Meet The Maker of Those “Modern” Moves


Based on the 1967 Academy Award®-winning movie, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a sparkling story that is sure to dazzle the audience.

Millie, on stage at Civic until June 18, is definitely a show to remember. One of the things that makes it so special is all of the “modern” dance moves, choreographed by Erin Kacos!

Erin has been choreographing since her junior high days, but she wasn’t involved with musical theatre until 2006. Since then, she has discovered her passion for dancing and choreographing for musicals in the community theatre scene. Now, all of her dance involvement is theatre related. Erin has been in multiple productions for Civic, and she is happy to add Millie to her repertoire!

Erin Kacos dancing in Civic’s production of Bye Bye Birdie.

What made you want to choreograph for Millie?

Originally, I said I would rather not choreograph because I wanted to audition to be in the show. But the more I thought about it, it seemed like a great idea. I saw it as a great opportunity to stretch me creatively and challenge me to tackle the biggest project of my choreography career. I’m glad I made the choice I did!

Millie has everything you love to see in a Broadway show – comedy, a great love story, and show stopping dance numbers!

Millie and Jimmy dancing. Photo courtesy of Studio3twenty.

How does the choreography of the show reflect the Roaring 20’s?

The dance moves from the 20’s are so iconic, so we definitely had to work them into the choreography. You’ll see a lot of favorites, like the Charleston, but with more of a unique spin. Although you’ll get the flavor of the 20’s, all of the dance moves are presented in an original way.

Which song was your favorite to choreograph?

I would have to say that “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” the big opening number, was my favorite. It’s the number I spent the most time working on. It sets the tone for the whole show, so it was important to get it right. I somewhat followed the roadmap of the original Broadway show, but filled it in with original choreography to showcase our cast.

The cast dancing to “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Photo courtesy of Studio3twenty.

Which song Was most challenging to choreograph?

“The Speed Test” was definitely the most challenging piece to choreograph. The tap sounds are crucial to the number and there are so many intricate parts. With the wide variety of tap experience in the cast, I had to create something that could be executed by everyone. Not to mention, I had to make sure that the taps were blended with the orchestra, and told the story.

Two stenographers high-kicking during “The Speed Test.” Photo courtesy of Studio3twenty.

Are there any “spoilers” or special secrets that audience members can look forward to when seeing the show?

There is an added element to the show that made it even more challenging – the use of a turntable! It rotates for some scene changes and sometimes WHILE the ensemble is dancing on it! It is such a cool feature, and hopefully audiences will love it!

No matter who you are, I promise you’ll leave Millie with a smile on your face!

Thoroughly Modern Millie is on stage at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre until june 18! purchase tickets here!

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