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Confessions of a former backup dancer

Buddy Casimano instructs students during a jazz class

Buddy Casimano instructs students during a jazz class at Techniques Dance Studio in Wanatgh. The Merrick native, 44, has been dancing professionally for nearly 30 years. (Nov. 6, 2013) Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, propelled himself into a decades-long performance career when he signed on as Debbie Gibson's backup dancer, traveling with her on two tours from 1987 to 1992. Since then, Casimano spent years performing on Broadway and teaching dance and fitness classes on Long Island.

Buddy Casimano instructs students during a jazz class
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano instructs students during a jazz class at Techniques Dance Studio in Wanatgh. The Merrick native, 44, has been dancing professionally for nearly 30 years. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a jazz
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a jazz class at Techniques Dance studio in Wantagh. Casimano started dancing at age 15 and spent years as a backup dancer for Debbie Gibson. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Merrick native Buddy Casimano demonstrates the proper form
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Merrick native Buddy Casimano demonstrates the proper form for leaps with his dance students at Techniques Dance Studio in Wantagh. At 44, the professional dancer and instructor is still in top form and performs around the tri-state area most weekends. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, stretches with his
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, stretches with his students at Techniques Dance Studio in Wantagh. Casimano's dance career was launched when he served as a backup dancer for teen idol Debbie Gibson. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a class
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a class at Techniques Dance Studio in Wantagh. (Nov. 6, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a fitness
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, 44, of Merrick, teaches a fitness class at American Physique gym in East Meadow. (Nov. 7, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, whose dance career started as a
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, whose dance career started as a backup dancer for Debbie Gibson, participates in an exercise at his fitness class at American Physique gym in East Meadow. (Nov. 7, 2013)

Buddy Casimano, a professional dancer and fitness instructor,
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

Buddy Casimano, a professional dancer and fitness instructor, rocks his 6 month-old nephew, Sean Fazekas, at his home in Merrick. Casimano, 44, launched his performance career as a backup dancer for Debbie Gibson and continues to perform nearly 30 years later. When not at gigs or teaching dance lessons, Casimano also helps his sister, who lost her home to superstorm Sandy, by babysitting her children. (Nov. 7, 2013)

When not performing or teaching, professional dancer and
Photo Credit: Bushra Mollick

When not performing or teaching, professional dancer and Merrick native Buddy Casimano takes care of his niece and nephew, Julia and Sean Fazekas, whose house was destroyed during superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 7, 2013)

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