A Taste of Broadway in MS Dance
Hamilton national tour castmember Ixchel Cuellar hosted a dance workshop and lively assembly for the middle school this fall, offering students a chance to try out some real Broadway choreography and sharing wisdom from her own life as a working artist.
In addition to her work on Hamilton, Ixchel has appeared in the Broadway production of Mean Girls and both the Broadway and touring companies of Finding Neverland. In a Q&A, she spoke to students about life in between shows as a touring performer, the terror and excitement of beginning to book gigs after college, and the challenges of believing in oneself and fighting imposter syndrome in a fiercely competitive field. Ixchel’s remarks emphasized the importance of balance, learning critical thinking, and staying engaged with what’s happening in the rest of the world outside of one’s own career.
Middle school music and dance students also got to enjoy a masterclass with Ixchel, in which she taught them some choreography from Hamilton and discussed the emotional importance of that moment in the musical’s narrative.
Teacher Lexi Viernes says, “Having Ixchel come teach a masterclass with the students was such a special experience and really aligned with Menlo’s theme this year of joy and connection. She had such a wonderful way of connecting to the students (and teachers!) and her words and journey brought some amazing insight for our students to think about.”
At an outdoor assembly, the middle school dancers did not throw away their shot at the spotlight—they took to the stage with Ixchel to perform their new moves.
“It was a wonderful experience … I’m so happy with how it went,” Lexi shares.