Meet the 22 Sexy Stars of Broadway's 'Dancin',' Recreating the Signature Style of Bob Fosse

Meet the 22 Sexy Stars of Broadway's 'Dancin',' Recreating the Signature Style of Bob Fosse
Ioana Alfonso

When Alfonso moved from Puerto Rico to Miami, she temporarily put dance on the backburner. One day, she and her family took in a performance of a dance company led by So You Think You Can Dance judge and choreographer Mia Michaels.

"I remember feeling it was so incredible because it was so electric, athletic and engaging emotionally. That was probably the moment I knew I wanted to do that," she recalls, adding that she eventually enrolled at Joe Michaels Dance Studio, "where the same Mia Michaels later became my teacher."

Dancin' is a big career milestone for the performer. "When I got the call that I had been cast in the show I burst into tears," she says. "It's hard to describe how I felt in words because this opportunity has so much meaning to me on so many different levels."

Yeman Brown

Brown has "always been a dancer," he says. However, he knew that he wanted to dance professionally after seeing a touring production of the long-running Broadway musical Wicked.

"When I learned that I was offered to join the cast of Dancin', I was shocked," he admits. "I couldn't believe that out of all of the brilliantly talented people I had auditioned with, I'd been selected. It took months of facing bouts of imposter syndrome to accept that I was on this journey for a reason. Thanks to encouragement from [director] Wayne [Cilento] and the cast, I've been encouraged to allow myself to fully show up."

Peter John Chursin

Chursin began dancing when he was 5 years old. "I loved all aspects of it — watching music videos, performing in youth musical theater groups, dancing in my living room to old episodes of American Bandstand," he explains. "It has always been my life, and there were simply no other options but to dance."

Doing this show "has been a childhood dream come true," he says. "So much of my career has simply been following the path as it unfolds, but this is a moment where I get to check a specific box off the dream accomplishment list."

Dylis Croman

"Dance chose me," says Croman, who adds that she always had a "strong passion for dance" throughout her childhood.

She describes being cast in Dancin' as a "special gift" since she can honor her mentor — acclaimed dancer Ann Reinking, who was in the original production of Fosse's musical revue when it first opened on Broadway in 1978.

"My favorite moment in Dancin' is 'I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man' because of its prayer-like quality in sentiment and the fact that we really get to dance fully and go for broke at the end," she explains. "It's a true classic of Bob Fosse's."

Jōvan Dansberry

Watching Janet Jackson's All For You Tour at age 12, Dansberry looked over at his parents and said, "I want to do that," he recalls. " I've been hooked on Janet and her dancers ever since. I'm still waiting for the opportunity to dance for her."

In Dancin', he says, "I love the moment when the beat drops for the first time in our opening number, 'Crunchy Granola Suite.' There's a huge build up for the cast, as if we all have a little secret. Then, all of a sudden, the music kicks in, the audience screams, and — for the next two hours — we all go on this amazing ride together!"

Karli Dinardo

Dinardo still remembers the home videos taken by her family in which she can be seen "dancing around the living room, telling my family I wanted to be a dancer and artist," she says, adding that she was "hooked from the very beginning."

As time went on, Dinardo enrolled in "more and more dance classes" until she eventually found Broadway success. One of her favorite moments in Dancin', she says, "is actually when I walk out at the beginning of the show, that moment where there's no music, I get to take in the audience, take a breath and then begin." She explains, "The energy is magic, and I feel full of gratitude each time."

Tony d'Alelio

After watching tapes of his mother performing, d'Alelio knew that he was destined to follow in her footsteps. "As long as I can remember, when music played I've felt called to move my body," he says.

D'Alelio makes his Broadway debut in Dancin' following Broadway's yearlong hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "After problem-solving and making things work as an artist throughout a pandemic, getting cast in this show felt like I was being given a gift for my patience and hard work," he says. "I'm proud to be a part of this company because we are all incredibly steadfast in who we are as artists."

