Iowa City native appears in NBC dancing special - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City native appears in NBC dancing special

by Danielle Wagner

IOWA CITY (KWWL) We first introduced you to Alex Ko in 2008. He was taking dance classes at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

At age 10, Ko approached instructor Eloy Barragan about training him in ballet. Ko wanted Barragan to choreograph a dance in honor of his father who died from cancer.

"The way he approached dance from the first time I started to teach him I saw he was determined. If he wants something he works for it, so I always knew he would make it," said Eloy Barragan.

One summer, Barragan said he took Ko to New York City just to expose him to that world of dance.

"See different instructors and different steps. And out of that everything changed. Everything changed in one summer," said Barragan.

Now, Ko is the star of Billy Elliot The Musical on Broadway. His family relocated to Manhattan, except for his brother John who's a student at Iowa.

"It's amazing. When he was younger he always had something different about him. He was a great performer. Always dancing and singing around the house. He was different from the other brothers and me. I'm not surprised this has happened to him. I'm actually really proud of him," said John Cumming.

Cumming said he mostly keeps in touch with his brother on Facebook because he's so busy.

Ko taped a special "Shall We Dance on Ice," which aired on NBC.

Neither his brother or former instructor are surprised at his success.

"As a performer, he glows and that's beautiful to see," said Barragan.

Eloy Barragan said matter what Ko does in life, he'll be successful. But hopefully he keeps dancing.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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