APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Northeast Wisconsin high school students got the chance to practice their dance steps during the Center Stage High School Musical Theater program’s choreography workshop. Instead of learning from industry professionals from across the country, they got the chance to be taught by one of their own.

Wisconsin native, Corrie Beula Kovacs, is no stranger to Broadway. She’s earned two Broadway tour credits and has worked on countless musicals, plays, and commercials. Beula Kovacs currently owns and operates Show How Studios, Northeast Wisconsin’s premiere musical theater training studio, with her husband in Neenah.

“To have grown up in Wisconsin and been part of a school that didn’t have a performing arts school component or a very-well developed theater program, I just felt like there was an urgency to provide that to my community in whatever way shape I could,” says Beula Kovacs.

Students followed along while Beula Kovacs taught them choreography from the hit Broadway hit Aladdin during the one-hour Zoom workshop. The workshop served as audition preparation for students as they get ready to audition, virtually, for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards or the ‘Jimmy Awards.’ Participating in the virtual dance workshop was a new experience for some of the students.

“I’ve never really done choreography with someone at that high of a level, so it was really cool to experience that,” says Bailey Polsin, a junior at New London High School.

“I learned stuff for like our musicals and show choir and everything, but it was pretty different and like new,” says Luke Dockum, a senior at Green Bay Preble High School.

Polsin and Dockum are both student ambassadors in the Center Stage program. They say it’s important for musical theater programs like Center Stage to continue staying active during the pandemic.

“Kids that haven’t had much experience will be able to see that we’re still trying to do things during the pandemic and that theater hasn’t stopped whole, even though it’s been on a pause,” says Polsin.

“It’s nice to know that theater is still alive, even though we can’t go see shows or anything. It’s like there’s still something there,” says Dockum.

The Center Stage High School Musical Theater program is an education initiative that celebrates and supports the achievements of high school musical theater in Northeast Wisconsin. For more information on the Center Stage High School Musical Theater program, click here.