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Lawrence Leritz

Lawrence Leritz (born September 26, 1962) is an American dancer, singer, actor, producer, director, fitness expert and choreographer. Born in Alton, Illinois, Leritz made his stage debut in the children's chorus of the world stage premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical State Fair at The Muny, starring Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, directed by James Hammerstein, supervised by Richard Rodgers, conducted by Anton Coppola and choreographed byTommy Tune.

Leritz moved to New York City on scholarships to the Harkness Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and School of American Ballet, studying with Alexandra Danilova, Stanley Williams and the Bolshoi's Maris Liepa. Leritz was invited to work with the dance choreographers George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Robert Joffrey,Ruth Page, Frederic Franklin, John Neumeier, Lee Theodore, Joe Layton and Sir Frederick Ashton. Leritz, while dancing in a company class at The New York City Ballet, was discovered by Balanchine ballerina Violette Verdy. Violette invited Lawrence to join The Hamburg Ballet. While performing in Hamburg, his dancing impressed Dance Magazine's editor-in-chief William Como, who invited Leritz back to the U.S.for photo sessions with famed dance photographer Kenn Duncan for Dance Magazine. Leritz continued his dancing career on the international stages, starring with Ruth Page's Chicago Ballet, Israel's Bat-Dor Dance Company and with the Paris Opéra on its U.S. tour to the Metropolitan Opera and DC's Kennedy Center. Leritz also appeared as guest artist and choreographer for Plácido Domingo's Los Angeles Music Center Opera and danced in the Joffrey Ballet version of Michel Fokine's "Petrushka" with Rudolf Nureyev at the New York City Center. Leritz created his own company, Dance Celebration, which represented the United States at the International Choreographic Competitions in Paris, performing his signature ballet, "Worth A Song," receiving special congratulations from President Jimmy Carter at The White House in 1979. Leritz produced The 50th Anniversary Gala of The American Guild of Musical Artists, featuring over 300 stars of ballet and opera at The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center in 1986. The Gala's hosts, New York City Opera's Beverly Sills and New York City Ballet's Peter Martins provided the show's highlight, dancing together in the restaged opening of Balanchine's "Vienna Waltzes." Leritz appeared three times on the cover of Dance Pages Magazine, including the Spring 1989 issue, in which he wrote an article which introduced and encouraged bodybuilding for dancers. Appearing on the cover with bodybuilding champion Rich Gaspari, his article helped to change the look of professional dancers. In 2006, Leritz was included in Harvard University's George Balanchine Collection of The New York City Ballet at The Harvard Theatre Collection and The Harvard College Library. Leritz appeared Off-Broadway in "Funding The Arts" at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, May 2010, acting and dancing the role of J. Edgar. Leritz's television dance appearances include the 2013 Emmy Award winning "Night Of Too Many Stars" on Comedy Central, performing as Keitel's wise guy in "Call Me Maybe" with Carly Rae Jepsen and Harvey Keitel at the historic Beacon Theatre (New York City). Lawrence was featured in The New York Times dance article, Your First Dance Crush, July 2013. Leritz recently co-hosted the Off-Broadway tribute to dance legend Ruth Page, March 2015.

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Lawrence Leritz

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