Broadway’s hit show Hamilton is making its way to Elon University’s musical theater program this week. Associate choreographer of the original Broadway show Hamilton, Stephanie Klemons, will visit campus to teach a choreography master class for seniors.
Elon senior Weston LeCrone said he’s looking forward to her proposed focus on commercial dance.
“Broadway is moving more into the pop and Hip Hop realm,” LeCrone said. “It's really cool that we're going to be able to get that experience and be exposed to that.”
Klemons has worked closely with well known choreographers throughout the past 10 years, such as Andy Blankenbuehler — Hamilton’s lead choreographer whose work on the show won him the Best Choreography Tony award.
Chris Rayis remembers Klemons from his time working in New York City. Rayis is currently serving as Elon’s resident music director and has been a part of such noteworthy projects as the music team of Frozen and two national tours of Hamilton.
LeCrone values the professional experience Rayis brings to the classroom.
“It's just really nice to have his perspective, especially someone who has been an assistant music director on the tour of Hamilton, I just feel like he has a lot of really good insight. He's very professional and very efficient,” LeCrone said.
Rayis equally values the insights from his students, and said it is part of what inspired his choice to work at Elon.
“Elon has some quality, I'm not even sure what it is, in selecting students, that selects for originality, imagination, creativity, not just on stage but in conceptualizing and imagination,” Rayis said.
According to Rayis, Klemons also provides invaluable experience.
“She teaches very difficult, complex choreography very efficiently, very quickly, and makes sure that it's performed at a very high level,” Rayis said. “The students here at Elon are very, very lucky to meet someone of her caliber.”
Rayis said he is excited for students to learn from Klemons’ experience, wisdom and knowledge while she’s on campus, especially as she brings her Broadway background to Elon.
“Stephanie is there, she knows what it's like today and that is such a cool thing,” Rayis said. “At her level, at an elite level, that's a crucial connection for these students because they don't want to be great musical theater artists of ten years ago, or five years ago. They need to be great musical theater artists of tomorrow, and Stephanie is a huge part of making sure that that's the case.”