I knew absolutely nothing about dance growing up (except that I didn't think I was any good at it), so going to college in the same town as the Garth Fagan dance company, and getting to see them work was mind-blowing. Through that inspiration I worked backwords a little into the world of dance, and found Cunningham's work.
To me Cunningham was so inspiring because he seemed so modernistic in his style, so committed to both a very high level of virtuosity and to a style that spoke to the present he was in. I'm embarrased to say that I didn't know John Cage was his musical and personal partner through much of his life- I can only imagine how that sets off the imagination. Actually, I don't have to.
Here's an interview with Cage and Cunningham in 1981.
Matana and Ethan both have great things to say...