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Boise teen dances his way into Juilliard as one of 12 men accepted

Barry Gans is a Boise teen who was accepted into The Juilliard School. (Courtesy: Barry Gans)

A Treasure Valley dancer is hitting the big city stage.

This dancer is one of 12 men in the world to be accepted into The Juilliard School this fall.

Those odds of being accepted into Juilliard are slim, however, once we saw Barry Gans move across the floor in an Eagle dance studio, his acceptance was no surprise.

"He was dancing when he first started walking," said Lorian Gans, Barry's mother.

His first steps quickly turned into arabesques. Barry was only two-and-a-half years old when he took his first dance class.

His mom helped ignite his passion for dance by taking him to countless classes, rehearsals and out-of-town competitions.

"There's no question that it's worth it," Lorian told KBOI 2News.

Now, at 18 years old, the Boise native is headed to the big apple at the end of August. As one of 12 men accepted into the school, he will be attending school on a $28,000 scholarship...and just a couple of loans.

"It will be...different," Barry said. "For sure. But I think I'm ready to move to a bigger city."

Tap, hip-hop, lyrical, jazz and modern... Barry does- er, dances it all. But his favorite is contemporary dance.

"Dance is one of the truest ways to express yourself because it is so full in the body," Barry said. "That all you really have is genuine feeling."

"To see the joy that he gets every time he dances, it's so apparent," Lorian said.

While he makes it look easy, there's a lot of time and dedication behind those moves, including watching his diet and switching to online school to allow more time for classes and rehearsals.

"It can be anywhere from five hours in a week to 80 hours in a week," Barry explained.

But all that time fueled his extraordinary talent to the point that he's dancing his way into one of the most elite performance schools in the country.

"He has worked so hard his whole life and been so focused," his mother said. "It's wonderful to see that come to fruition and see him be rewarded for that."

If you'd like to see Barry perform one last time in the Treasure Valley, he'll dance in "Project Flux" on June 3 at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Annex Theater.

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