'Cabaret' dancer credits local classes for success

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The cabaret promises to be a place where people can forget their troubles, yet one of the stars of "Cabaret" has not forgotten the place where his career began.

Buddy Reeder, born in Danville and raised in Coatesville and Pittsboro, plays the Emcee in the musical "Cabaret" currently at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. But Reeder's connection to Putnam County is not that he grew up nearby. Reeder actually studied dance in Greencastle at Jonie Skaggs' Dance Studio.

"I studied with Jonie when I was seven and continued on through high school," Reeder said.

Reeder then went on to Ball State and Columbia University where he studied the performing arts as a musical theatre major and a dance major.

Reeder said the seeds to a life of dancing were planted in him early.

"If it weren't for her (Skaggs) and taking class with her," Reeder said, he doesn't know where he might be.

He said he wants a life like Skaggs displayed.

"I just want to be happy and truly enjoy what I'm doing," Reeder said.

That's just what he is doing though.

Reeder said coming from a small town could have made it difficult to achieve his goals.

Yet, when he went to Chicago he got really lucky.

Reeder said he came from a tap dancing background and there were auditions for the tap show, "My One and Only."

"I thought, I'd audition for the show. That would be cool," Reeder said.

After auditioning in a type of chorus line where everybody watched each other, the person after him made an exclamation.

"I don't want to go after that," Reeder said his fellow auditionee exclaimed.

Reeder said Skaggs helped to get him to that level. That was the level where he met Equity director/choreographer Marc Robin. Equity is the company that Reeder has been performing with for the last ten years and the group he is with at Beef and Boards.

Reeder has worked all over the country and hopes he dances his whole life.

"Obviously, I want to dance as long as I can," Reeder said.

Yet at 35, he said he knows he won't be able to dance like he used to forever. Which is why he is working more toward being a director and a choreographer. Yet roots for this next phase were planted in him long ago back in Greencastle.

Reeder said when he was 15, Skaggs let him teach dance classes as a substitute. Then by his senior year he was teaching all the classes on Saturdays that he wasn't involved in at the dance studio.

"Teaching has been a great thing for me," Reeder said.

Teaching has allowed Reeder to always work within his chosen profession.

"For the past five or six years, I've been able to do what I love to do," Reeder said.

"Cabaret" which Reeder said was a dark musical about the Nazis coming to power with intertwined romances will close on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Reeder said from there he goes on to perform in, as well as be the dance captain and assistant choreographer for, "All Night Strut" at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Ill.

More information about the last week of performances of "Cabaret" at Beef and Boards can be obtained at www.beefandboards .com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: