Masterclass with Broadway Star Elevates KO Musical - Kingswood Oxford

Creative Arts News

February 01, 2024

Masterclass with Broadway Star Elevates KO Musical

For many schools, having a Broadway star work with students to prepare them for an upcoming musical would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not at KO. These masterclasses with professionals, organized by Chair of the Arts Department Kyle Reynolds, are a yearly occurrence, and that doesn’t make them any less memorable or transformative.


To gear up for A Chorus Line this year, Reynolds enlisted the services of triple-threat Broadway star Jessica Lee Goldyn, who challenged, cajoled, and cha-cha(ed) with the cast members for six hours on a recent Saturday.


Goldyn is best known for creating the role of Val in the Broadway rival of ACL, and she appeared in the documentary Every Little Step, which recounts the casting and audition process of the musical. Additionally, she appeared in Hello Dolly, Finding Neverland, and Tuck Everlasting. At the age of 21, she had the titular role in Annie.


According to an online profile about her theater class: “Jessica’s theater is grounded in style and athleticism while concentrating on storytelling through movement. Jessica’s energy is infectious and motivating and will inspire dancers to rise to new heights, both technically and energetically”.


Our students reflected on the experience with Goldyn, appreciating her generosity of spirit and professional wisdom.


Juliana Chipelo ’26

As someone who has danced for ten years and taken dozens of master classes, I can say this class was simply one of the best. Her positive attitude and clear passion for dance pushed me through this intensive. She constantly complimented, gave us constructive criticism, and pushed us to do our best. Whenever I asked a question, she ensured I understood the step and often modeled (which I find rare in the dance world). She gave me the confidence I needed to improve, a reason to smile, and the tools to continue my dance journey.


Leo Kollen ’26

Saturday dance intensives are always a special event to look forward to, especially with a mystery guest. The anticipation we all had for meeting Tyce was met and exceeded by superstar Jessica Lee Goldyn. She is truly the epitome of Broadway talent and was such an incredible teacher. Having actually been in A Chorus Line gave her so many insights to share with us. She truly brought the opening to a whole different level. Besides her excellent teaching skills, she is also an electric person to be around. She kept us motivated but also focused. She made sure we worked hard but also had so much fun. Being in the same room as Jessica Lee Goldyn was so inspiring. After our intense but rewarding intensive, we sat with JLG for a Q&A. She gave us so many insights on Broadway, her personal life, and her thoughts on each character. This dance intensive was truly an unforgettable experience, and we are all so thankful for Jessica Lee Goldyn.


Molly Palmer ‘27

Being able to learn from Jessica Lee Goldyn was an incredible experience I will never forget. She was an incredibly talented dancer and a wonderful and inspiring teacher. She taught the challenging number “I Hope I Get it” with love, kindness, and patience towards all of us. I have never taken a master class with someone who genuinely believed in every person’s potential. She made everyone in that room feel seen and left us inspired and wanting to grow. Her passion and genuine love for dancing and performing were so inspiring to me. Having such a long history with A Chorus Line, Jessica Lee Goldyn was full of wisdom and knowledge with each character. Being able to spend just one day with her was truly life-changing, and I have gained so much valuable information about not only A Chorus Line but also what it means to be a performer. 


Lily Temkin ’25

It was such an amazing experience being able to work with Broadway legend Jessica Lee Goldyn this past weekend. Not only were we so excited, but you could tell that she truly wanted to be working with us. I found it so enlightening to hear about her own career, along with all that this show has taught her. I also enjoyed that she gave us more insight into our characters and the importance of finding ourselves within them. This experience is truly one I will never forget and will be endlessly grateful for.


Zaire Ramiz ’25

Throughout our incredible six hours with her, Jessica Lee Goldyn gave us the keys to success for the challenging opening number of A Chorus Line while exuding inimitable talent, endless wisdom, and pure kindness.  Even with so many people in the room, she personally made me feel seen, supported, and validated as a dancer. She shared so much invaluable advice about theater in general, her experiences as a performer, her long history with A Chorus Line, and what this important show means to her. Being able to work with her briefly, I learned so much and felt such growth as a performer. I will never forget how fortunate I was to be able to learn from such a legend and the knowledge she bestowed upon my peers and me will motivate me and inspire me for years to come. 


Matt Waldman, College Cousleing

Through multiple perspectives, I experienced KO’s dance intensive with Broadway star Jessica Lee Goldyn.  I was a proud KO teacher, watching our students push themselves as hard as they could for six straight hours, intensely absorbing the wisdom and insight of a seasoned Broadway star. I was in awe that they had this opportunity and could only hope that they wanted to take advantage of the moment.  I was thrilled to see our students look so alive, their faces showing unwavering focus for nearly six straight hours. As someone who gets to be with them so much, it was wonderful to see them not only have this amazing opportunity but also meet the moment with their own passion and energy. 


And, because I’m in the show, I also got to be there as a participant. I danced shoulder to shoulder with the other cast members, knowing exactly how hard we were working. It was physically and mentally challenging to get through the dance intensive. Not wanting to miss a moment, we used our breaks to review what we were learning.  And our special guest, a Broadway star, punctuated her lessons with praise. At times she would focus on each of us to tell us how we impress her! Our hearts truly leaped when she loved Matthew Habeeb’s dancing and Marlee Diana’s acting and called Eleanor Toomey elegant.  When we left the studio, Lily grabbed my arm, “Mr. Waldman! I’m a changed woman.” We laughed, but there was also a bounce in our steps as we left an electric dance studio and returned to the dreary January day. We shared a rare, special moment. As both a teacher and, that day, also a student, I couldn’t have been more grateful for KO’s amazing theater program. 

Main News

KO and a Cup of Joe – Thursday Mornings throughout the Summer

Join us for a brief information session to learn about the academic and co-curricular offerings at Kingswood Oxford School during the summer: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Roberts Building’s lower lobby. For more information, contact our Admissions Office at (860) 727-5000. What a Difference a Day Makes!