23 Quick Questions with Broadway Standout Eliza Ohman
Eliza Ohman (photo by High 5 Games, courtesy Ohman)
Broadway baby Eliza Ohman began her dance training in Denver, CO, and at age 15 was chosen to join Robert L. Reed's tap company, the St. Louis Hoofers Club. After touring nationally with the Hoofers Club, she moved to NYC and attended The King's College, graduating with a bachelor of arts in media, culture, and the arts. She's been a swing and co-dance captain in Hamilton and has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, on "Saturday Night Live" and "America's Got Talent," and in Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You" music video. Catch her on the Great White Way this month in the newly opened King Kong—and read on for The Dirt! —Courtney Bowers
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a dancer! I had no idea what that meant, but I knew I wanted to spend my days dancing.
What are your pet peeves?
Dishes in the sink, complaining about something you agreed to do, and people talking during movies.
If you could work with any choreographer, past or present, who would it be?
Who's your dance crush?
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I cannot resist Ben & Jerry's Tonight Dough.
What dance item can you not live without?
My foam roller.
Do you have any pets?
Yes! My husband and I rescued a pit bull four years ago and he's my absolute favorite thing in the world.
What would you be doing if you weren't a dancer?
Working in education policy with a focus on getting art back into public schools.
What's your most-watched TV show?
"Friends." I can quote almost every episode.
What are your favorite dance movies?
Singin' in the Rain and Center Stage.
What's your go-to stress reliever?
Yoga, but if I'm not in the mood to work out, I'll grab a book and go read in the park.
What makes you most nervous?
I was notoriously late as a kid and now I'm irrationally nervous about being late to any meeting, rehearsal, call time, etc.
What's your biggest fear?
SPIDERS! THEY'RE HORRIFYING!
Who's your dance role model?
Robyn Hurder. We worked together in DC doing a regional production of Kiss Me, Kate. She played Lois/Bianca and every night she was technical, captivating, and unapologetically herself onstage. I sat in the wings to watch her numbers almost every night. I want to be her when I grow up.
What's the most-played song on your playlist?
"Bad Bad News," by Leon Bridges.
What can always make you laugh?
Any video of people doing regular activities in those inflatable T rex suits. It gets me every time.
Do you have any nicknames?
So many! My dad loves creating nonsensical nicknames, but his favorite for me is BirdDog Johnson. I'm pretty sure he calls me BirdDog more than Eliza.
Have you had any embarrassing moments onstage?
I had MANY moments when I was swinging at Hamilton, but one of my favorites was when I was performing with the Chicago company and the dance captain's mic got stuck in my hair. Everyone else was setting their chairs for Cabinet Battle #2 while we were stuck in a half-hug upstage center, trying to yank our heads apart. It was not subtle.
What are you most proud of?
What's the strangest thing in your dance bag?
A toothbrush. I brush my teeth compulsively.
What dancer would you drop everything to go see?
If you were a superhero, what would your special power be?
Flight! I read Peter Pan in the second grade and never got over the dream of flying.
What's your favorite Broadway show?
A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Dirt with Eliza Ohman."