Kyle Vaughn is a San Diego native who is bringing Paris to the Civic Theatre with the cast of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS playing through September 10th. Kyle was a student at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts as well as performing around the world with an Irish dancing company. He moved to New York on a scholarship with the Broadway Dance Center and found himself working in and out of New York by the time he was 20 years old.
Now he’s on tour with AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and I had a chance to connect with him about dance, performing with this tour, and returning to his hometown.
What is it like to work on a show that is so iconic and beloved, and is based on some of the most amazing dancing by Gene Kelly ever in a movie?
I think it all stems from the gorgeous music. The songs of George and Ira Gershwin are timeless to me because of them great choreographers and dancers like Gene Kelly are completely inspired by the music to create great iconic movement. I have always looked up to Gene’s style and performance quality he was so strong and athletic yet totally graceful and made every move look effortless; the true triple threat (dancer, singer, and actor).
Do you have a favorite moment/song in the show? (Doesn’t necessarily have to be one that you are in)
Being a song and dance man, my favorite moment in the show has to be the show stopper number “Stairway to Paradise.” It’s the boys in top hats and tails, and the show girls in glitzy costumes with big feathered head pieces. It’s also the one tap number in our show that has a kick line and gorgeous art deco scenery that lights up with the melody in the song. It’s a real crowd pleaser too!
Having trained in dance for so long, do you have a favorite style of dance to do when you are given the choice?
I have been training very diversely in dance since i was 8 and I’ve done all different styles from flamenco to hip hop. My favorite when I take class is lyrical Jazz, it’s like if ballet and jazz had a baby.
What was it like touring the world doing Irish dance at such a young age?
It was incredible. I got to work in a real professional environment for the first time. I watched, I learned, and I grew as an artist. Most teens are having sweet sixteen parties or getting their driver’s license, and I was performing for the President of Chile in Santiago. The show was called Celtic fusion, and it had world champion Irish dancers and LA commercial dancers, and because I was a tapper they trained me in the Irish technique. So I ended up being both a jazz and Irish dancer in the show.
Is there something that you must do when you are back in San Diego that really feels like you are back home?
Balboa Park! I did a lot of San Diego Junior Theater when I was a kid, and the rehearsal studios were across from the botanical gardens. So walking around the park and the museums is very nostalgic for me. Plus it’s just a beautiful place with great trees, architecture and a world famous zoo.
You can also follow his adventures on his Instagram @kylstyle4
Catch Kyle and the rest of the cast of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Civic Theatre through September 10th. For show time and ticket information go to www.broadwaysd.com