The performing arts are a consistent and vital part of Gaynor’s curriculum – integral to helping unlock every child’s potential. Some days, however, have extra opportunities for students to encounter the performing arts. On Wednesday, January 17, dancers and singers from Gaynor’s neighbor, Ballet Hispanico, performed in a special assembly for EC and Lower School students. They performed traditional flamenco dances from southern Spain and taught students several words like “baila” for dance, “tocqué” for play, and “guitarra” for guitar.
Later in the afternoon, Broadway actor Nathan Peck, a friend and colleague of Gaynor’s drama teacher, Meredith Akins, visited rehearsals for Gaynor’s spring musical, a production of The Lion King Jr. Ms. Akins and Peck acted together in Wicked and Footloose and he is currently performing in Kinky Boots on Broadway. He spent his visit describing his career and experiences as an actor before opening up the floor to students for a Q&A.
Students asked thoughtful questions like “What inspired you to do acting?” and “What advice do you have for those to pursue acting as a career?” Peck emphasized the importance of perseverance, saying “Just because one day someone says no doesn’t mean the next day, someone else won’t say yes.” Peck had the attention of the room as the students listened carefully throughout the Q&A. He also said that he never felt like he had given anything up to be an actor because for as long as he could remember, it was his dream and he began to pursue it from a young age, beginning with dance lessons.
As a community, we are thankful for these opportunities our students have to learn from professionals. Thank you to Ballet Hispanico and Nathan Peck for visiting Gaynor!
This year’s Gaynor Gala is themed “A Time To Shine” and is an evening planned to celebrate the performing arts. Gaynor parents Mark Ruffalo and Barbara Corcoran will host, and Tony Award nominated Phillipa Soo will perform. To learn more about what promises to be a remarkable evening, please visit bit.ly/gaynorgala