Ahh-Mazing “AHA!” Discovery for October 2018 – Dancing Poise

by Dana Gourley on September 27, 2018

in Ahh-Mazing Discoveries, Inventified

Ten years ago, Billy Elliot won the Tony Awards for Best Musical. Sir Elton John wrote the musical score. The best part was when Liza Minnelli announced the winner and we watched on t.v., our niece, Heather Burns dash up onto the stage with the rest of the Billy Elliot troupe to accept the award. What was really exciting was to see Heather talking with Sir Elton on stage while they stood behind the Producer, Eric Fellner (Oscar winner for movies including Fargo and Four Weddings and a Funeral) who accepted the award. The photo shows Heather at the left, watching Liza and Sir Elton hugging in celebration of the honorary win.


Heather is our family’s Broadway Child Star. She is an accomplished dancer and competed in Irish Dancing at the National and World levels before being discovered among hundreds of other talented girls during auditions for Billy Elliot. The directors were looking for girls who had both stage charisma and relatively petite (childlike) sizes. Additionally, one of the qualifications was an extreme dance-ability range from doing clumsy pirouettes when Billy first joined the beginners ballet class to keeping in step with rough-and-tough English coal miners during the grand finale. Heather told us that the former was the most difficult in replicating a novice ballet student. Rob and I saw the show (one of the 1,300 shows on Broadway) and we proudly smiled during intermission when those seating near us were complimenting the dancers in the show. In the photo to the right, Heather is the one in pigtails to the right of Billy.

It is to Heather’s credit and her family’s support that she stayed in school. In the afternoon, after school, a limo would arrive to pick her up at her school on Long Island and she and the other gals would work on their homework, both back and forth from each Broadway performance. Heather performed for most of the years that Billy Elliot played on Broadway which closed in 2013. Heather stockpiled her compensation for her college education.

Let Us Tell You About Our Siblings’ Children

During this year, we have spotlighted each month, Rob’s family members from past “Inventified” generations (great grandparents, grandparents, parents and uncles) who influenced Rob in his life. The next “Inventified” generation also deserves recognition too. We chose Heather as the representative of thirteen nieces and nephews (Rob and I did not have children). Each one has amazing talents in dancing, soccer, high jumping, and baseball. I was always in awe how our nieces in particular, had poise early in life, to perform both on stages and athletic fields in front of huge crowds.

In their professions, most are involved in health care and others are into social work, car performance, teaching, research, photography, and creative writing. For Heather? Our Broadway Child Star is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She will graduate in May of 2019 with that degree.

Rob Gourley with our nieces (left to right) Heather, Julia and Amanda, One-and-Only-Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas, 2014

For more about Rob Gourley Jr.’s Inventified Family and Friends, please visit this link.

Sharing AHA! Discoveries

Do you have a either a family member or a friend who at a young age, inspired you? Do you have either an Ahh-mazing “AHA!” Discovery or a story to share?

Email inquiries@aquanew.com. This can be any idea or endeavor that may help others in their own revelation or better quality of life. Alternatively, want to nominate someone with special skills of creativity and innovation? Let us know!

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