His life is so inspiring that it was made into a major motion picture. Never before, has one man set out to accomplish so much while giving back to the dance community, ten fold. Through out his dance career he has reached levels with mesmerizing views. Pierre Dulaine is one of a kind.
He has always "Taken the Lead" and overcome all obstacles. Pierre has been an incomparable dancer, performer and teacher to millions world wide. During his on-going dance career he has taken that leadership role to a higher level. At the early age of 14, Pierre began to study ballroom dancing in his home town of Birmingham, England. By the age of 21 he was recognized as a full member of the Imperial Society of Ballroom Teachers. He developed a dance partnership in England and ultimately won the "Dual Of the Giants" competition at the famous Royal Albert Hall in London. Pierre continued competing and won numerous competitions including the "All England Professional Latin American Championships." In 1971, he flew to the United States for a short visit. He arrived in New York and was so overwhelmed by the city he decided to stay. Two years later, while at a dance studio, in New York City, he met a unique dancer. She was teaching ballroom classes at the time, although she had formal training in ballet. This accomplished ballerina developed an inseparable partnership with Pierre in Latin, adagio and theater arts. Yvonne Marceau was brilliant. Together, they returned to his home town in London to train with Pierre's long time mentor John DelRoy. That same year they would compete together in Blackpool. This magical couple would wow audiences and judges everywhere with their uncanny ability to execute lifts with an effortless touch. Their creativity was plentiful.
They implemented the skill sets they attained under the coaching of Delroy, a former exhibition dancer, and from world renown Peter Martins, of the New York City Ballet. They developed their signature breath taking partnering techniques that became their trade mark. After a successful round at Blackpool in the Latin division they would direct their focus on the exhibition division. They would go on to win the most prestigious title in their division, not once but four times, in 1977, 1978, 1979 and again in 1982. As disciplined dancers, Pierre and Yvonne would frequent Alexis Dance Studio, (87th & Broadway in Manhattan), to practice and rehearse for shows and competitions. While at Alexis, they met the "incredible hustle dancers from Manhattan and the Bronx," Pierre shares. "We fell in love with this brand new dance and as we were doing so much lift/exhibition/aerial work, it fit right in with where we were at that stage of our dance career," explains Pierre. Not your typical hard core hustle dancers, Pierre & Yvonne brought a softer side to the hustle, utilizing finesse and elegance on the dance floor. Combining their electrifying adagio with hustle made them so engaging to watch. This new found dance initiative would take them to television shows like the popular "Soap Factory" and competitions on the syndicated television show "Dance Fever," where they successfully moved on to the semi finals.
Like a surgeons knife, Pierre's precision-like choreography made complicated movements appear so simplistic and fluid, as he and Yvonne would demonstrate moving artistry.
Pierre would enter a new phase in his life as he ventured to retire from active professional competitions to open his first full service dance studio in Clifton, NJ. At his new studio, Pierre would host his own dance socials, exhibitions and a unique event. "The Dulaine Dance Cup" was an invitational competition that brought some of the most exciting dance couples of the day to his studio. It was the talk of the industry. The premier couples were invited to compete: Eddie Vega & Nelly Cotto, Lisa Nunziella & Danny Llaurado, Tony & Susan Marolda, James Garcia & Diane K. Nardone, Juan Hernandez & Donna Chaudoir,
Ronald Ottis Jennings & Alane Trevisani, Ralph Ramirez & Maria Gomez, Ricky Quintana & Laudes Jones, Arte Phillips & Maria Torres, Billy Fajardo & Sandra Rivera, Ron Bess & Lisa Zimmerman.
(today the studio is known as the Continental).
In 1984 along with Gary & Lori Pierce, Pierre & Yvonne had a dream to bring ballroom dancing to the legitimate stages around the country, no different then ballets. The American Ballroom Theater was born and together the group would appear all over the US, Europe and many countries in Asia. After sharing his love of dance on stage with millions of people world wide, it was time for the next phase and reaching a new audience. Pierre launched a dance project with a new target - spreading ballroom to children, that could learn the dance and perform it. Giving back had become the mission that Pierre would under take. Public schools would be the focus point. What better way to share the elegance, discipline and artistry of dance then with urban children that would, under normal circumstances, never enjoy this exposure. Pierre and Yvonne can be seen featured in the motion picture, that they co directed, "Mad Hot Ballroom," a documentary on 4th & 5th graders learning and competing in ballroom at public schools. Pierre is the master of ceremonies at the competitions where students from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens compete in merangue, fox-trot, rumba, tango and Swing for the Challenge trophy. The film is an in-depth study of the positive effects that ballroom dancing brings to children. You can see the pride and self esteem all over their faces of the children, and on their parents. After years of working with inner city kids, teaching the fine art of ballroom dancing, Pierre was approached by Diane Nabatoff, a movie producer, that was interested in having his work with children made into a biographical film. Pierre had created "Dancing Classrooms" - teaching public school students the fundamentals of ballroom dancing. He excitedly agreed to share his story with the world. In April of 2006, "Take The Lead" came to life in movie theaters all over the country. Antonio Banderas played the lead role of Pierre Dulaine. A versatile actor, Banderas had played lead roles in major films like Zorro, Evita, and Mambo Kings. He was a perfect fit ."It was a great honor to be portrayed by Antonio Banderas, he is a most wonderful person," shares Pierre. The movie "Take The Lead" focuses on Pierre's work with inner city school kids, giving them the inspiration to achieve what ever they put their minds too. It's well acted and a fine portrayal of the challenges of motivating kids. The movie grips you like Rocky, over coming the odds while leaving viewers feeling fortunate to have individuals like Pierre - putting his love of dance and helping others, first. In 2006, when the movie was filmed, Pierre's program was reaching 120 New York City public schools with more then 12,000 students participating. In 2007 / 2008 Pierre's group has doubled, expanding to 233 NY City public schools and now reaching over 30,000 kids. His "Danceing Classrooms" has grown to 7 other cities around the country and will be adding on 6 more cities in January of 2009. They will initiate the program in Geneva, Switzerland this December and in England in Feb/Mar of 2009. Yes, Pierre has done it all and has been recognized with the "Legends Of Dance Award" in 2006 for TV/Movies - theater and ballroom, and the "Heritage Classic Award" for Outstanding contribution to Dancesport. A true gentlemen, he was entered into the Hustle Hall Of Fame, four years ago as an Honorarium - for his huge heart, inspiration, and for the many gifts he has brought to the world of dance.