Chicago Dance History Project director Jenai Cutcher West interviewed me in 2016 in  NYC. I’m joined by choreographer Faye Driscoll whose mother, dancer/actor Maureen Byrnes was a long time friend of mine. I started my career as a dancer in Chicago nightclub revues and talk about my training with teacher Edna McRae and my first jobs outside of Chicago.

The Dancers Over 40 Legacy Award is given annually to a select few dancers who have worked as dancers and made a living doing it all of their lives. After my friend Patti Mariano and DO40 president John Sefakis introduce me, I talk about my dance training and surprise everyone with a short dance number that my friend Ms. Teddy Kern secretly helped choreograph to Jose Feliciano’s  “Tú Me Acostumbraste”.  Dybasakis is another story………….

Charles Kirsch is the host of “Backstage Babble” a podcast that interviews “professionals in the theatre industry about themselves, their careers and the people that they’ve worked with along the way”. We did this interview on Zoom and so I was able to get this video as well, which Charles has given his OK to use on this Performing Arts Legacy “Look/Listen” page. Check out his podcasts to hear interviews with Joel Grey, Ed Asner, John Weidman, Susan L. Shulman, Steve Ross, Eileen Casey, Lee Roy Reams, Michael Lavine, Mary Jane Houdina and Carolyn Kirsch (no relation). I’m grateful and flattered to have been invited to share my ups and downs in the Biz with Charles and his listeners.

James Dybas Sings “Here’s to Life”