African-American dance developed within African American communities in everyday spaces, rather than in studios or
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O'Hurley was born in Kittery, Maine, the son of Jean, a homemaker, and John O'Hurley, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon . O'Hurley attended Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from Providence College in 1976 with a BA in Theatre.O'Hurley is a self-taught pianist and classically-trained vocalist. O'Hurley has been composing since his teen years. In 2004 he released a two-album project entitled "Peace of Our Minds" a compilation of his original piano compositions in tandem with famed cellist Marston Smith. The piece "For Lisa" was written for John's wife especially for their wedding day in 2004.