Note: Uzay Hasanusta’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) at the Des Moines Community Theatre was on October 27, 2018.
Debut: October 6, 2018 (Des Moines, Iowa)
Total Performances as Billy: 9 (No partial shows)
Uzay Hasanusta was 11 years old (d.o.b. = 9-Jan-2007) when he debuted as Billy Elliot at the Des Moines Community Playhouse.
Despite Uzay Hasanusta’s young years, as his mom Lori so aptly puts it, ballet is in his blood. Coming from two parents (Serkan and Lori) who were both professional dancers in the Tulsa Ballet (where they met), Uzay has been dancing ballet since the age of three.
Most of his dance training has been at the School of Classical Ballet and Dance (s-cdb), which is owned by his parents. Besides ballet, other dance genres Uzay has studied at the school include tap and funk tap, hip hop and last year he worked on a contemporary solo for competitions.
For the past two years, Uzay has successfully competed in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), being awarded in the top 12 in the pre-competitive division this past year. Other local dance competitions he’s been involved with over the years include VIP Dance, Showbiz National Talent, Bravo National Dance and Talent Competition, Revolution, Nexstar and Nuvo.
Uzay has danced in several productions with the Des Moines Ballet, including The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Snow White, the Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. He lists as favorite roles in those shows the Grumpy Dwarf in Snow White and Fritz in The Nutcracker.
Billy Elliot The Musical
In January of 2013, when he was just 6 years old, Uzay saw BETM for the first time when the North American Tour production was playing Kansas City. An added attraction to his seeing the show was the fact that Uzay knew one of the boys playing Billy — Drew Minard — as Drew danced out of the same dance studio as Uzay at that time.
So when the family heard BETM would be presented at the Des Moines Playhouse, there was no doubt Uzay would audition for it, doing segments in ballet, tap and singing at the audition. He did a call back the following evening when he was asked to show more ballet and do more singing. Uzay told his mom, coming out of the audition, that he couldn’t even move his arms when he was singing because of his nerves. He didn’t think he got the part, but was surprised when he was told he would share the role with his good friend, Asher Ekhardt, who also doing dance training at s-cdb.
Rehearsals began on August 6, 2018 and ran Monday through Friday for about three hours each evening. This is Uzay’s first musical and, despite the long hours and hard work, he’s enjoyed every minute of working with a very talented creative team and cast.
Upon his debut, Uzay becomes the 252nd boy in the world to bring the role of Billy Elliot to life in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
For more information about Uzay Hasanusta, visit:
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