5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Kaleigh is excited to be making her national touring debut with Dirty Dancing! She will be playing Frances “Baby” Houseman. As a life-long dancer and music lover, she is excited for her two worlds to collide with Dirty Dancing.
SD: What do you enjoy most about theater performance in general?
KC: I love the fact that it is live. I love the different reactions you get from the audience as they are watching the show. That really makes every performance different. You may be playing the same character over and over, but you can still grow the character and push boundaries.
SD: Were you a fan of the original 1987 film?
KC: For sure! I have been a dancer my entire life and I love music. It really ties together everything that I love and makes this the perfect show to be part of.
SD: What do you feel the stage version offers which the film version does not?
KC: We have the same writers of the film, so the stage version stays true to the film. The writers have added some new scenes about the characters and their backstory. The fact that we are bringing it to life is amazing. You also get to see how the characters interact with each other. The movie gives you a very limited view of their interaction and how their stories play out.
SD: How did you prepare for the role of Baby?
KC: I watched the move quite a few times. Even though we stay true to the original story there was still a great opportunity to take Baby’s personality and make it mine. Since I grew up dancing, I had to learn how to be a bad dancer. Even though it was great journey, I had many struggles and frustrations doing the opposite. It really when against my nature, but a welcomed challenge.
SD: It must be terrifying to recreate the iconic lift?
KC: For me, it wasn’t too scary. As a ballerina, I have performed that at times. The lift is very close to an Angel lift. It does help that Aaron Craven (Johnny) is ridiculously strong. The first time we perform the lift was in our first audition. It is one of the most beautiful moments in the show.