Every theater kid dreams of being on Broadway. I was no exception. But the bright lights and big city were a far cry from the Seretean Center for Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University. I wasn’t a triple threat in college, at least not in any real competitive way. I can sing, in my car. I can dance, if you count cheerleading routines (which I do). And I can act, no caveat necessary. I’m def an acting threat. But oh, if someone were to look past these minor flaws and let me perform in a Broadway musical, even in the chorus, it would have been a dream come true! Now all these years later my chance to redeem myself has arrived. When my friends Richard Van Slyke and Carolyn Wilson told me about a class they take that brings Broadway to LA, I said, “take me to my stage!”
It turns out the stage is a kitschy dance hall at Madilyn Clark Studios in NoHo and the real Broadyway Baby was our instructor Joseph Corella, the owner of 5-6-7 Sweat. From the second you walk in the studio, the show tunes are pumping and there’s an energy in the room not unlike that of a backstage area moments before a show.
I had no idea what to expect but I knew this would fit right in to my #MIH15by15 because everyone kept telling me how much I was going to sweat. Yay! I made my friend Jen Blushi come with me because she is a big theater nerd and former dancer. Her face was lit up like a drunk dad on Christmas when the music started so I feel like I made the right call.
We did a rigorous warm-up routine that was about 25 minutes of cardio to introduce steps, and get your heart pumping. It’s like a mini dance number but with a resistance band at one point, and a gold top hat at another. Fabulous! We danced to music from Chicago, Cabaret, Hairspray and Kinky Boots. I was sweating so hard at this point and feeling it in all my body parts. I kept thinking, this is why I’d never make it on Broadway. I would pass out every night! But it gets even better. After the warm-up comes the big finale. Every week the class learns a new routine, similar to but modified for fitness from an original musical. Students learn the first half of the routine on Monday and the second half on Wednesday at the North Hollywood location. Or Tuesday/Saturday for their Hollywood location.
Our dance number this week was to the classic, Good Morning from Singin’ In The Rain. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor were the original performers. Legendary. Joseph, a choreographer, fitness instructor, and former Broadway star brought all of his passion for dance and it was contagious in the room. He taught each 8 count slowly, clearly and modified for each skill level in the class. There were men and women of all ages and skills having the time of their lives and most importantly getting a great workout. Unfortunately, the NoHo location will be closing at the end of April 2016. But Joseph said they will continue to have the Tuesday/Saturday classes at The Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood.
Richard and Carolyn have been devoted fans for several years. Jen and I are new fans and excited to see which Broadway show we get cast in first. I’m guessing Jen will take any of them, but I’m holding out for the big one, A Chorus Line. Or Oklahoma. Really once you start dancing the possibilities are endless…and I won’t quit…till I’m a star on Broaaaaddwaaaaay…..
Go to 576sweat.com for more info. Single classes start at $12 and there are packages available as well. You might see me there dancing my heart out and trying not to trip!