Choreographer of Temptations musical says teacher in Toronto first noticed his talent

Sergio Trujillo, raised in Toronto's Jane-Finch neighbourhood, says teacher encouraged him

Sergio Trujillo, born in Colombia, raised in Canada, now living in the U.S., says a chemistry teacher in Toronto first recognized his talent for dance. (Supplied)

The choreographer of a new musical about The Temptations now playing in Toronto says it was a chemistry teacher at a North York high school who first noticed his talent for dance.

Sergio Trujillo, raised in Toronto’s Jane-Finch neighbourhood from the age of 12, says Miss Marlene Hutzul at Westview Centennial Secondary School recognized his ability when he was in Grade 12. The area is tougher now than it was when he was growing up, he added. The school was putting on a production of the musical Oklahoma.

“I had never taken a dance class, but I had a lot of natural talent, and she said to me, ‘I think you should choreograph Oklahoma.’ I said, ‘Of course, ‘I can do that,’ ” he told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning this week.

“I went into a studio, and I created this dream ballet. It was really an important moment in my life.”

Years later, Trujillo is now the choreographer of Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations, part of the Mirvish Productions 2018-19 season. It is being performed at the Princess of Wales Theatre until Nov. 17 before it makes its Broadway debut next year.