jaspersudio

Clowning around in Lillian Jasper's Dance Studio. McKeesport, PA. 1953

pghclopera

First Equity job in "Oklahoma" 1953

pghcivicopera

With Becky Barksdale in "Panama Hattie" Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera 1954.

abner

Broadway debut in "Li'l Abner" 1956

wsssolo

First featured role in "West Side Story" 1957

wssjetsong

Jet Song from "West Side Story" 1958

chitagk

TV appearance with Chita Rivera and Kelly Brown. 1958

greenw

Appeared as "Andrew" in Frank Loesser musical, "Greenwillow" 1959

cokead

Coca-Cola campaign ad. 1959

groversailaway

Appeared with Patricia Harty in Noel Coward's musical, "Sail Away." 1960

dmcover60

Dance Magazine cover story. July, 1960.

sailawaylondon

Appeared with Sheila Forbes in London production of "Sail Away." 1961

In 1953, a skinny young tapper from McKeesport, PA boarded a bus for New York with $130 in his pocket and a desire to see if he could land a job on Broadway. It never occurred to him that he would soon be featured as 'Snowboy' in the original company of 'West Side Story,' be discovered by Noel Coward for a leading role in 'Sail Away,' be fired by Agnes de Mille in New York, swim with Esther Williams on CBS' first color broadcast in Hollywood, beat out Dustin Hoffman for an acting role on a daytime soap, co-star with Gene Kelly in 'The Young Girls Of Rochefort', or be acknowledged with a Tony nomination for his direction of Broadway's 'The Magic Show.' All of this was in store for the skinny young tapper who grew up in a 3-room shack on a dirt road in McKeesport PA.
 
Enjoy this clip from Grover's first movie role in 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown':

1950's

* Launched his own studio at the age of 15. 1950
* First professional job: Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, 1953
* Day job in New York: Nedick's Hot Dog Stand, 1953
* First NY dance job: Jackie Gleason Show, 1954
* Second TV job: Milton Berle Show, 1955
* Third TV job: Martha Raye Show, 1955
* Fourth TV job: Perry Como Show, 1955
* First Bway show: "The Amazing Adele" 1955
* Second Bway show: "Li'l Abner" 1956
* First featured role: Snowboy in "West Side Story," 1957
* Second featured role: Andrew in "Greenwillow," 1959
* Featured dancer in TV special "The Gershwin Years." 1959


1960's

* Appeared on the cover of Dance Magazine, July, 1960
* Juvenile lead: Noel Coward's "Sail Away," 1960
* Featured dancer in TV special The Gershwin Years,1960
* Juvenile lead: The Fantastiks at Goodspeed Opera House, 1961
* First acting role: Phoenix Theatre's "Too Much Johnson," 1962
* Featured dancer in eighteen national commercials, 1962-63
* Featured role of Ashton (Lee Grant's dance teacher) in film, "The Landlord," 1963
* Role of Jam (Debbie Reynold's brother) in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, 1964
* Featured role of Pearce in Bway production of "Half A Sixpence," 1964
* Recurring acting role on CBS' The Secret Storm, 1964
* Co-starred in Paramount's film of "Half A Sixpence," 1965
* Co-starred in Jacques Demy's film, "Young Girls Of Rochefort", 1966
* Enrolled in film school, 1967
* Directed/Produced award-winning short: Douglas, James, & Joe, 1967
* Wrote & choreo'd original musical: aired on CBS Look Up & Live, 1967
* Assistant Director to Jerome Robbins: American Theatre Lab, 1968
* Choreographed the musical "Allegro" at Goodspeed Opera House, 1969


1970's

* Choreo'd the play "Steambath" at the Truck & Warehouse Theatre, 1970
* Choreo'd 1st Bway show:"Billy" 1970, Drama Desk Award & Tony Nomination
* Directed experimental musicals at Lenox Arts Center, 1971-72
* Choreo'd the film "The Way We Were" 1973
* Co-choreographed "Seesaw" with Michael Bennett, 1973, Tony Award
* Directed "The Magic Show," 1974, Tony Nomination for Direction
* Choreographed and directed 12 national commercials, 1975-78
* Birth of son James Badge Dale. 1978
* Rec'd citation from NYC mayor for a 5-year stint of staging "I Love NY" commercials. 1979
* Choreo'd & directed "The King Of Schnorrers" 1979


