Andrew and Merry Kuharsky - Directors

Andrew Kuharsky

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In his younger days, Andrew Kuharsky graced the Peace Center stages with his ballet leaps, turns, and choreography. More recently, he has found the time to earn a college degree. Having started his dance career directly after graduating high school, he didn’t pursue his academic interests at that time. “While friends were going to college and trying to figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was touring the world and getting paid to do what I loved to do,” says Kuharsky.

     While spending a year teaching ballet at Wright State University in Ohio in 2002, Kuharsky took advantage of tuition-free college classes and later enrolled at Greenville Tech and then USC Upstate to continue his education. “I think I’ve been the only undergrad who was a college professor before he was a college student!” Kuharsky quips. He also taught high school dance for many years at the Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center and at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts.

     Kuharsky recently joined his siblings as a college grad. “We came from a very academically-oriented family. My siblings went to Columbia, Princeton, and Brown Universities. My mother always said she had “ ‘lions and tigers and bears’ and ‘oh my,’ a ballet dancer.” Andrew Kuharsky; College after balletHe recently sent her a Gamecock to complete her mascot collection. But since then he has added an equal allegiance to the Clemson Tigers as he recently graduated from Clemson’s Masters of Professional Accountancy program.

     Kuharsky was mental math champion of Cleveland, Ohio when he was in seventh grade and is a member of American MENSA, so he’s no stranger to numbers and mental gymnastics. “I probably would have ended up at MIT or an ivy league school like my siblings, but ballet was my first love and I was successful at it.” He left home at age 16 to attend Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, and when he graduated high school went straight to New York to be an apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet. After other jobs at the Atlanta Ballet and with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, he and his wife settled in Greenville and began teaching ballet. “One thing led to another and I was able to earn a living here. It wasn’t until my children were grown up and out of the house that I thought about furthering my education and making plans for life beyond ballet.”

      As a CPA, he hopes that some of the hundreds of students he’s taught over 38 years might need someone to run their business, or at least do their taxes.

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