A scene from Hamilton. Joan Marcus, Courtesy Hamilton

Hamilfilm's Almost Here. These Are the Dance Moments We've Been Thinking About Non-Stop

Broadway may be shut down until 2021, but there's one especially bright light amidst the coronavirus cancellations: the Hamilfilm.

Instead of its originally planned theatrical release in October 2021, the filmed version of Broadway's Hamilton got fast-tracked to a July 3 release on Disney+. Fans can now transform their living room into "the room where it happens" for the $6.99 monthly subscription fee—less than the price of a movie ticket.

Whether you saw the original cast in person or have memorized every single lyric from afar, Hamilton mania is about to hit again. Naturally, it's time to obsess over Andy Blankenbuehler's Tony-winning choreography. Dance is enmeshed in the entire show, but here are a few of our favorite elements to watch out for.


The entire ensemble

Some musicals' ensembles subtly step-touch in the background, while others' storm the stage with energy during unexpected dance breaks. Hamilton's ensemble however, dances nearly non-stop throughout the show in a variety of styles, none of which ever feel dated or out of place.

"Picture a group of dancers who can do it all," wrote Suzannah Friscia in Dance Magazine's June 2016 cover story. "Place them in an unlikely musical about America's first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton—think city streets pulsing with revolution, battlefields and ballrooms, political intrigue and scandal—and watch them go. In one moment, their hands look almost Fosse-like; in another, they're soldiers in full battle regalia, all whirling physicality and sharp movements; in still another, they sweep across the floor in formal gowns, the style aptly reminiscent of an 18th-century courtship dance. This is the world of Hamilton."

The signature phrase we can't stop doing

Who doesn't love a memorable bit of syncopated unison choreography? Blankenbuehler mined the rhythmic intricacies of "My Shot" to create a movement theme for the show that's downright catchy.

Check out the tutorial below to learn the "I am not throwing away my shot" phrasework straight from the creator. There's no shame in dancing alongside the cast from home.

When "Satisfied" hits rewind

In "Helpless," Eliza Schuyler meets and falls in love with Hamilton. The following song, "Satisfied," is her sister Angelica Schuyler's retelling of that fateful night. Blankenbuehler's treatment is masterful—he literally rewinds portions of the choreography from "Helpless," creating a waterfall effect that's at once mesmerizing and disorienting.

The Battle of Yorktown

During the pivotal Revolutionary War battle scene, the cast seems to quadruple in size, thanks to Blankenbuehler's crisp movement and seamlessly shifting formations. The battle plays out entirely through movement—void of cheesy lighting effects or pyrotechnics—and it's incredibly powerful.

"The Room Where It Happens"

The dancing in this scene is delicious, ooey-gooey jazz, and another testament to Hamilton's choreographic variety.

The choreo that has its own hashtag

During Burr and Hamilton's duel, the bullet that kills Hamilton is represented through dance by the impeccable Ariana DeBose. As Hamilton recalls his life, she traverses across the stage toward him in slow motion.

"Not many dancers have a stage presence strong enough to earn its own Twitter hashtag," wrote Friscia. "But Ariana DeBose has reached that level....[it's] a moment she's become so well-known for that it's simply called #thebullet."

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search