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Nick Lazzarini won the first season’s competition on “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2005. He was 21 at the time. But he had already been dancing for 17 years. For him, dance had always been a vital form of self-expression. “If I didn’t have dance, I don’t know what I would have done,” Lazzarini, who hails from Mountain View, says. “At school, people were mean. If I didn’t have an outlet where I could go and just be myself, and not be afraid of being made fun of, I don’t know what would have happened.

“Lots of young kids these days are going through that, It’s so important to find a place that’s safe to be yourself, I was able to find who I was, as a person, in the dance world.”, He’s returning to the Bay Area in Shaping freed pointe shoes near me Sound dance company’s latest production, “After The Curtain.” It features a dozen dancers and depicts a 1930s style cabaret, on stage and behind the scenes, It explores the relationships among the performers, Lazzarini portrays the cabaret’s emcee, Also starring are Emmy-winning choreographer Travis Wall and Teddy Forance, They co-founded Shaping Sound with Lazzarini, The cast also includes 2015 “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Gaby Diaz and Santa Cruz native Chantel Aguirre of “Dancing with the Stars” fame..

Shaping Sound, whose origin was documented in the TV series “All The Right Moves,”  began in 2011. For a “So You Think You Can Dance” performance, Wall assembled Lazzarini, Forance and another soon-to-be partner in the troupe, Kyle Robinson. They had met as youngsters at a dance competition in New York and became friends. “Being a dancer, you don’t always love the work that you do or the choreography — or the choreographer that you’re working with,” Lazzarini says with a laugh. “So it was awesome to work in this situation. We sat down backstage afterward and were like, ‘Gosh, how do we make every job that we do as great as this? We need to start our own dance company.’ It snowballed from there.”.

Lazzarini grew up in Mountain View, later moving to Sunnyvale, where his parents, freed pointe shoes near me Robert and Holly Lazzarini, still reside, His sister, Cady Laird, lives in Portola Valley, Athleticism runs in the family, His mother was nationally ranked in junior tennis, His father was a state champion wrestler, His sister excelled at volleyball and softball, “I didn’t enjoy sports that much,” Lazzarini says, “Dance called out to me, I was always doing cartwheels and running around on the field instead of actually playing.”..

When he was 5, while his mother was signing him out of soccer at the Mountain View recreation center, Lazzarini noticed a dance class. “I was fixated on the kids in that class. I said, ‘Mom, I want to do that.’ She put me in dance the next day.”. Lazzarini also studied at the nearby Dance Attack and at San Jose’s Studio 10 Dance. He studied many forms of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, even tumbling and acrobatics. “Especially nowadays, the more well-rounded you are, the more of chameleon you are as a dancer, the more opportunities you’re going to have to work professionally.”.

Lazzarini, 32, knew early on that dance would be his life’s path, “I never imagined myself doing anything else, freed pointe shoes near me I loved being on stage, the rush of performing, Seeing people enjoying what I was doing pushed me to be better and better.”, At 8, he was participating in national dance competitions, “It gave me a great work ethic and a healthy, competitive attitude about life, You have to be competitive in the dance world.”, His family admired Lazzarini’s commitment and discipline, he says, Though they were supportive, some schoolmates hurled taunts..

“There was bullying that went on,” Lazzarini says. “Dance still was not an OK thing to do — especially for a guy. So I got a lot of name-calling. “It wasn’t until high school age, when I would go back and kids had seen me dancing with all these girls in crop tops and booty shorts and they were like, ‘Wait, that’s what you do?! You don’t wear tights?’ Then it was a cool thing. Once they saw that I was winning dance competitions and getting local recognition, people started going, ‘Wow, you’re not just some dorky little dancer kid. You’re actually really good at this.’ And people started to respect me.”.

Lazzarini attended Springer Elementary in Mountain View and Blach Intermediate in Los Altos, For high school, he was home-schooled, because halfway through his freshman year, he was cast on a PBS show called “Adventures with Kanga Roddy,” with Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott among its producers, In 2003, as part freed pointe shoes near me of the Hot Under The Collar dance troupe, Lazzarini competed on the CBS “Star Search” remake, After spending two years with the Dance Company of San Francisco, he toured Europe with the RAW dance company..

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