When Luke Broadlick auditioned for the Britney Spears Circus tour in January 2009, he’d only been dancing for about a year. But since the then-16-year-old was already a six-time International Sport Karate Association world champion, he could flip, twist and fly through the air. That caught choreographer Jamie King’s attention, and Luke was cast as one of the tour’s eight principal dancers.
Luke’s unusual road to dance success began at age 8, when he started training in American Kenpo Karate at De Palma’s Team USA training facility in Arizona. Within three years, he earned a black belt and began competing on the national circuit. At 16, Luke moved to L.A. so that he could pursue his budding modeling and acting career.
Luke had no dance training, but when L.A.’s Millennium Dance Complex held a low-key dance-off, he entered—and won a month of free classes. He found that dance came naturally. “It felt like I’d been dancing all my life,” he says. Hooked, he began taking additional classes at the Debbie Reynolds Studio and Edge Performing Arts Center.
Luke’s forte is hip hop; he moves with a combination of fluidity and precision. He also pushes himself to try different dance styles, like ballet. (“I’m not the greatest,” he says, “but I try.”) This willingness to venture into unfamiliar territory will help him continue to thrive.
But Luke also knows he needs to work hard to sustain his success. While traveling the world with Britney, whenever he got a break, Luke would take master classes taught by his fellow tour dancers and attend conventions. He met Marty Kudelka, Justin Timberlake’s choreographer, at a Monsters of Hip Hop event in Chicago. Kudelka admired Luke’s acrobatic skills, but it was the teen’s humility that convinced Kudelka Luke was serious about dance. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and he will work to improve,” Kudelka says. “The last show on the tour was in Australia. Luke got off a 15-hour plane ride and was in my class two hours later.”
Luke hopes to build on the acting career that initially brought him to L.A. and to combine it with his new dance career; he’s currently filming a pilot for a Disney Channel dance show. In the meantime, you can find him in class at one of the big L.A. studios or attending Monsters of Hip Hop conventions. Look for his mop of curly hair and megawatt smile. “You’ll see me in the back,” Luke says, “trying to figure out the choreography.”
Most played on your iPod: Robin Thicke and Kid Cudi
Favorite TV Show: “SpongeBob SquarePants”
Favorite food: “Does candy count? Yes? Then I’ll say chocolate.”
Signature move: “The Webster—it’s a front flip on one foot. I can do it anywhere.”
Photo of Luke Broadlick by Justin Devara