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By Piper Haugan
The Montana Standard
May 26, 2013

Derek McGinnis, a 20-year-old dancer set to embark on an international tour with the Bad Boys of Dance (Photo by Walter Hinick) 2013[Butte, Montana, USA] – A Butte dancer has the opportunity of a lifetime: He’ll soon be headed to Europe for an international tour with an elite troupe.

Derek McGinnis, 20, began dancing at local dance studio Dynamic Dance when he was 4. Both of his older sisters had danced, and he joined in as well. He said Krista Harrington, who runs the studio, is like a mom to him — and without her, he wouldn’t be where he is.

On June 1, McGinnis will embark on this new adventure that will put nine male dancers and two female dancers center stage across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Bad Boys of Dance,” the group created by renown ballet choreographer Rasta Thomas, will be in Europe until next March.

It’s not McGinnis’s first time touring as a performing artist. Before moving to New York City, he danced on a cruise ship that stretched from Alaska to South America.

Last September, McGinnis bought a plane ticket and headed to New York City to start a new life. He found a place to live in Manhattan only three days before he left. But the spur-of-the-moment decision ended up paying off, despite the fact that he attended months of fruitless auditions before he landed the spot with “Bad Boys of Dance.”

He practiced at the Broadway Dance Center, squeezing in ballet and contemporary classes while working at a steakhouse. He auditioned frequently when he first moved to New York City, but before the audition for “Bad Boys of Dance” he hadn’t auditioned since December. McGinnis was one of about 500 other dancers auditioning for the “Bad Boys of Dance” tour. He showed up to the audition at 10:30 a.m. and danced and danced until 5:30 p.m. until he was one of only six or seven other dancers left standing.

“I had a really good feeling about the audition,” McGinnis said. “I got up early, I felt comfortable.”

He does miss his friends and family in Butte, along with the dance studio that nurtured his talent. He said though his hometown is best known for superior sports performance, Butte is home to a lot of talented artists, including dancers, painters and vocalists. But he’s excited to be moving on and entertaining people across Europe.

As for his future, McGinnis said he’ll be happy to return to New York City after the tour and continue doing what he loves. But if opportunities arise following his performances, he said he would explore them.

“If you want it enough, you can have it,” McGinnis said.

© Copyright 2013, Montana Standard

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