BWW Interviews: 'Ten Minutes' with CINDERELLA Dance Captain Kirstin Tucker
Many performers find themselves drawn to the art after seeing a performance of a specific piece. And the influence of that piece forever changes their direction of life. Kirstin Tucker is no exception. After seeing a production of Swan Lake on television, she told her parents that she knew what she wanted to do- and now she's the dance captain of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway! This is Tucker's Broadway debut, and she was kind enough to talk to me about how it all began.
Congrats on making your Broadway debut! What's the best thing about being "new" to the Broadway stage?
It's always been a lifelong dream of mine; the fact that it happened is kind of amazing. I cried when I made my debut. I'm a swing in the show and went on in the middle of our third preview. When I got the call from stage management I was sitting in the back of the house; I dropped everything I was doing and went onstage. When I first walked onstage my friend whispered to me, "You're on Broadway now," and I had a heart attack.
You're dance captain for the show. Tell me a little about where you're from and what styles of dance you've trained in.
I'm from a town south of Nashville, Tennessee, and I started dancing when I was 3 after I saw Swan Lake on TV and told my parents that that's what I wanted to do. My parents thought it would be a phase! I was enrolled in ballet, jazz, tap- pretty much all the basics. I'm horrible at hip hop.
Do you have a favorite number from Cinderella to perform? Why?
I would definitely say the "Ten Minutes Ago Waltz"- it's just really beautiful and you feel beautiful dancing it. Our choreographer did a great job with it, and when Cinderella and the prince's hands touch the music swells. And, of course, you get those big fancy ballgowns as well.
Have you done any other Rodgers and Hammerstein shows? If so, what were they like?
I'm trying to think of everything that I've done...I've done Once Upon a Mattress, but I don't know if that counts or not! I did it for my senior year high school, I did Winnifred and I also choreographed it. We had to do a senior project, and my project was choreographing the musical. It was really cool; I'd never choreographed anything before.
Are there any performers that inspire you?
Oh, let me see...dance-wise, Bob Fosse- I would love to do anything by him. Paloma Herrera from the ABT. We came up to NY when I was in 2nd grade and saw her in Don Quixote when she was 16. Singin' in the Rain was my favorite movie musical, and I always wanted to play the Debbie Reynolds role. The main things I grew up watching were that Swan Lake, Singin' in the Rain, and a Bob Fosse DVD- our choreographer for Cinderella was on that video.
I always ask this question- what advice can you give to young dancers looking to pursue it as a career?
People gave me really good advice. If it's what you love and you can't think of doing anything else, you have to keep going for it and never stop learning. Audition for everything; if you don't get it try again and again until you reach your goal. In Cinderella, there's a line that Victoria Clark says- "If you have a dream, then very soon you're going to have to fight for it," and it's true.