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Not long after he moved to Texas to enroll in the Houston Ballet Academy, Trey McIntyre discovered he wasn’t good enough to dance the classics. But that didn’t stop the six-foot-six Kansas native from towering above his peers. Recognizing his talent as a designer of dance pieces, the company’s artistic director named him to the new position of choreographic apprentice. Six years later, McIntyre has three pieces in the Houston Ballet’s repertoire, and he has even attracted attention elsewhere. In 1994 he was invited by the New York City Ballet to create a piece for its Diamond Project, a showcase for new choreographers. The result, Steel and Rain, compelled the New York Times to call him “a new face to watch.” On October 17 McIntyre debuts his newest piece at Houston’s Wortham Center, and once again the spotlight is on the 26-year-old, who was recently promoted to choreographic associate. Second Before the Ground, he says, is a response to the “doom and gloom” that is so pervasive in modern dance. “Seeing other companies made me think, ‘What is joyful?’ It’s going to be very romantic.”