Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'So You Think' dancer on the show and being out
by Terri-Lynne Waldron
2015-11-25

This article shared 5268 times since Wed Nov 25, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Ballet dancer Jim Nowakowski reached the top six and was the top-three stage dancer on this past season of So You Think You Can Dance. Now in its 12th season, the Emmy-winning competition show recently launched a tour and Nowakowski has hit the road as part of the top 10 finalists. Windy City Times talked with Nowakowski about his dance inspiration, winning awards and the anti-discrimination ordinance repeal in Houston.

Windy City Times: You were adopted in South Korea at age 6 1/2 months. When were you told that you had been adopted?

Jim Nowakowski: At no specific time. I was always being told that, as I was growing up, "We're your family because we adopted you." It was always something they would talk about with me so it was always something that I knew.

WCT: Is it true that your sister, who danced, inspired you to get into dance?

JN: I wanted to do everything that she wanted to do and I would copy her and I would do all the routines that she would be doing in the living room. My parents thought that I was quite impressive for a 2-year-old—being so active and coordinated—that they decided to put me in dance classes. At such a young age I couldn't say, "Oh I love this!," but as I got older they would ask me every year, "Do you want to do dance class again?" And I would say "Yes."

WCT: Why did you audition for So You Think You Can Dance?

JN: I was with Houston Ballet for eight years and I wanted something different and I thought, "What better way to enter a world that I think I know." It was one of those things that I always wanted to try but I was too scared to do because you are exposing a lot of yourself. I thought that, at the end of the day, if I were to not try, I would just regret looking back and saying, "I wish I would have tried that show just for fun."

WCT: You have won quite a few awards in your career, such as the Gold Award at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts as well as the senior men's gold at the Youth American Grand Prix. What do those awards mean to you?

JN: It kind of validates all my hard work. The art world, in general, is subjective and that's a beautiful thing because what is beautiful to me—what I like—isn't the right way always to somebody else. Having an award like that—no one can take that away from you.

WCT: You have been quoted as saying that coming out as gay "is the best decision I ever made." Why is that?

JN: I work in an environment where it's totally okay and I can be myself, which is very liberating. I get to love who I want and I don't have to apologize for it. As artists, all we want is for viewers to be able to peel back these layers of ourselves and to share with other humans—what makes us who we are and what makes us special and unique. Some of the greatest artists are the ones who are so honest—not just in what they say, but what they do in their dancing.

WCT: The anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston—which turned into a battle over gay and transgender rights—was recently repealed by a vote of 61 percent to 39 percent. As someone who once lived in Houston, how do you feel about those who refer to the ordinance as the "bathroom ordinance" and say that the measure would allow men to claim to be women, to go into women's bathrooms and inflict harm?

JN: That's always a difficult thing because the world can't please the world and there's always going to be some type of conflict. That's the evolution of life and I think, as a world—and especially the art world—we're learning and we're all being educated slowly and we're being more accepted and accepting of situations. I am very optimistic and I always try to look at both sides so I'm very neutral with the situation. There's never a right or wrong, and it's always one of those "agree to disagree" situations.

WCT: What's the difference between auditioning for Nigel, Paula and Jason on So You Think You Can Dance versus auditioning for a ballet school at the age of 11?

JN: For So You Think You Can Dance, you know what you're signing up for. You know that it's a reality television show and that they're looking for something obviously special, but it's more than just about your dancing. It's about the work or maybe your personality or maybe they already have three Asians. They're trying to make good TV at the end of the day.

If a director of a [ballet] company really likes you—whether or not—they don't have a contract for you or they have enough money for you or they already have two short dancers, if the director really wants you then they will find a way to hire you.

So You Think You Can Dance will be at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., on Friday Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.thechicagotheatre.com .


This article shared 5268 times since Wed Nov 25, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

DANCE Hubbard Street presenting drive-in edition of 'Inside/Out' Oct. 2 2021-09-23
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will hold its annual "Inside/Out" choreographic workshop, "Drive-In(side Out)," on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop St., preceded by a welcome party and DJ starting at ...


Gay News

Chicago Dance History Project moving to Ruth Page Center 2021-09-17
- Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP)—which investigates, documents and presents the individual and institutional past of Chicago dance—plans to move into The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., as an artist in residence. ...


Gay News

Joffrey welcomes four dancers from South Korea, Spain and the U.S. 2021-09-15
- The Joffrey Ballet's Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE, The and President and CEO Greg Cameron announced the addition of four dancers to the Joffrey roster for the 2021-22 season: Brian Bennett (Lanham, Maryland), ...


Gay News

DANCE Ensemble Espanol to open Auditorium Theatre season Oct. 16 2021-09-10
- Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, will return to the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The company will mark the finale performance of its 45th-anniversary "Zafiro Flamenco ...


Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event 2021-09-05
- "Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...


Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag 2021-09-05
- On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...


Gay News

TV 'Dancing with the Stars' to feature first same-sex partnership 2021-08-27
- ABC's Dancing With the Stars will be breaking new ground in the upcoming 30th season—with its first same-sex partnership. According to Deadline, on Aug. 26, host Tyra Banks and executive producer Andrew Llinares revealed that the ...


Gay News

MUSIC Diplo, Galantis part of Spring Awakening 2021-08-24
- The organizers of the Chicago electronic dance music (EDM) festival Spring Awakening have added the acts Diplo and Galantis to the Oct. 2-3 event. Spring Awakening will take place in Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th St. ...


Gay News

Joffrey Ballet's "Home: a Celebration" opens inaugural season at Lyric Opera House 2021-08-18
--From a press release - August 18, 2021 (Chicago) — The Joffrey Ballet opens its inaugural season at the Lyric Opera House and marks its return to live performances with Home: a Celebration, a triumphant mixed repertory program that spotlights original ...


Gay News

Aug. 12 dance film to explore gender, queerness in South Asian arts 2021-08-03
- Ashwaty Chennat, a Chicago Dancemakers 2021 Digital Dance grantee, has continued her collaboration with Abhijeet Rane to explore gender, queerness and the body in South Asian arts and traditions. An excerpt of Chennai and Rane's ...


Gay News

Winifred Haun & Dancers announces 2021-22 season, return to live performances 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Chicago & Oak Park, IL — Winifred Haun & Dancers will return to in person theater events and live programming for the upcoming 2021|22 Season. The Company will be presented at the Pritzker Pavilion, Ruth Page ...


Gay News

DANCE Deeply Rooted named to INFLUENCERS Cohort 2021-07-24
- Chicago's Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is one of five dance companies (and the only Midwestern one) named to the International Association of Blacks in Dance's (IABD's) INFLUENCERS Cohort for the 2021 COHI/MOVE program. The five ...


Gay News

Lightfoot announces 27 Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grant finalists 2021-07-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced 27 new Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grant finalists. A Greater Grand Crossing shared kitchen, a Calumet Heights dance studio, and a Humboldt Park juice bar are among the ...


Gay News

Dance for Life to present 10 companies, world-premiere finale 2021-07-08
- Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, announced an expanded lineup and program for the 30th anniversary of its annual fundraiser, Dance for Life, which takes place in ...


Gay News

AIDS ballet movie coming to Chicago on July 16 2021-07-07
- The movie Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters will open Friday, July 16, in virtual cinemas in Chicago at Gene Siskel Film Center and Music Box Theatre. "Can You Bring It"—co-directed by Rosalynde LeBlanc and ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.