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Dancer slides into Variety Show spotlight

Micha Gachpar, Editor-At-Large

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The music blared as he stood frozen on stage, searching his brain for the choreography he should have been executing at that moment. After remaining frozen for half the dance, he snapped out of his trance and joined the other dancers. Although this rocky start may have been discouraging to most seven-year-olds, junior Chris Fabbioli’s

passion for dance still remains strong as he prepares for his third annual Glenbrook North Variety Show.

Fabbioli said he began taking dance classes in third grade after his mom dropped an advertisement for a break-dancing class in front of his book while he was reading on the couch. After muttering a simple, “Alright,” he was signed up for a hip-hop class.

“I came in as a third grader that had no coordination,” said Fabbioli. “My first couple of weeks were mostly just me falling over.”

Fabbioli said he dances at Soul 2 Sole Dance Inc. and participates in the Elite Phenom team, an all boys hip-hop group that performs and competes. The team is led by Andrew Tamez-Hull, dance teacher at Soul 2 Sole Dance Inc., who has taught Fabbioli for about seven years.

Fabbioli remembers a morning before a competition, when he accidentally busted the team captain’s head open. While rehearsing for their performance, Fabbioli practiced a trick in which he and another dancer flip the captain off of their hands. He slipped off of Fabbioli’s hands and hit his head on the tile floor, but the dancer still went on to perform that day.

“We were practicing in the morning, and our performance was in the afternoon, so he went [to the hospital], got stitched up, and the doctor told him not to perform, but he performed anyways,” said Fabbioli. “That got the team really excited, and I think that was [our] best performance of the year.”

In addition to Elite Phenom, Fabbioli plans on participating in a GBN Variety Show act with freshman Brooke Falk, junior Sydney Dolins and senior Megan Meyer. Fabbioli has performed in the Variety Show every year since starting high school and has enjoyed the opportunity to dance in front of his peers.

  He said before starting at GBN, there were very few opportunities to share his talent at school, and he often faced judgement from peers for being a dancer.

“If you were a dude and you weren’t playing a sport … or  if you were just dancing in general, you were seen as lesser,” said Fabbioli. “You were an outsider.”

Since Fabbioli has been able to share his talent through the GBN Variety Show, he said he has not experienced as much judgement.

Fabbioli said he is taking on more of a leadership role in his dancing career because he is one of the oldest members of his dance team, and one of the upperclassmen in his Variety Show act.

“I’m moving up in almost all of the groups that I’m in [and becoming] more of a leading figure,” said Fabbioli. “It’s exciting to think, ‘Hey, we’re doing really well this year, and we’re going to be doing even better next year.’”

Meyer said she is excited to see where Dolins and Fabbioli take the act in following years as it becomes their turn to lead the group.

“I’m passing the torch on to Chris and Sydney next year,” said Meyer. “I’m really happy that we get to keep this tradition going.”

Tamez-Hull said as his dance teacher, he has seen Fabbioli grow into a leader on his dance team and in the studio.

   “He’s in a position now where the kids respect him,” said Tamez-Hull. “They look up to him, they listen to him and they are inspired by him because of how talented and kind he is.”

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Dancer slides into Variety Show spotlight