Broadway Performer Teaches Westminster Dancers


On Friday, September 7, during Community Time, Broadway Performer Anthony Galde shared part of a dance from the Broadway Show Wicked with a group of Westminster Middle Schoolers in Oglesby.

The workshop, sponsored by the Middle School Dance Club, had a limit of 100 participants. Signups were posted for the event in anticipation of a large crowd. For around thirty minutes, Galde taught the students a fast-paced part of the dance and allowed a few Middle Schoolers to lead the group. The students were also able to ask any questions at the end.

Galde actually served as a substitute for a Hamiliton performer who was not able to attend the workshop. “Last Wednesday’s performance of Hamiliton got cancelled because their COVID tests did not come back in time to make sure that it was safe for an audience,” Drama and Dance teacher Jennifer Finlayson explains. “When they did come back some people had close contact and some people tested positive, so we were not able to bring Hamiliton people on campus. They reached out to people for us and mentioned Tony, who I knew through Orbit Dance Studios.” 

For Middle Schoolers who signed up, the experience was exciting and engaging. “My dream ever since I was kid is to be a professional dancer,” 7th grader Anna Stewart says, “and it was really fun to learn something that was on a national Broadway tour because I really like Broadway shows.” 

The outcome of the class satisfied Finlayson. “I think it went really well; I was pleased—we probably had 50 or 60 middle school girls participate, and I think that is great and a good number. It wasn’t too crowded, but it was crowded enough for people to feel comfortable dancing.”

 Galde has been performing on Broadway shows Wicked, Starlight Express, The Prince of Central Park, King David, Civil War, the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific, and many more from the age of 17. However, the Broadway life was grueling. “I was a swing-in understudy, so I did 9 different roles in the show and I never knew who I was going to be till I got to work,” Galde explains, “It was just so many hours and I was not able to raise my son.” 

After 25 years, Galde retired and co-founded a studio called Orbit Arts Academy where he overlooks the training of up-coming young performers. Maybe he met some at Westminster!