A Rockette can kick up to 1,200 kicks per day! With rehearsals and up to four shows per day, a Rockette kicks while she sleeps! Our newest faculty member, Jennifer Cordiner, is a former Radio City Rockette and national touring star. Her television credits include: Gossip Girl, Cashmere Mafia, and Law and Order. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English from Rutgers and is an Xtend Barre®-certified instructor. She specializes in teaching ballet, musical theater, and jazz. She recently relocated to the DMV area and joined the JOMDC faculty as our newest Broadway Jazz instructor! Jennifer teaches Broadway Jazz Adv./Beg. every Friday from 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM and Broadway Tap Adv./Beg. 11:30 AM – 12:30 AM at Friendship Heights. She’s also teaching and choreographing a Broadway Jazz Studio to Stage Performance Class, Spring 2016. We sat down with Jennifer to talk about moving to DC, her choreographic influences, and all those kicks.
Jennifer, we are so honored to have you teaching Broadway Jazz for us! What can we expect to learn in one of your classes?
My Broadway Jazz class is for anyone that has ever dreamed of hitting the big stage with choreography from greats like Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, and Michael Bennett (to name a few). Each week we’ll learn choreography from a classic musical theatre show. Come to class ready to stretch, sweat, and perform!
Can you share three words that describe the experience in your class?
Good clean FUN!
When was the last “a-ha” moment you felt, on stage, in the classroom, or in life?
My biggest “a-ha” moment came when I first moved to the DC area. I was so scared to leave New York City and my theatre life there, but within weeks of moving here, I discovered an amazing community of theatre, art, and dance lovers. My “a-ha” moment: “Oh, I can do theatre down here!” I love the energy and sense of community within the arts world of DC and I’m so happy to have found it!
OK, we have to ask – are the numbers from the Rockettes ingrained in your brain? Do you kick in your sleep?
YES! Crazy because I only did a few seasons with them, but when you’re in love with the show and grow up seeing it, then then rehearse it the way we do, YES, you hear the music and see the kicks in your sleep! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that choreography!
What advice do you have for the aspiring Rockette or Broadway dancer?
TAKE CLASS! Study all the techniques you can and train with a lot of teachers. Take as many classes as you can, in all styles. I wish someone had told me that! In terms of the audition world, just keep going – keep auditioning. Sometimes it takes a LONG time before someone gives you your big break, but you have to be your own cheerleader, rejection after rejection. It took me about four tries to finally book the Rockettes. I had another friend that it took ten times (that’s ten years of auditioning!) before she finally booked the role of her dreams! She’s still kicking today!
What power quote (by someone else or yourself) do you live by? Why?
I have always connected with the quote “Life’s not a dress rehearsal.” Many days we’re just so busy and tired from all of life’s stresses that we forget to step back and realize what’s important or what we really want. Life’s too short to “mark it,” so go full out every day and make the time to do what you love!
What do you think of Washington, DC? What do you hope to do, make, create, while you’re here?
I am in love with DC’s theatre community. Beyond the stage, however, I just love the whole energy of this area. I find the DMV area to be an extremely active community, which has inspired me to get out there and try new things! I hope of course to continue to be blessed with performing and teaching opportunities in the area. My bigger goals are to perform at the Kennedy Center, or at least to finally go see a show there!