The International Thespian Festival will be live and in person at Indiana University, Bloomington, June 20-24, 2022. In past years one of the most popular workshops has been the Broadway dance session with Brian Curl. Participants don’t get a seat in the workshop because you will dance your way through it! We’re finalizing the 2022 workshops now so check back soon for details. 

Go ahead and register now for this year’s International Thespian Festival so you can get the best selection of main stage shows, workshops, and much more.

Brian Curl Lamppost Broadway Dance courtesy Brian CurlWe can’t tell you just yet if Brian will be back for 2022, but we can give you a sneak peek into how teaching Broadway dance became his passion.

What was your first show?

When I was 6 years old, my mother had me audition for a community theatre production of Oliver! For the audition we had to sing our choice of song, so I chose the fastest version of “You’re a Grand Old Flag” that I could find. I mean, like lightning-speed fast!  

I was cast as an orphan. We orphans didn’t attend many rehearsals, but we did get to watch the final dress rehearsal. At that dress rehearsal, I discovered the magic of theatre! Watching the show unfold before my 6-year-old eyes was the moment I got hooked! 

Are you a Thespian alum? 

I’m not a Thespian alum, but this is a good story. Truth be told, I knew nothing about the International Thespian Society (ITS) until 2007. Growing up in South Jersey, ITS wasn’t in my school, or my district, or even my friends’ districts.  

However, I’m proud to say that I’m now an honorary member of Troupe 7074 of Valley View High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

I choreographed The Drowsy Chaperone for them. I flew down to surprise them on their opening night and they flipped the surprise. They inducted me as an honorary member of their Troupe! 

Tell us about your Broadway Dance workshop

It’s always my goal to teach confidence through choreography. My Broadway dance workshop is interactive, fun, and it’s open to students and teachers.

I took a workshop in high school focused on storytelling. It’s where I developed my favorite phrase: “Just because you’re singing the notes of a song doesn’t mean you’re ACTING that song! Just because you’re dancing the steps of a dance doesn’t mean you’re ACTING that dance!” I’m constantly learning and practicing skills that I don’t feel strong in. I encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and learn new skills.   

What can you tell us about your passion for Broadway dance? 

First, I can tell you I didn’t take a single dance class until I got to college. So, if I can do it, you can do it. 

Second, I discovered early on that there’s a huge difference between a good dancer and a good choreographer. That is, a good dancer can show you the steps while a good choreographer can teach you the steps. Teaching is my skill set. I’ll help you learn how to do the steps, not just show you what the dance should look like.  

What is the most dynamic performance you’ve ever seen? 

Come from Away. I love ensemble-based musicals. The storytelling at the heart of the production gave me chills from the beginning to the end. The simple yet effective staging was dynamic and intimate at the same time. I can’t wait for this musical to be released for regional productions because I’d love to direct and choreograph it! 

And, just for fun, what are your answers to these questions: 

Hamilton or Hadestown
Come from Away! Because I haven’t seen the two choices you’ve given me live on stage. 

Ballet, Hip Hop, or Tap? 
Ballet. It’s the groundwork for all the other dance styles. 

Hero or villain? 
HERO! Be the hero in your own life story. 

Brian Curl is a professional teaching artist, actor, choreographer, director, and producer. After 17 years, he recently relocated from NYC to Philadelphia. Since 2008, Brian has been traveling the world teaching at conferences, festivals, high schools, colleges, and universities. You can find him on LinkedIn

Patty Craft is Content Manager for

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