By Colin M. Prenger ’11
Whether he is harmonizing with the Brophy Men’s Choir or dancing and singing in school musicals, Gary Williams ’11 always impresses the crowd with a deep-seated talent for the performing arts.
Some of his roles in Brophy/Xavier productions include Fyedka in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Joey Biltmore in “Guys and Dolls” and Seaweed in the more recent musical “Hairspray.”
“Singing came naturally, dancing did not,” Williams said.
Because dancing did not come naturally to him, Williams “had to train as a dancer, and it’s something I have had to really work hard at.”
“His talent is only limited by his challenges,” said Ms. Dunnion about Williams as an actor and dancer.
Ms. Dunnion said at times it can be difficult to find material that is challenging enough for plays and musicals; an aspect that she believes gives a good product.
Williams started his dance training at age seven, but considers that his “serious” training began at age 10.
Williams said he will continue dancing in college, but does not intend to pursue it as a career as he does not see dancing as a fitting line of business for himself.
Like many people who have specific talents, Williams’ aptitude is the result of inspiration and past experiences.
When Williams was younger, he attended a friend’s dance performance.
He liked what he saw so much that he decided to take up dance lessons to see what it was all about; he has been doing it ever since.
If he had to choose one person that helped inspire him to become a dancer, Williams said Soviet-born Russian American dancer, choreographer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov.
In addition, the dance entitled “Revelations,” choreographed by Alvin Ailey, tells a story about African-American faith from slavery to freedom, according to www.alvinailey.org, which inspired Williams to become a dancer.
“I think the one thing that dancing has really taught me is perseverance because dancing is something that I have always had to work hard at,” Williams said. “Dancing has taught me to stick to doing what I enjoy no matter how hard it is.”