Thank you for your interest in John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts. Below I have written much of what made me the person and teacher I am today. Experience is important and I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of my students.
My performing career began before I actually took any formal training. At the age of sixteen I traveled throughout the United States singing and dancing for the Miss Teen World Pageant. This opportunity took me to NYC seeing Broadway shows, meeting stars, and performing at the after party for the world premiere of the movie, "Six Weeks," starring Dudley Moore and Mary Tyler Moore. In the audience that evening was Barbra Streisand. I sang and danced for her and many other famous people that evening. The song I performed was called "Life Is a Celebration." I was living in a dream world. This same trip to NYC, I saw the Broadway musical, "CATS." I remember sitting in the second row, dreaming and hoping to be in that show one day. I went back to my home in Kansas City and began formal dance and vocal training. I continued performing throughout Kansas City for the next few years, having the opportunity to work with legendary Broadway composer, John Kander, in the musical, "The Happy Time." I toured with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for many months, dancing in a number of Operettas and Musicals. I finished High School and went to college at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, as a dance major. On a trip to NYC that winter I auditioned and was offered a job at "Opryland USA" in Nashville, TN. I left college early and went to Nashville. While in Nashville I was cast as a dancer for The Country Music Awards, Tennessee Ernie Ford's America, and the Gary Collin's Christmas special. In the winter of 1985 I traveled to Europe with a group of performers from Opryland. We performed at the American Embassy in Paris, and throughout Germany, France, and Switzerland. Later that year I auditioned and was accepted into the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as a dance and theatre major. After a few semesters I decided to leave school and pursue my professional career in the performing arts. I performed as a dancer at Walt Disney World in Orlando and as a lead singer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Finally, in 1988, I had the opportunity to fulfill my dream of performing in the Broadway musical, "CATS." I spent one year on tour and three years on Broadway. After three years in "CATS" I was cast in a new Broadway Revival of "My Fair Lady," starring Richard Chamberlain. The experience of working with Richard was a true lesson in humility, dedication, and professionalism. We toured the U.S for eight months before going to Broadway for another eight months. After the show closed, I traveled to Africa and the Philippines with an original musical called "Upside Down."
In 1996 I was cast in the Broadway tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamCoat," playing the role of youngest brother, Benjamin. We toured the country for one year before the show closed. This experience was one of the best of my life and it was hard to see it end. In 1997 I was cast in the Broadway tour of "ShowBoat," starring Tom Bosley. I had the privilege to work with legendary director and producer Hal Prince and Tony Award winning choreographer and director, Susan Stroman. I understudied and later performed the role of Frank Shultz alongside Tom Bosley. This was a huge opportunity and a very frightening one as well. In 1998 I returned to “CATS” on Broadway, performing the role of "Tumblebrutus," and also had the unique experience of working on Saturday Night Live, and the Rosie O’Donnell Show on two separate occasions. In 1999 I made a huge life change, and moved to Orlando, Florida to begin a career as a director and choreographer. My first experience came with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, winning the Weekly Planet's "Best of the Bay" Award for best choreographer for the original musical, "Swing, Swing, Swing." I continued choreographing and directing shows at the Jaeb Theatre in Tampa until 2002 when I became Artistic Director for The Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson, FL, writing, casting, directing, choreographing, as well as performing in numerous shows. My greatest achievement in life came In 2004 when I became the proud owner of John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts. Now I hope to bring all these experiences and lessons to my students. My goal as a teacher is not to make Broadway performers, but to give my students the tools to use in whatever profession they choose. I believe in passion, dedication, commitment, professionalism, and above all, respect, qualities that will help them in whatever field of work they choose. Thank you for your trust in me.