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I’ve got rhythm, I’ve got music: and why your Musical Theatre students will benefit from dance class

I love teaching dance in community theatre. In musical theatre, performers weave together the magic of music, acting, and dance to create captivating stories to entertain, educate, and delight you. While the spotlight often shines brightly on vocal prowess and acting skills, the art of dance plays an equally vital role in bringing characters to life and enhancing the overall theatrical experience. For voice students aspiring to excel in the realm of musical theatre, investing in dance classes can be a transformative decision. Here are three reasons why: *It elevates the quality of the show: Yes, you DO get to dance in a show, but typically chorographers are working to a deadline, so the skills that are taught are often on a need-to-know basis to execute one trick one time. If performers have a foundational knowledge of dance, the choreographer can give more advanced skills, which elevates the variety of movement, and thus the quality of the show.

* It completes character embodiment: Dance is an unparalleled tool for enhancing character portrayal. Through movement, a performer can convey nuances of emotion, personality, and backstory that may be challenging to express through vocals alone. Letting a performer get into their body in dance class adds layers of authenticity and confidence to their performances. The fusion of vocal expression with movement allows for a deeper connection between the performer and their role, and in turn, connects the audience to the performer. * Seamless Integration of Skills: In musical theatre, the blending of singing, acting, and dancing creates MAGIC when put in motion; but the blending takes practice too! Vocal lessons are taught with both feet stationary under oneself, which is excellent for technique, and almost never how production numbers begin in musicals. Dance classes enable performers to develop breathwork, balance, and physical endurance—essential attributes for executing intricate choreography while maintaining vocal excellence. The combination of singing and dancing can lead to truly show-stopping moments on stage, leaving the audience in awe of the performer's versatility.

I have had the honor and privilege of working in several theatre companies and high schools across the Sacramento Region in the last 8 months, and love motivating and encouraging artists into their best selves. If you have a performer in musical theatre, I encourage you to enroll them in your closest dance class; maybe even the one I teach at Tamraloo :)

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