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ITS lead analyst and developer has hidden talent

By Sarah Hunsinger

December 7, 2017

Photo: Mike WatsonBy day, Richard Newton is a lead analyst and developer in Information Technology Services (ITS) at MSU Denver. He’s been with the University for 19 years. By night, he performs with the Colorado Ballet.

“If you were to space out during a dance performance and miss your queue it could throw off an entire production.” That same concept is applicable in ITS.

Newton started out with a jazz company in the 1970s and then expanded to ballet with Cleo Parker Robinson and Argentine Tango. This year will be his eighth year with Colorado Ballet and his 20th production.

“Each year my roles are different, depending on the particular production and staging of the ballet, from the traditional ballet classics, 'Giselle,' 'Romeo and Juliet,' to 'Nutcracker,'” said Newton. He has taught public figures such as Gov. John Hickenlooper for their cameo appearances in the ballet. This year, he dances as a Sherpa in the Arabian (or Coffee) dance.

Newton credits his work ethic from his dance career.

“Programming is more artistic like ballet," Newton said. "It’s the rigors of the training but when you preform you’re creative in how you tell that story through a program … no programmer will do the same thing the same way. I have to tap into a very creative side. You take the rigors of the classroom. You follow the barre exercises.”

"The Nutcracker" presented by Colorado Ballet runs now through Dec. 24.

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