Saturday, July 17, 2021

Veteran dancer, Lillian Colon on her journey from being the First Latina Radio City Music Hall Rockette to performing in In the Heights


Lillian Colon is a veteran dancer, having been in the entertainment industry since the age of 16. She currently teaches jazz in New York City. Among many of her accomplishments in the dance world, Lillian is the First Latina Radio City Music Hall Rockette and honored by the newspaper El Dario in 1997 as The Puerto Rican Woman of The Year. She has appeared as a Guest of Honor and Godmother in 3 Puerto Rican Day Parades.

Graduating from The High School of Performing Arts, Lillian began her career at Lincoln Center as a shark in West Side Story. After performing in various Latin night clubs, such as the Chateau Madrid, Lillian headed to the West Coast’s Los Angeles Playboy Club where she performed nightly in an act with Lainie Kazan. Since her roots were founded in the New York theatre world, Lillian performed at the famed Sacramento Music Circus

Lillian caught the eye of Steve Merritt and quickly became one of the lead dancers for the 61st Academy Award Show. She quickly became a favorite as a Steve Merritt dancer touring Mexico with Olga Breskin. Lillian performed in Olga’s TV show, night club act and the Spanish film, Nora La Rebelde. After returning from Mexico, Lillian became a dancer and assistant choreographer with Menudo ultimately replacing Miguel Gonz as their choreographer. A highlight of her career was having the opportunity to perform in Can Can with one of her idols, Chita Rivera. This experience introduced her to Alan Johnson, once one of entertainment's most talented choreographers. Among the many well known choreographers, Lillian also worked with Joe Layton, Donald McKayle and with the famed Michael Bennett in the 10th Anniversary of, A Chorus Line.

All this led to her dancing on the great stage that Lillian had always dreamed of, The New York Radio City Music Hall, as a Rockette in the Christmas Spectacular and as the first Latina Rockette.

Lillian currently lives in New York City with her husband Carlos and their daughter Roxanne.

Coming up 5/22 at 9:30am - Haleigh Marcello, Founder and Executive Director, Orange County Queer History Project, PhD Candidate - Graduate Feminist Emphasis, Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies

UCI PhD candidate, Haleigh Marcello, joins Janeane to talk about some OC Queer History events coming up! LISTEN to today's show featurin...