Paloma Garcia Lee is one of the hardest working dancers on Broadway. As Dance Captain and swing in On the Town and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, she has covered multitudes of tracks, but no matter what the role is, she lights up the stage. Her joie de vivre is contagious and she will soon be bringing that exuberance into the new Broadway show, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Your parents were both involved with the arts and provided a great support system for you. Why do you think that was so important and do you have any advice for kids who don’t have that kind of support?
I do! I feel so lucky and #blessed to have had not only the support system I had growing up but the guidance and the PUSH from people who truly know the ins and outs of “The Business.” I had many friends who did NOT have that support system and I noticed it was so important for them to surround themselves with people who support their dream. I think finding a healthy group of people/teachers/friends/community who can support your dream and be there as guides (even possibly over the internet!) would be so helpful.
I want to support those who don’t have it! – If you are reading this and want to be in the arts and you don’t have your family/friend’s support, I am here to say “stay strong!!” Do not let anyone tell you can’t do this! This is a legitimate career- I mean, we have 401Ks and health insurance, we are a part of a labor union, and you can get paid to do what you love! Find your community, find an online forum, find people who love this and want to do this and support each other!
Which shows inspired you as a child?
To be honest, my first love was ballet, and I lived close enough to the city that my parents would bring me in to see ABT and NYCB all the time. Even though they were both immersed in musical theater most of their careers, I didn’t pay too much attention to musical theater until a little later. I must admit I was completely obsessed with Cats and dressed up as Mr. Mistofolees many a time. I also fell in love with Susan Stroman’s Contact– it is still one of my ultimate dream roles to be the “Girl in the Yellow Dress.” The show came to Broadway when I was 8, and I would listen to the soundtrack and watch the video when they filmed the show, over and over and over and over. Dear Susan Stroman, My dream is to be “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” and I hope I get the opportunity to work with you someday! Love, Paloma
Was the rehearsal process for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 very different because of its unique staging?
It was wild. As the Dance Captain, I wanted to have a great place to sit where I could chart and take in the whole show at any moment, and that just turned out to not be possible. If you were to look at the stage now, I charted the entire show from the stage left sunken area where aud