1980's

* Wrote title song & choreographed film of "So Fine," 1980
* Choreographed 4 television specials, 1980-83
* Choreo'd Barry Manilow's TV movie "Copacabana," 1984, Emmy Nomination
* Choreographed Warner Bros film "Quicksilver," 1985
* Choreo'd Pasadena Playhouse production of "Mail," 1986, Dramalogue Award
* Choreographed Bway production of "Mail" 1987, Drama Desk Nomination
* Co-directed "Jerome Robbins Broadway," 1988-89, Tony Award for Direction


1990's

* Founded L.A. Dance Foundation / Dance & Fitness Magazine, 1991
* Produced 38 showcases and workshops in L.A., 1992-1995
* Co-Produced American Choreography Awards, 1994-98
* Appeared in nine network commercials, 1998-99
* Interviewed 10 choreographers for D&F Magazine 1995-1999
* Launched "Answers4dancers.com" Oct, 1999


2000's

* Danced in Disney's TV musical "Geppetto" 2000
* Appeared in boyband parody on The Teen Choice Awards 2000
* Rec'd LifeTime Achievement Award at Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival 2001
* Partnered Carol Lawrence in Reprise Production of "Follies." 2002
* 2003-2004 Appeared in three national commercials (Ebay, Kaiser Permanente, and RadioShack)
* Featured as Faye Dunaway's dance partner on an episode of CSI Las Vegas 2006
* Guest Speaker at North Carolina School Of The Arts during tribute to "West Side Story." 2007
* Panelist at Words On Dance in San Francisco. 2007
* Hired by Michael Rooney to dance in "Nationwide" commercial. 2007
* Covered Bangkok Fringe Festival for A4D. 2008
* Appeared with Rita Moreno in a tribute to Jerome Robbins in San Francisco. 2008
* Rec'd Lifetime Achievement Recognition at Lester Horton Awards, Los Angeles. 2008
* Rec'd Education Award from U.S. Local Business Assn. 2008
* Directed the Lyric Stage Co's production of "West Side Story" in Irving, TX.
* Rec'd 2008 Community Service Award from Passion For Dance Project. 2008
* Appeared on PBS-TV "Something To Dance About" a 2-hr documentary featuring the life and work of Jerome Robbins. 2009
* Moderated a "Tribute To Michael Kidd" at St. Luke's Theatre in NYC. 2009
* Rec'd 2nd education award from U.S. Local Business Assn. 2009

Appeared on SYTYCD coaching 24 finalists in Las Vegas.


2010's

* Appeared at SYTYCD celebration of National Dance Day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Taught Mary Murphy's salsa routine. July 2011
* Principal role in Lowe's Hardware commercial. September 2011
* Led two 'Light Up The Room Workshops' in NYC & LA. Oct 2011
* 2012: Became a board member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation in Los Angeles.
* 2014: Named as a Distinguished Artist by the Beaux Arts Society.
* 2015: Appeared with Donna McKechnie and Randy Skinner at Steps Foundation's Artist Talk.

groverdebbiefriends

Appeared in MGM's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" w/ Debbie Reynolds. 1963

mollybpatch

"I Ain't Down Yet" number from "Unsinkable Molly Brown" 1963

sixpencebway

"Money To Burn" number from "Half A Sixpence" 1964

rochefort3

Co-starred with Catherine Deneuve in "The Young Girls Of Rochefort" 1966

rochefort1

Co-starred with George Chakiris in "The Young Girls Of Rochefort" 1966

sixpence1

Film version of "Half A Sixpence" 1967

grovereubieblake

Choreographed "Eubie Blake" special  1981

family

Photographed with Anita Morris and son James. 1982

spider

"If The Shoe Fits" in Los Angeles. 1992

gd1998

Headshot. 1998.

folliescarol

Appeared with Carol Lawrence in L.A. production of "Follies." 2002

wkshop1

Professional Audition Workshop. 2002.

gjennwksp

Fine tuning dancers at audition workshop. 2001.

g girlwksp

Speedance workshop session. 2001.