Meet Out Dancer Michael Trusnovec
As the senior dancer with the revered Paul Taylor Dance Company, Michael Trusnovec finds himself in the spotlight of some of the most challenging works of the modern repertoire.
But ask the 33-year-old where his desire to dance comes from and he quickly cites childhood idols Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, along with the other song-and-dance men of the classic era of Hollywood musicals.
His first love was tap. He told the New York Times about his first encounter at age 6 when he followed a neighborhood girl from the local ice cream parlor his parents owned into the local dance studio down the street.
“I was peeking in the door, doing the steps in the hallway, and finally the teacher said, ‘Just come in here,’ ” Mr. Trusnovec recalled in the Times. “It was rare that they had a boy in class, so they were willing to make it easier financially for my parents, so I could take classes all the time.”
The Long Island native eventually won a full scholarship to Southern Methodist University. He packed his bags and headed to Dallas where he developed a close friendship with fellow student Annmaria Mazzini. The two would spend hours and hours watching videos of works by Martha Graham and other contemporary choreographers.
When Mazzini won a spot in the junior Paul Taylor company, Taylor 2, Trusnovec followed his friend to Manhattan a year later, beating out hundreds of dancers for his own spot.
Trusnovec quickly attracted attention—his light, muscular frame was equally agile on the ground or in the air and his noiseless landings were called “catlike”—and soon he was dancing leading roles. Today, he is one of the leading male contemporary dancers, earning him a spot on OUT magazine’s Out100 in 2012. He also supports the LGBT community as a regularly performer in Dancers Responding to AIDS fundraisers.