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Brightspark Blog

May 18, 2016 | 9:00 AM

Voices on Broadway Gets a Dancer’s Flair!

Written by Brightspark Travel

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Voices on Broadway brings dance, theatre and choir groups right into the world of Broadway! Dancers will participate in clinics with Broadway choreographers, perform on a Broadway stage for nationally-renowned adjudicators and sing alongside a Broadway cast for a live audience. This unforgettable event is coupled with sightseeing in bustling New York City. 

“The experience totally exceeded expectations,” said JoAnn East, a dance studio owner alum and Brightspark Tour Consultant who led the dance ensemble. Here’s a little bit more of what she had to say:

Trying Something New

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This event in New York City consists of workshops with Broadway professionals, talk-back Q&A with Broadway performers and directors, an adjucated performance on the Broadway stage, and the additional elective opportunity to sing alongside the cast of a Broadway show during a mass choir performance.

This dance group focused on their own art form during the workshop and adjudicated performance portions of the event, but they ventured into vocal performance when they sang alongside the Broadway cast. “The girls were initially nervous about it,” said JoAnn. “We hired a voice coach and they pushed themselves to train over the months … In the end, the mass choir ended up being the highlight.”   

A True Immersion Into Broadway: Experiential Learning at Its Best

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According to JoAnn, the reason this event stands out over the scores of dance training and performing events the studios have participated in is that it’s truly immersive.

At the Ripley Grier Studios, dancers had an individual workshop with Cody Williams from On the Town and an upcoming A West Side Story revival. “After warm up and technique, Cody asked if I’d rather have him teach us new material or help us perfect the dance we’d been working on. I welcomed the unique offer to be able to customize and specialize the training that best fit the dancers. He perfected the piece, and it was the best I’ve ever seen that group of girls dance.”

On the next day, the dancers performed like stars on the Broadway stage for adjudication from Thayne Jasperson of So You Think You Can Dance and currently starring in Hamilton, as well as Bianca Marroquin who is currently starring in Chicago which was so relevant and made such an impact on the dancers. It was extraordinary.

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An Alternative to Competitions

“Dance competitions have grown to be a large focus in the dance industry,” said JoAnn. “Some studios are at competitions every weekend.” It is so wonderful to have alternative opportunities to travel, perform and receive adjudication outside of the competitive sphere.

The group ended up dancing their best during their competition-free performance on the Broadway stage. “We were amazed how much they shined,” said JoAnn. “We wondered whether it was because they weren’t under a cloud of competition — yet they still received the constructive and inspirational adjudicator feedback that we love so much”

Fun For the Whole Family

Dance groups usually travel along with their entire family, and this trip to New York City was no exception. “We planned plenty of group activities and meals for the families, but also gave them free time so that they could explore the city on their own.” JoAnn adds that her group loved their Tour Guide: “She had experience working with both students and adults, so she worked perfectly with our dynamic.”

When we asked JoAnn what her dancers thought about the trip, her reaction was immediate and enthusiastic: “Everybody was so impressed!” We can’t wait to help more dancers light up Broadway stage!

Learn More About Voices on Broadway

Topics: Dance

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