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West Jordan Journal

Copper Hills dancer goes where no young man had gone before

Jun 24, 2019 03:53PM ● By Greg James

Quinn Trutzel began dancing less than five years ago. He tried out and was cut three times from the Copper Hills dance team, eventually he earned a letter. (photo courtesy of Alex Acor photography)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

With several attempts in his back pocket, Copper Hills graduate Quinn Trutzel overcame adversity and earned his spot as the second-ever boy on the Grizzlies’ dance company. He also became the first male dance company letter recipient.

“My freshman year, I tried out and did not make it,” Trutzel said. “I continued to try my sophomore and junior years, and I made the team my senior year—the second boy (ever) to make the team. My freshman year, I had only been dancing for three weeks, so I was very fresh to the scene and had never auditioned for anything in my life before. I worked on my performance and started from square one.”

Dance began for Trutzel as a 15th birthday present. 

“I thought it was going to be lame,” he said. However, he turned it into an opportunity and possibly a lifelong profession. He had been watching YoutTube videos on dance, and his mother set up several dance classes for him to try.

“I was kind of excited, but I mostly thought it was not going to work out and be a bust, but I could not get enough,” he said. “At one point, I was dancing at three different places,. I am a modern contemporary type of guy, but I need variety or I will get bored.”

His dance company letter came as a result of attendance, mandatory choreography showcases and continued improvement.

“It is interesting to be on a team of 30 girls,” he said. “The girls handle it pretty well. I get my own room when we go on tours. I felt a lot pressure to be perfect because I knew that there would be attention drawn to me that the other girls would not get just because I am the only guy. If I did not look good then people would attribute that to ‘Oh, he’s just a guy. He did not earn his spot.’ There was some stress associated to that.” 

Taking the spot of another deserving dancer was never a concern for him.

“I feel like I worked hard and earned my spot,” he said. “I put in a lot of effort because I came to dance later than most of my peers. I think I had a different appreciation and understanding. I valued my time in the studio.”

The Grizzly dance company brought two pieces to adjudication. One was a teacher/student collaboration and Trutzel’s team duet he choreographed with a friend. 

“It was gratifying to see all of the hard work I had put in representing the dance company,” he said. “We earned a superior ranking. and it was kind of a nice moment.”

Early morning practices along with technique and innovative movements became things he strived to improve on as a member of the team. The team trained on average 10–15 hours a week. Every other day they meet for early morning rehearsals.

“I suggest that dancers focus on their strengths,” he said. “If you’re a hip-hop dancer, continue with that while you work on the other types of dance.” 

Trutzel was one of over a dozen dancers letters given out this year. He is attending Salt Lake Community College and is a member of the Bruins’ dance company. He hopes to one day open his own studio and train adult dancers. 

“I would love to continue choreographing and teaching,” Trutzel said.

He had plenty of support from his family.

“I am proud of him,” said his mother, Alison Trutzel. “It is an amazing thing to watch your kids find something that they are so passionate about. He was so willing to put in a lot of work and effort and sacrifice to develop his talent. He had never expressed interest in dance. He made a lot of progress and loved it. I could see the difference from one recital to the next.”