Aydin Eyikan

When it came to his career, Eyikan says there was "no plan B." His first stage was his family's living room at their home in Connecticut, where he and his brother "would dance around trying to recreate what we saw on So You Think You Can Dance."

Of getting cast in Dancin', he adds: "There are no words that really encompass how much of a dream come true this is. For years, I have idolized so many of the dancers I'm now sharing a Broadway stage with, and I pinch myself every day. And to be doing such iconic choreography… it couldn't be more perfect."

Pedro Garza

With Dancin', Garza is paying tribute to his 6-year-old self. The performer was that age when he "threw down a four-by-four piece of plywood on the garage floor to make myself a stage and dance to cumbia while my parents cleaned," he says.

When Garza found out that he'd be part of the 22-member company of Dancin', it "was like being seen as that 6-year-old dreamer," he adds, "and given a chance to honor him."

Jacob Guzman

Guzman knew he wanted to become a professional dancer when he had to decide which extracurricular activity he wanted to pursue. Between soccer, tennis and dance, "the schedules were getting too much, and I couldn't imagine not dancing everyday so it felt like the decision was made for me," he says. "And I never looked back."

Manuel "Manny" Herrera

Though Herrera grew up in a dancing family that owned a dance studio, when he was cast in Dancin', he thought, "Oh my god! I have so much work to do and you gotta get in shape ASAP."

Herrera's favorite moment thus far in the process of Dancin' was having his two kids attend the dress rehearsal — and seeing their faces afterwards. "It's the first time they've seen their daddy and mommy, associate director Corinne McFadden-Herrera, do all the things, and I think they were really proud of us!" he says.

Afra Hines

For Hines, being cast in Dancin' was a full-circle moment. She knew she wanted to become a professional dancer after seeing the intricate and elaborate dance in the Broadway hit musical Wicked, choreographed by Dancin' director Wayne Cilento.

She explains, "I love that we are bringing this iconic choreography to a whole new generation and hopefully inspiring young people to learn more about Bob Fosse and his body of work."

Gabriel Hyman

Being cast in Dancin' felt like "a dream come true," says Hyman. "I knew I wanted to become a dancer after watching a performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater," he says. "For the first time I felt represented as a Black male in dance."

One of his favorite moments in the show is when the cast performs "Sing Sing Sing," he adds: "It's impossible to not have a good time during that number."

Kolton Krouse

Krouse wanted to become a dancer "the minute I stepped onstage for my first performance," adding: "I was 8 at the time, and I never experienced that kind of thrill before! I think I've always loved entertainment from a young age and being the person providing that made me fall more in love with the art form!"

The performer describes being cast in Dancin' as "the craziest moment" following theater's shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I hadn't performed on a stage in forever!" Krouse says. "It was super emotional, especially being able to be 100 percent me onstage. I've never worked on a show that allowed so much individuality! It's incredible to witness everyone doing them during the show!"

Mattie Love

Like a few of her fellow Dancin' cast members, Love knew she wanted to become a professional performer after seeing the original Broadway cast of Wicked. "I remember at 10 years old sitting in the audience realizing I could make this dream a career," she says. "A little girl who grew up on a cattle farm in Layton, Utah, could move to the big city and be on Broadway!"

Her favorite moment in Dancin' comes during the musical number "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man." She explains, "We all break off at the end and pick our own 'Dancin' Man' moves and have a three-part cannon. I hear and see my whole cast (I'm in the back) individually saying their own prayer and leaving their own footprints on the sand of time, but it's all together in the same place. Together as one. Our show is a family, and it's full of love."

Krystal Mackie

Mackie was following in her sisters' footsteps when she began dancing at 3 years old. However, she says, "It wasn't until I was in high school at the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts when my teacher said, 'You know you have to dance when you wake up everyday, and you tell yourself you have to do this, you can't envision your life without it.' That next morning I woke up and felt that, and from that day on I said I have to do this."

