When jazz dance lessons didn’t interest Milo Sachse-Hofheimer eight years ago, the youngster implored his parents to sign him up for ballet classes.
Now 17 and a senior-to-be at Madison East High School, Sachse-Hofheimer has excelled in the discipline at such a high level that he’s performed at the Overture Center for the Arts with the Kanopy Dance Co.
Sachse-Hofheimer was also among eight dancers from Kanopy to perform “Prelude & Fugue” in May for the Martha Graham Dance Co. in New York City. That was made possible when Kanopy co-artistic director Lisa Thurrell, a dancer and Graham graduate, submitted a video of her Kanopy dancers earning them the invitation.
Sachse-Hofheimer was no stranger to “Prelude & Fugue” — a 20-minute piece he performed last year as well. He’ll return to the Graham studio this summer for an immersive three-week session.
The teenager estimates he puts in 25 hours a week dancing during peak rehearsal time. To secure his parents’ permission to continue dancing, he needs to maintain good grades at East High School.
Thurrell says only one other male student has come up through Kanopy Company 2, the pre-professional unit for dancers ages 15 to 26. Sachse-Hofheimer, who’s been a KC2 member for the past three years, is a terrific athlete and talented dancer, Thurrell says.
“A natural stage presence is important, and Milo’s got it in spades,” Thurrell says. “His nuances and ability to be so expressive are his strengths, whether it’s for beauty or for a loose narrative of a journey.”
Sachse-Hofheimer says his career goal is to dance at a professional level. He’s unsure what he’ll do first: pursue dance in college, such as at the University of Minnesota (where other Kanopy dancers have gone) or go to a dance school, like Graham.
“As cliché as it sounds, I just want to keep dancing in any way possible,” Sachse-Hofheimer says. “Even if no one is watching.”
Tamira Madsen is a Fitchburg-based writer.