Southern Methodist University

'You're Only As Good As Your Partner,' In Dance And In Life

Thomas And Jeanne Giroir Play Romeo And Juliet

"You're only as good as your partner. We really rely on each other. It is not just me picking her up," says Thomas Giroir, lead male dancer with the former Hartford Ballet.

A native of Baytown, Texas, Giroir met and was paired with Jeanne Tears of Dallas, Texas, soon after he joined the Hartford Ballet in 1973. He had heard of her when he was in Texas, but had never seen her.

They had both graduated from high school in 1969, and Jeanne immediately went to New York City. "A dancer's career is very short. If they're lucky, they can dance until they are 30," Jeanne says. Ages 18-22 are important years for a dancer, she says.

She took her first ballet...