Dante Puleio is a Jersey Boy who began dancing shortly after he learned how to walk. By the time was three years old, he had already choreographed and performed dances to everything from Michael Jackson to Donna Summer for his tirelessly supportive parents.
His formal training, however, didn’t begin until he was 19, at the Laban Centre in London, where danced with members of the Royal Ballet. He continued studying at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in the Northern English city of Leeds. In 1999, he earned a BFA from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, where he performed with Koresh Dance Co., Brian Sander's of JUNK, and Pennsylvania Ballet Theatre.
After moving to New York City, he danced with Carolyn Dorfman, Gabriel Masson and spent several years with the Limon Dance Co. He took a hiatus to explore his first love, musical theater, and performed in Broadway shows such as "The Who's Tommy" and a stage version of "The Wizard of Oz," as well as working with Tony Stevens and Jason Robert Brown on commercial and industrial projects.
He considers one of the greatest moments in his professional career, however, to have occurred while he was dancing with his stepmother on Lifetime’s dance competition show "Your Mama Don't Dance," choreographed by Marguerite Derricks. "I love watching you dance," Ben Vereen told him. "It’'s so delicious, it feels like butter."
Reunited with Limon since 2008, he spends most of the year rehearsing and touring with the company, where he is a principal and soloist. He also continues to hold residencies as teacher and choreographer at dance schools, universities and companies throughout the world.
In the Artist's Own Words...
How often do we take the time to separate ourselves from the busyness of our lives? How often do we take time be alone and take in what it is that is around us? Time to breathe, time to think?
Perspective is the key to acceptance, and acceptance is the key to growth. I was with a friend when he was diagnosed as being HIV-positive. There was no consoling him, but time gave him a chance to make peace with himself. It wasn't until he had given himself permission to accept his life and no longer allow his diagnosis to define him that he could move on.
He couldn't do that until he took the time to separate himself from the busyness of his day-to-day life. This short video represents that moment when my friend and others like him allow themselves to take stock, fall and then get back up and be OK