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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Wood Audio Clip and Transcript

Wood Audio Clip

Interviewer: Carol Murota

CM: A couple of times in talking about these people and your relationships with them, you mention that you were given opportunities to perform because you were a man. Would you talk about that a little bit?

DW: Well, it's hard to talk about in relation to now because I don't really know what now is. I think there still is a lack of men in dance. There definitley was in earlier times. So that, being a man, you could do almost anything you wanted. You had the chance. Your competition wasn't so much.

I know the first things I used to go to I would get through Elsa, Hanya's secretary. People would call Hanya's studio and they would say they needed, a dancer who could speak, who could act. She would tell me 'cause I knew Elsa very well and she knew my backround and all. And I would go thinking I would have it and there would be like fifty guys there. I usually got it because they didn't want any great demand and they wanted somebody to pretend they were at the ballet barre warming up- that's all the dance you had to do. But you had to be able to say a few lines and the minute these other guys opened their mouths they lost out. Whereas, I had acted and done that. There wasn't the cross-over so musch as there is now.

Those were the first things I started doing. Even a show like "Country Style," which was every Saturday night, on the old DuPont television I went and auditioned for that. I'd only been dancing what...? It was when I finished at Hanya's - it was that summer. There must have only been thirty guys auditioning for that and I think she used three guys, three, four guys, three, four women. So, it wasn't that many, just for dancing, and so I got that.

©Museum of Performance + Design

David Wood
Wood Audio Clip and Transcript