Top ballet dancer calls Chicago home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Top ballet dancer calls Chicago home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

'So You Think You Can Dance' featured one of Chicago’s top ballet dancers as a guest judge, Wednesday night.

Fabrice Calmels, lead dancer for the Joffrey Ballet, was surprised by the kind of talent coming out of Chicago. Calmels is the world’s tallest ballet dancer, standing over 6 feet 6 inches.

He knows the difficulties of breaking into the ballet world, but he has found a home here in Chicago.

“In Chicago, it's more sports related than dancers and arts. But, it was kind of refreshing to see the young generation stepping up to the plate and really showcasing their talent," said Calmels.

He wouldn’t reveal any favorites, but there was something that caught his eye.

"What I like the most is when a dancer comes in with his own style of dance," added Calmels.

You can find all kinds of dancing taking place around the city. The Pebbles Foundation trains Stepping to young girls.

“I love because no one else is doing it and we're really getting into it,” said dancer, Shabriece Gatson.

Fellow dancer Kenya Summers added, "when you get into it, you just feeling and you just want to keep doing it."

Bril Barrett and his incredible tappers at MADD Rhythms said shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” give young people he works with further aspirations of making it big in the arts.

"Dance is expression and I think no matter what medium you use especially when you have people coming up in communities that really don't have a voice using the arts and using dance in particular as a strong way to make yourself heard," said Barrett.

Dance is continuing to grow in Chicago, from going to see the professionals at the Joffrey or Hubbard to community groups developing and innovating moves.

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