The musical theatre genre, which helps populate West End, Broadway and many other theatres across the world, is hugely important to the training of an aspiring performer. Without the skills of acting, singing and dancing, alongside everything else today’s musical theatre courses offer, there is less chance of success for that performer. While the phrase ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ often rings true, in performing arts there needs to be a certain level of skill too. Performers who excel in all three areas are known as triple threats, and often have a competitive advantage against their counterparts if they are, for example, a strong singer but weak dancer.
Not all vocational dance schools and colleges offer musical theatre as a course, however those that do find their musical theatre strands and classes are hugely popular. New elements have also made the genre more popular to new students, with the increase in films-turned-musicals, and the knowledge that a wide plethora of skills is required. And of course not every dance student aspires to adorn the stage and belt out their best show tune; others take part in musical theatre classes for the pure enjoyment of it, as well as for boosting confidence both personally and artistically. It depends what the performer ultimately wants to achieve.
Creating a musical theatre class can be as simple as choosing an age-appropriate story or musical, then teaching the lyrics and dance routines, incorporating various dance styles and possibly lines to learn too. If the class is more advanced than this basic approach, more complex vocals, choreography, and scenes can be added. As classes become more popular there is also the possibility of adding class levels, summer schools, musical theatre intensives and also private lessons. At a further extension, older students who aspire to go on to further training could also benefit from audition preparation.
As a result, musical theatre provides many performance students with a strong performance foundation, with confidence and new skills too.