GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The students participating in the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program are dusting off their dancing shoes and rehearsing their eight counts.

The program’s latest workshop is covering dance. T. Reid, theater veteran and Dance Captain of the Broadway musical, Hadestown, led the Zoom workshop, teaching Northeast Wisconsin students choreography from the original song “Chant.” Although Broadway shows are temporarily closed, Reid believes it’s important that young people continue using art to express themselves.

“If they don’t we won’t have the next generation of performers of artists. If there’s not something that really keeps young people engaged, their interests will go other places, and in ten years we’ll say, “Well, where are all these kids?” It was that 18 months that we did nothing,” says Reid.

The one-hour workshop involved an open Q&A for students to ask Reid anything about the theater industry, his Broadway career, as well as living in New York City.

“To be able to connect virtually and be able to dance and experience theater in some sense with other high school students is really really cool and really empowering and kind of encouraging to continue to work through the pandemic so we can all get to do this in person again one day,” says Katie Stucky, a senior at Fond du Lac High School.

While a virtual dance workshop may not be ideal, students are focusing on collaborating with each other and learning from professionals in the theater industry.

“With school and life itself completely changing, having that passion and still having that community of musical theater virtually or however you can, it makes it that more important because it’s something still that we can hold on to,” says Leland Bartikofsky, a senior at Green Bay Preble High School.

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