New York City is the ultimate place to dance because they have every style taught by the very best in their field. I have been dancing since I was three years old and have been going to summer dance intensives since I was thirteen. The summer before my senior year in high school, I was struggling to figure out what genre of dance I wanted to pursue in college- I knew I wanted to dance, but didn’t know what style. I decided to attend a musical theater dance workshop by Lainie Munro, at Broadway Dance Center. In four days we learned songs and dances from well-known musicals such as Mary Poppins, Shrek, Hairspray, Westside Story and A Chorus Line.
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We also participated in a mock dance audition with an agent from Los Angeles, which was an awesome learning experience! It was great to receive feedback from the judges on our strengths and weaknesses. In addition, a talent agent helped us construct our resumes and headshots. We really scheduled our trip down to every single minute to take full advantage of the opportunities offered.
To start off my musical theater trip, I went to see “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe! My mom got a package from The Paramount Hotel which gave discounts to dancers who were participants in the BDC workshop. This year, you could get tickets to the show, backstage passes, and best of all, a dance lesson from a cast member in the show! Cameron Adams, who played one of the humorous janitors, met us at the Pearl Studios and taught me the entire opening number. At the end of our session Cameron told me how she got started in musical theater and we discussed college options. That night after the show we toured the backstage of Al Hershfeld Theater, and we found the wings were incredibly small and crammed with props in every nook and cranny! Sadly, we did not see Daniel Radcliffe, but John Laraquette, a Tony Award winner, did walk by us on his way out. That night after the show it hit me; I want to pursue a career in musical theater!
When I was not dancing, it was fun to go to Junior’s at Times Square and devour a whopping piece of their famous cheesecake. Our server was an actor from California. He was currently rehearsing
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and would make his Broadway debut in a few months. My favorite place to eat was at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, which was conveniently located below the Capezio Dance Wear Flagship. The singing waiters and waitresses served us our burgers and shakes and really put on a fabulous show for us! I hope to work there someday as a part time job in the future, when I’m on Broadway. Back in the hotel neighborhood, we went down restaurant row and had dinner at Don’t Tell Mama, splitting a fabulous dessert, and for breakfast we had delicious bread and muffins from Amy’s Bakery in Hell’s Kitchen.
My last night in the city we saw the musical “Chicago” with a generous coupon from BDC. When I came to New York I did not really know what genre of dance I wanted to study in college, but at the end of the week, I knew working in musicals was what I wanted to pursue. What could be better than getting paid for doing something that you love and enjoy?! I would have loved to stay much longer to take more classes, but I knew I would come back again, someday.
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