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Talking with Dance Theatre of Harlem's Co-Founder Arthur Mitchell

07/08/2010 01:58 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"I didn't want to be a ballet dancer. My motivation was the musicals," says Arthur Mitchell, one of the 20th-century's noblest classical dancers, who grew up in New York City in the 1940s enamored of Broadway.

"Vaudeville was incredible. The Apollo, fantastic. Fred Astaire? When I auditioned for the High School of the Performing Arts, I rented top hat, white tie and tails, and sang "Steppin' Out With My Baby." They took me not because I was good but because I had so much nerve," he says.

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