some pretty transcendent moments doing that.”
Although Private spends eight hours a day dancing, he still finds time to golf, paint with oils and ride his motorcycle. He also loves to play cello and work with wood, and hopes to eventually build and restore instruments.
Despite his love of country music, Private has been getting in the mood for Rock Ballets with his favorite rock songs, “Desperado” by the Eagles and “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“It reminds me of me. I’m such a free spirit,” he says. “It’s been hard for me to settle down and those songs are about living.”
Right now, Private is focusing on preparing for Rock Ballets. He says he is very excited to dance with Meredith Strathmeyer and to explore the choreography of Garrett Ammon.
“Dancing to popular music is hard because the songs say so much on their own,” he says. “It’s easy to just be literal and dance what the song is saying. But what I’ve seen so far, Garrett really figured out how to have his own stories and just have the words of the songs either abstract it or just complement.”
You can catch Private’s performance in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Center at Pinnacle Charter School.