Editor’s Note from Nancy Dann: After featuring NaTonia’s television interview last week, I was reminded ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ would close on Broadway in a matter of weeks. It was time for me to see two Answers4Dancers members on the Great White Way.
I decided there was no time like the present, so took a chance I could get tickets for the 8pm Saturday performance. For the first time since the industry shutdown, I boarded a bus and trekked into Times Square hoping to buy tickets to see Tina.
With great orchestra seats in hand, I delivered flowers to the Stage Door for NaTonia Monét and Michelle West, two swings in the show. Now they knew I’d be in the audience.
I cannot describe what a thrill it was to see two A4Ders shining on the stage. I watched my daughter perform many times on TV and on stages all over the world. But there was something really magical to see these two ladies on Broadway because I knew their stories.
I met NaTonia not long after she arrived in NYC. I saw her career unfold and how hard she worked to reach her goals. The workshops she attended, the auditions she went to, and Member Meet-Ups with A4D founder and award-winning choreographer Grover Dale. Sometimes she had disappointments, but NaTonia never took her eye off the prize. And there she was… a commanding presence on the Broadway stage, hitting her lines and getting great laughs from the audience.
And when Michelle West appeared on that stage, she too was flawless and dynamic. I could see how her years in the national tour of Disney’s Aladdin really helped her hone her craft and all her hard work was evident. I couldn’t help but think of her long trips from Delaware to NYC to audition in the early days of her career. And how determined she was to get to Broadway. She made her mark at an Answers4Dancers workshop and caught Grover’s eye. It was plain to see Michelle was going places. And I sat in the audience in the middle of her dream… A Broadway show!
I share all of this because it reminds me once again that if you want a career as a dancer, it’s going to take tons of hard work and determination. There’s a lot to learn from NaTonia and Michelle… Stay focused. Keep working toward your goal. Take class. Observe. Listen. Be valuable on every job you book. And never, never give up.
NaTonia and Michelle set a great example for all dancers. Read their full story on our Dancers To Watch page and check out all the stories you find there. Then be sure to check out our Blog with more inspiring stories…