When Gillian Lynne was a young girl, she struggled in school. She had a hard time focusing and fidgeted a lot, so much so that her mother took her to a doctor to get help. And help the doctor did, but not in the way Gillian’s mother expected……the doctor turned on a radio and left Gillian alone in the room, and then asked her mother to observe. Gillian was dancing! The doctor realized that Gillian’s true calling was as a dancer, and he encouraged her mother to enroll her in dance school.
Once in dance school, Gillian knew she had found her life’s passion. She went on to have incredible success as not just a dancer but also an actress and a choreographer! Today, she is renowned for the amazing work she has done, particularly her choreography in the Broadway productions Cats and Phantom of the Opera, in which she has created magic worlds of dance and enthralled the world with them.
This video tells the story of how Gillian got her “chance to dance” and the profound impact it had on her.
- Here is Gillian’s official website, where you can learn all about her!
- In this video, Gillian discusses her experience in choreographing Cats.
- This video discusses Gillian’s amazing choreography of Phantom of the Opera.
Topics for Discussion:
- Have you seen Cats or Phantom of the Opera? What do you think of the dance in them?
- How might Gillian’s life have been different if the doctor had not recognized her calling?
- Once Gillian began to pursue her passion, she found happiness and success. What is your passion? Are you pursuing it?
- Visit the National Dance Education Organization website to learn the importance of dance in early childhood development and how you can help the kids in your life dance!
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.