Magazine article Dance Teacher

Made for the Stage

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Made for the Stage

Article excerpt

Lainie Munro's music for show tap class

When rhythm tappers step into a Broadway open call, they can easily grasp the steps, but stylistically, they're in a whole new world. "In an audition, you have to turn it on and sell it," says Broadway tour veteran Lainie Munro, who has choreographed everything from musicals to TV, and most recently, a "Fashion's Night Out" event for shoe designer extraodinaire Christian Louboutin. "There's a whole new carriage in the upper body and arms, and you have to use your face."

Munro teaches theater dance and theater tap in New York at Broadway Dance Center and as guest faculty at Steps On Broadway. Most of her students are in the business-actors, singers and dancers who have ballet training and strong jazz technique, but come to work on their tapping.

In teaching, Munro is a traditionalist at heart. "I love to promote and learn from the masters-Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell," she says. Her final combinations take from the classics. "I think it's important to teach original Broadway choreography in addition to new stuff," she says. Her favorites include "I Got Rhythm" from Crazy for You, "Forget About the Boy" from Thoroughly Modern Millie and various numbers from 42nd Street.

Munro finds inspiration in music and suggests that any student studying musical theater should own That's Entertainment-a 1974 film compiled from performances by big names like Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Anne Miller. In class, she uses original Broadway cast recordings. "My philosophy with music is that old school becomes new school becomes old school again," says Munro. "Because great music is timeless. …

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