Joseph Corella (right) leads a 567Broadway! workout class (Chris Garland, courtesy Corella)

The Workout Class Where Broadway Meets Cardio

Although dancers are well aware of the many benefits of cross-training, most would probably still rather spend an hour in their favorite dance class than mindlessly jogging on a treadmill. But what if working out had the exact same thrill as the moment you step onstage?


Emily Winnie, courtesy Corella

Dancer and choreographer Joseph Corella had a mission: to combine the showstopping, electric energy of Broadway with cardio fitness. Ultimately, he created 567Broadway! A New Musical Workout, an all-levels workout set to Broadway hits. "As a dancer, you have to be physical, so fitness is already a big part of your training," he says.

Corella's dance career took off at age 13, when he became a member of Marguerite Derricks' Tremaine Teen Company. He later debuted on Broadway in All Shook Up, and went on to tour in productions of Grease and West Side Story. After living in NYC for over seven years, Corella left the East Coast for L.A., a city known for its boutique fitness industry. "L.A. is very health-centric, but it can get competitive and exclusive," he says. "By creating 567Broadway!, I was able to really start to build a community there, which is what musical theater is all about. It's not exclusive; it's for everyone."

Corella first started teaching 567Broadway! about six years ago in dance studios around L.A., including Edge Performing Arts Center, and recently released a digital version of the live class that can be accessed anywhere. The high-energy class combines cardio training, dance, and toning moves, but the driving force of the workout, according to Corella, is definitely the music.

"Broadway music has always been essential in my life. The songs are so powerful and uplifting, which makes working out much more fun," he says. From choreographed squats to Legally Blonde: The Musical's "Bend and Snap" to a pony-filled rendition of Hairspray's "You Can't Stop the Beat," Corella aims for the class to be equal parts performance and workout. "When you're performing eight shows a week on Broadway, you've got to give it 100 percent. I love to use a lot of theater lingo to inspire people during the workout," he says.

It's no surprise that Pitch Perfect and upcoming Cats film star Rebel Wilson quickly caught on to the trend. Wilson's friend enlisted Corella to do a private 567Broadway! Cats-themed class for her birthday. "Rebel immediately got what 567Broadway! was about—having fun, getting crazy, and letting go," Corella says.

Corella says that 567Broadway! has been a way for performers, including himself, to recharge in the often high-pressure dance industry. "Finding ways to practice self-care as a professional dancer is really important and requires a lot of self-examination," he says. He also aims for the program to encourage those outside of the dance world to have a greater appreciation for the arts. "I want to show what the arts, movement, and community can do," he says. "This isn't just jazz hands—there's a powerful message behind it of joining people together and taking care of ourselves. Broadway really helps improve people's lives."

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Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

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