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Broadway comes to BCMS

Filed in Archive, BCMS by on November 21, 2019

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What if you were rehearsing for an upcoming school production of a super-popular musical and a Broadway actor who is touring in the same show showed up to give you some pointers and teach you some dance moves?

Well, that incredible opportunity actually happened on Monday, Nov. 18 when actor/singer/dancer Natalie Wisdom spent two hours in an after-school performing workshop with nearly 80 students at Bethlehem Central Middle School. It was Wisdom’s day off from the touring musical production of Disney’s Frozen, which is currently on stage at Proctors in Schenectady.

The BCMS students will be performing Disney’s Frozen Jr. at the school Jan. 16-20, 2020.

Wisdom, who is a Swing in the Broadway cast of Frozen, led the students through a dance sequence set to the music of another popular musical, Footloose. She also answered questions and offered advice on how to engage the audience and make their time on stage as successful as possible.

“If your dancing is joyful the audience can feel it,” Wisdom told the students as she smiled her way through each dance move. “And you always want to be looking up.”

Students paid close attention to each dance move Wisdom demonstrated and then performed in small groups on stage alongside the Broadway star and then by themselves, as their theater peers, and Wisdom herself offered positive feedback on each performance.

The native Midwesterner who has a BFA in Musical Theater from Webster College’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts made her Broadway debut in the musical Billy Elliot in 2009. Her visit to BCMS was orchestrated by Lindsay Dashew, the director and choreographer of the middle school show. Dashew’s brother, Justin, was part of the cast of the Broadway touring production of Matilda with Ms. Wisdom.

In addition to encouraging positive feedback among the young BCMS cast, Wisdom also told them to go easy on themselves when things don’t go exactly right on stage.

“They used to tell the kids in Matilda ‘cancel and continue,’” said Wisdom, who encouraged the students to practice messing up and how to recover. “We are theater athletes but we are all human. Mistakes happen but you don’t want to keep thinking about. You just move on.”

A big thank you to Natalie Wisdom and Mrs. Dashew for this wonderful opportunity. You can learn more about Natalie Wisdom here or catch her through Sunday, Nov. 24 in Disney’s Frozen at Proctors.

And watch for more information about the BCMS production of Disney’s Frozen Jr., coming in January!