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KARLA GARCIA WEEKLY CLASSES Jazz/Contemporary/Hip Hop! Every Monday at: PEARL STUDIOS (500 8th Ave) NYC, Room 1209 8:30-10pm - ONLY $10! STAY POSTED! FOLLOW me US TWITTER! http://www.twitter.com/theboogiebots and Karla @karla_w_a_k
"Anniversaries are cool…. But counting the years dont really matter unless youve made the years REALLY count"
Though still young, Karla has both an impressive reputation and a large YouTube fan base. Most recently seen as a contestant on the hit Fox dance show, Karla has an extensive background ranging from traditional Filipino cultural dance to jazz to hip hop. She was a member of the Broadway touring company of Wicked and is a member of the famous hip hop crew Boogie Bots. She has also performed and taught at dance studios, showcases and venues across the nation.
When performing, Karla captivates the audience with a unique magnetism that one may call the “it” factor. With beautiful technique and honesty in her movement, she creates an experience that the audience begs to enter. From her bird personification in her famous Blackbird solo to her hip hop whacking solos for the Boogie Bots, she always stands out, and according to the unanimous opinion from the panel of judges on “So You Think You Can Dance,” judge Mary Murphy declared her “one of the strongest female dancers” of the season.
While success seems to come easily after the attention from the show, Karla admits that the road she’s traveled hasn’t been smooth. With a career that consistently puts her in the public eye, Karla doesn’t hesitate in sharing that she did battle with weight issues during middle and high school. As a dancer, she says, “You’re thinking, ‘What if I’m not thin enough?’ and it doesn’t even have anything to do with my dancing.”
But as she got older, she became more confident and was able to stop over-thinking her weight. She started seeing a difference in her eating habits. “I would eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full,” she explains, instead of restricting herself, which led to stressful overeating.
Like other artists, she had to reconcile academic pursuits with her passion for dance. With a constantly jam-packed schedule of tough classes and performances and high academic expectations from her parents and herself, the balancing act was stressful. “But I proved that I could get good grades and get into a good college, and they saw how much I wanted to dance, so now they are very supportive because they see what I can accomplish and that I can make a living out of it.”
And indeed, her recent experience on “So You Think You Can Dance” isn’t one the average dancer enjoys. After auditioning multiple times before earning a spot in the top 20 of season 5, Karla participated in one of the most memorable performances the program has ever shown, a touching contemporary piece choreographed by Stacey Tookey and performed with partner Jonathan Platero, as well as a sizzling group piece to the track of I Know You Want Me Calle Ocho by Pit Bull. Many were disappointed with what was felt to be a premature departure for her from the show, which became a lesson to her: “When you’re on a reality show like that, where you have no control over what choreography you get or what camera time you have… all I really wanted to do was dance.” Nonetheless, she is grateful for the exposure it provided her as well as the opportunity to work with many talented people.
Karla’s hopes are high for her future, and she expresses an avid interest in expanding the reaches her creativity. “I’d like to choreograph for a Broadway show or an Oscars someday, and, maybe someday much later, be [an] artistic director of my own dance studio so I can give back to those who are just like me when I started out.”
To aspiring dancers, Karla speaks with a voice of experience and assured maturity. “Don’t change anything about you. If you get critiqued, because it is a harsh industry, don’t be bitter and brush it away. Learn from it because there is some truth at the heart of it, and that’s the only way to improve.”