When she found out she was cast in Dancin', Mackie was on tour with the hit musical Hamilton. "[I] was in the middle of the show when my agent emailed me. I literally looked at the email and screamed, 'WHAT?!' I couldn't believe what I was reading! I ran to drop my phone to stage management to tell them and ran back on stage. Once I finished the show I called my dad, and we were both so excited. I had two days to pack my stuff from tour, make my way back home to start rehearsals for the show," she says. "I truly couldn't believe that my dream was coming true."

Yani Marin

Marin knew she wanted to pursue dance from an early age. "I was 4 years old at my first dance recital, on my tippy toes, pretending to be a butterfly," she recalls. "It was liberating!"

So when she got cast in Dancin', she adds, "I was beyond shocked. I'd hung up my dancing shoes ten years earlier and was in what I felt like the worst shape of my life, post pandemic. I'm grateful to have the joy of dance back in my life… while I still can."

Nando Morland

For Morland, dance is more than just an art form — it is community. "There wasn't a specific moment I can remember [wanting to become a dancer]. I just kept loving the people dance brought into my life," he says. "I followed the music, the rigor, the shared experience... And here I am!"

In Dancin', he continues to enjoy the moments he's sharing the stage with his fellow cast members. "My favorite moment from the show is when we're all facing back in 'Sing Sing Sing,' stepping together in unison and revving up with the drums," he explains. "It feels we're like a pack of animals about to hunt — and the prey is the dance."

Khori Michelle Petinaud

Petinaud knew she wanted to become a dancer after attending a performance by Dance Theater of Harlem at the Kennedy Center alongside her mother. "I'd never seen Black and brown ballerinas, and I turned to her and said, 'I want to do that!' I attended DTH the following summer, and thus began my dance journey," she explains.

When she was cast in Dancin', however, she "wasn't sure" she was ready for this "dream come true," she says: "I had just had a baby, wasn't feeling my strongest, greatest, or sexiest for that matter, and I couldn't believe this show was coming around when I didn't feel as good as I wanted. But thank goodness they saw beyond what I could see and gave me my shot!"

Ida Saki

When Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (a professional dance company based in New York City at the time) performed in Dallas, Saki attended the show with her dance teacher and fellow students. "I was blown away by their athleticism and artistry, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it," she says. "At the time, I didn't know dancing could be a profession, so it opened a whole new world to me!"

Saki describes the musical as "a once-in-a-lifetime kind of show for a dancer," adding: "I feel beyond grateful to be in it!" One of her favorite moments is when "we circle up right before the show begins," Saki says. "We breathe together, get grounded, and say a little mantra. I love starting every show on the same page with my cast members, and it always sets the tone for the rest of the show!"

Ron Todorowski

Todorowski knew he wanted to dance professionally when he went to visit New York City at age 16 to take a variety of classes. "I was blown away by how much there was to learn," he says.

His favorite moment throughout the process of Dancin' returning to Broadway was the company's invited dress rehearsal. "It was our first audience," Todorowski explains. "Receiving and feeling the love that night after so much hard work was incredible."

Neka Zang

Zang was 6 years old when she took part in her first dance recital. Though she describes her younger self as "extremely shy and scared to get out on the stage," she explains. "As soon as I felt the lights on me and heard the audience's applause, I knew I was meant to be a performer. I was hooked. I've been dancing ever since."

When she was auditioning for Dancin', she had been living in Los Angeles and flew back to New York City for several callbacks. "I was sitting in the lounge at the airport heading back to L.A. and got the word I had been cast," she says. "I started bawling right then and there, and of course called my parents who are my biggest champions ever. This is a show I've been waiting for my entire career and walking into this theater every night with Bob Fosse's name on the marquee is the biggest honor."

Wayne Cilento

As the show's director, Cilento tells PEOPLE: "I'm thrilled to bring Dancin' back to Broadway and to be directing this company of extraordinary dancers. It means so much to me, especially since I was a member of the original production."

He adds, "I think this revival not only honors Bob Fosse's legacy, but will also introduce a whole new audience to his work. Above all else, I think we have put together two hours of pure joy and entertainment, and who doesn't want that?!"

Get to know the cast of the Broadway revival of Dancin', now playing at the Music Box Theatre in New York City