Alumna is dance captain and associate choreographer for Broadway hit "Hamilton"

In the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton—about the improbable rise of Alexander Hamilton as an orphaned immigrant from the British West Indies to George Washington’s military confidant, treasury secretary, and visionary for a nation—Aaron Burr warns the precocious upstart to watch his step (“talk less, smile more”). Alumna Stephanie Klemons has the same advice for Hamilton—in her case, for Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the hip-hop musical who also stars as Hamilton. In her role as the dance captain for the production, nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Klemons RC’04 keeps a trained eye on Miranda and all the cast members to make sure that they are executing their dance steps and stage movements just the way Klemons taught them—one dancer at a time over long months of preparation—in her job fulfilling the vision of renowned choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.

“Members of a dance ensemble commonly think that, after doing something 450 times, they are doing the same thing the same way,” says Klemons, also the associate choreographer for Hamilton. “But it can become something quite different. So I really have to keep a really close eye on the dancing and the traffic patterns and the scene transitions. It’s a little bit like fixing a leaking faucet before the drip becomes something else. My duty is to maintain the integrity of the show. It’s a lot to digest.”
Photography by Nick Romanenko.
Posted February 2016.