WHEN IT COMES to musical theatre dance, variety is key. You don’t have to be a classically trained ballet dancer, tap prodigy, and competitive ballroom dancer all in one — but you should be well-versed in elemental steps and styles from many genres.

Recently, hip-hop has moved center stage in shows such as Bring It On, The Prom, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hits Hamilton and In the Heights. As a musical theatre student, basic literacy in this evolving American art form will serve you well.

But where to start?

For answers, Dramatics reached out to Santana Trujillo, owner of Gayton Dance Studio in Denver, Colorado, and a regular teaching artist for Thespian events at both the Colorado chapter and international levels — including a workshop at the 2020 Virtual International Thespian Festival on the choreography of In the Heights. A dance polyglot, Trujillo earned her BFA in dance theatre from AMDA College of Performing Arts and now teaches and choreographs jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, and — of course — hip-hop.

As Trujillo says, you can apply these to step up your audition, freestyle, and even TikTok game. So, get up, change into comfortable clothes, and dance along to Trujillo’s lesson to master these moves.

Like what you see? Experience more dance training ― in addition to 50+ workshops, performances, and recorded sessions ― with a 2020 International Thespian Festival Replay Pass, available through September 26. Details can be found online.

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