Gary McDonald - Hustle / Disco WCS + Salsa

Gary McDonald -
by Ron Bess

He is quickly becoming a dance legend, Gary McDonald, half of the incredible team of Gary and Diana, has gone, Hollywood, at least for the making of the new motion picture 'Shall We Dance'.  Gary was brought on as the head dance trainer for the stars ...two of today's biggest box office draws actors Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.
Working along with choreographer Liz Curtiz, Gary had spent three intense months training the actors. JLO has a strong background in Jazz, hip hop while Richard Gere has minimal experience in soft shoe. The ultimate goal was to make them shine in the Quick Step and Waltz. Gary stresses the fact "there are no dance doubles." What you see - is them. The movie is based on the original motion picture which dates back 67 years ago to 1937. The lead actors in the original were the incomparable team of Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Considered to be their best work, the movie had a Gershwin score including the hits 'Lets Call the Whole Thing Off' and 'They Can't Take That Away From Me.'  Clearly, Gary had a big challenge on his hands but with his championship record, he thrives in these situations. Along with his wife Diana, Gary has competed in 24 World Championships and was the first American couple to win the World Ballroom title. They are also the undefeated United States 10-Dance Champions for the past 10 years, competing in ten styles of ballroom.  You may have seen them dance or co-host on television stations NBC, ESPN, A&E or PBS.
Gary's incredible dance history began at the early age of 7. Coming from a dance family, he spent five days a week - Eight hours a day with actor Richard Gere, for three months in preparation for the movie. This required Gary to work in Canada with Jennifer Lopez.  Jennifer who has so many credits and titles to her name (recording artist, actress, videos, perfume and clothing lines) previously performed with Diana McDonald, years ago in the same dance troop in NY.
Not being busy enough, Gary makes his dance/acting debut as he performs in the movie with JLO as her dance partner.
With great anticipation for the national release on October 15, 2004, , the red carpet debut will take place on Wednesday the 13th. Gary is quite proud of the final production. "It looks great," states Gary, "both actors did a fine performance."
Backed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, many of the original classic songs are used thru out the movie.
Gary & Diane are the co-owners of the Rogers Dancesport Center in Fairfield, New Jersey. They also host their own annual ballroom competition, the Manhattan Dance Sport Championships.
We look forward to the theatrical release of Shall We Dance and hope it gives the dance industry a well deserved boost. You can read more about Gary and Diana at the following sites. - - -

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