Magazine article Dance Magazine

Kristin Piro: Sass and Commitment Make This Broadway Dancer Stand Out

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Kristin Piro: Sass and Commitment Make This Broadway Dancer Stand Out

Article excerpt

In Josh Bergasse's advanced theater dance class at New York's Broadway Dance Center, most students are dressed in loose sweats. But not Kristin Piro. Her leopard-print skirt and black top fit trimly on her slender frame, while her heart-shaped face is expertly made up, lips glowing a deep red. As the 26-year-old tackles Bergasse's choreography, she accents her turns and jumps with a sassy flip of the head. She blends the glamour of an old-school Hollywood dancer with the attitude of a 21st-century go-getter.


Piro's work ethic and her ability have earned her gigs on tour and in regional theaters. Now choreographer Jerry Mitchell has hired her for her first Broadway job as a swing, covering 10 roles in Catch Me If You Can. "I had my eye on Kristin for a while," Mitchell says. "She is striking and has a presence. In a room full of people, you notice her."

Piro's road to Broadway has been a dream pursued with steady focus. The self-proclaimed "Jersey girl" from Howell began dancing at age 2 at the Gallery of Dance in Freehold, NJ. There she studied ballet, jazz, tap, and modern and participated in competitions. An audition for a local production of Aladdin steered her toward musicals. "From that day, I never thought I'd be doing anything but musical theater."

By the time she reached her teens, Piro had set to work on her goal. She went to Freehold Regional Fine and Performing Arts High School and performed in school shows. But all the time, she says, "I felt like 'I have got to be in New York now!' I was 30 when I was 10."

So she started going to Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. "I took Andy Blankenbuehler's class," she says. "I learned from being around people who were better than me. Andy would teach class before he went to the theater. Knowing that pushes you."

Piro started auditioning in the city, eager to get a jump start on her future. …

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