After being drafted into the Navy in WWII, Luigi returned home and was urged to move to Hollywood to pursue a movie musical career. Within two months of living in Los Angeles, tragedy struck in a near fatal car accident. Doctors held little hope he would recover from a basal skull fracture and paralysis down one side of his body. Within a deep coma, an inner voice told Luigi, "Never stop moving kid, if you stop you're dead." He eventually awoke to be told by doctors, "you'll never walk again." His determination said, "I'm going to dance."
On his own, Luigi started creating stretching exercises into a routine that helped him discover what had to be done to control his body. He learned to "always put the body in the right position," to "feel from the inside out." After a long year of trial and error, he regained enough strength and equilibrium to start dance classes again at Falcon Studios in Hollywood with teachers Edith Jane, Ralph Faulkner, Carmelita Maracci, Sam Mintz, and Micho Ito. At other Studios, he took classes from Adolph Bolm, Bronislava Nijinska, Michael Panaieff, Edward Caton, Sally Whalen and Louis Da Pron.
Over a year later, Luigi, seen by a talent scout, was asked to audition for MGM's On The Town, starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Miraculously, as he was still working out his paralysis, he got the job and started an 8 year dance career in over 40 films, such as: An American in Paris, Annie Get Your Gun, Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon and White Christmas. Choreographers Robert Alton and Gene Kelly became his mentors. They and others such as Hermes Pan, Eugene Loring, Le Roy Prinz, Nick Castle and Michael Kidd, put him to work with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Mickey Rooney, Donald O'Connor and Danny Kaye, among others.
Luigi doesn't look like your typical dancer these days as he's over 80 years old, but he can still dance and more importantly, he and his crew can teach you to dance as good as you want to be. If you need a cute teacher and don't care if it takes forever to learn well or judge his ability by his looks then just close this page but if you want to be a great dancer, have a well respected and awarded dancer's name in your resume, and your into technique and excellent technique at that, then look him and his long standing studio up.