Award-winning dancer/choreographer Ben Solmor dies at 32
By Dale King
The South Florida performing arts community is mourning the death of Ben Yehuda Solmor, a prominent, highly schooled dancer/choreographer who shared his talent with upcoming young performers at schools and on stages throughout the area.
Solmor, who had been fighting a rare form of cancer, passed away on New Year’s Day, three days short of his 33rd birthday.
He had shared the pain and struggle of his battle with friends on Facebook. Several years ago, his buddies and colleagues in the dance and theater realm raised money for their ailing friend by conducting a fund-raising production at West Boca High School. Ben used that school for one of the theater arts companies he co-founded.
A native of New York, Ben relocated to Coral Springs, where he attended school and graduated in 2006 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He later moved to Delray Beach.
His award-winning choreography and professional dance abilities were recognized by the New York Post for his performance as DJ Lenny Lizard in the Off-Broadway hit The Boychick Affair. Ben went on to choreograph the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights at the Sunrise Civic Center.
Ben was an ensemble dancer several years ago in a production made up of Simon & Garfunkel songs at the Cultural Arts Center in Boca Raton’s Mizner Park.
In 2017, he was diagnosed with Stage 2 chondrosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that develops in cartilage. Ben’s was located above his right knee. He underwent multiple surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy, yet he continued to work in the Florida theatre scene.
A former member of the Joi Street Dance Company at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Ben’s recent accomplishments include: Fiddler on the Roof, Dreamgirls and Thoroughly Modern Millie with Marquee Theater, the professional theater company he co-founded in 2015.
Along with The Marquee Theater Company, he also co-founded a school for the performing arts called Next Level and also worked with a dance company and children’s theater there.
Ben was also the creative/artistic director and choreographer of Benny’s Burlesque, a “Pussycat Dolls”-styled burlesque troupe. He has also performed at venues such as the Hard Rock and Coconut Creek casinos and The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center. A graveside service for Ben Yehuda Solmor was held Monday at Wellwood Cemetery in upstate New York, according to Alexander-Levitt Funerals & Cremations in Tamarac, which handled the local arrangements.