"The one good thing about dance is that if you are truly yourself, then it's all good," Actress Ann Reinking said in an ABC News interview today. This goes especially for the dancers that she teaches these days, who have been diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. "These kids [have] a look that is unique and really quite beautiful," she added.
Broadway musical star and choreographer Ann Reinking originally trained as a ballet dancer. She moved to New York at age 16 to study on scholarship with The Joffrey Ballet. Later, she transitioned to theater joining the chorus of "Coco", and "Pippin" to name a few. Reinking came to critical notice in "Over Here!" (Theatre World Award), and later went on to originate roles in "Goodtime Charley" (with Tony and Drama Desk nominations) and "Bob Fosse's Dancin'" (Tony nomination). She also took over leads in "Chicago", "A Chorus Line", and "Sweet Charity". She appeared in Fosse's semi-autobiographical film All That Jazz, as well as the films Annie and Micki and Maude.
Reinking next focused her career on choreography for Broadway musicals, founding the Broadway Theater Project, a Florida training program connecting students with seasoned theater professionals. She starred in the revival of "Chicago" and won for Best Choreography a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and even the Bob Fosse Award. This past November, the revival celebrated its 12th year on Broadway thus becoming the longest running (and most successful) Broadway revival in Broadway history. She choreographed the ABC TV movie version of "Bye Birdie", and continues to choreograph for regional theatre, television, film, etc. Ann is also a past recipient of the Rolex Dance Award.
Most recently, however, Reinking has been focusing her efforts specifically geared toward Marfans, which is a subject close to home for her 21-year-old son. "I learned my entire life to deal with it," Chris Reinking told ABC News. "I mean like, a giraffe is not going to call himself weird because he has four legs and a long neck. That's just how he evolved and lived his entire life."
As for those who Reinking choreographs, she seems as inspired by them as they are by her. "The human spirit is the greatest thing on earth," she says of her experiences. Reinking produced a documentary on the subject in 2009. To read the full interview, click here; view a clip from the documentary, "In My Hands," below.