By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Sam Quinn, 22, recently signed a contract with Radio City Music Hall to join the cast as a dancer with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular National Tour.?The 2009 Shrewsbury High School (SHS) graduate is a 2012 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance.
Quinn began dancing at the age of 7 after his mother took him to see “Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway.
“[The character] Chip came out on stage and I immediately turned to my mom and said, “I wanna do that!”” Quinn remembered. “The next week my mom enrolled me in my first dance class.”
Quinn participated in musical theater productions throughout high school and credits both SHS music teacher Michael Lapomardo and Charlotte Klein of the Charlotte Klein Dance Center (Westborough and Worcester) for igniting his passion for dance. Both, he said, have been huge inspirations and supporters.
Quinn has worked with numerous choreographers including Broadway legend and Tony award-winner Ann Reinking and ballet dancer Gary Chyrst. He has performed in two George Balanchine ballets and was featured on a national broadcast on PBS alongside the Miami City Ballet for his work in “Allegro Brillante.”
He is also a member of the Miss America Organization, working as a performer and choreographer for national state title holders. Additionally, he danced in Mexican pop star Tamara Rodriguez's music video, “I Talked to Italiano.”
Since 2012, Quinn has danced for River North Dance Chicago, a contemporary jazz dance company. He has
also worked at both the legendary Gus Giordano Dance School and Extensions Dance Company, both also in Chicago. Together with Rachel Rubin, owner and director of the Charlotte Klein Dance Center, Quinn choreographed the winning routines for both Nicole Quinn, Teen Miss Dance of New England 2013 and Alexis Nevalsky, the reigning Miss Dance of New England 2014. He was first runner-up to Mr. Dance of America 2012 in the Dance Masters of America Scholarship Pageant and was awarded $2,200 in scholarships.
In June, after two days of rigorous auditions, Quinn was selected to dance in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular National Tour.
“I feel so blessed to have been offered a position with this show,” Quinn said. “It's been a dream of mine for years and I's still in shock when I think about being able to see my name in a playbill for the first time. It's so surreal and feel so lucky to be supported one hundred percent by my family and friends.”
For Quinn, who has studied all disciplines of dance – tap, jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, contemporary, ballroom and hip hop – dance is life.
“Dance is who I am,” he said. “I'se been dancing for 15 years and to me it has been the best form of therapy. I can's imagine my life without it. It brings me joy, happiness and an escape from the world.”
Quinn said that he wants to be able to perform for as long as his body will allow.
“I want to touch the hearts of the audience and pass on my knowledge and love for dance to younger generations through teaching and choreographing,” he shared.
This summer, while Quinn waits to begin rehearsals for the Radio City show, he will attend the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in western Massachusetts where he will study under Broadway choreographers and producers alongside 23 other international students.