Karla Garcia is a NYC based dancer, choreographer, and educator. Originally from Oxon Hill, MD, her first professional gig was at 12 years old when she performed with Debbie Allen and James Ingram in Allen's Kennedy Center production of Brothers of the Knight. She got the bug and moved to the Big Apple!
Karla attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts on scholarship, completing a BFA in dance and a minor in journalism. At NYU, she performed works by Kyle Abraham, Dwight Rhoden, and Bridget Moore. At just 20 years old, she made her Broadway debut in HOT FEET, a dance musical directed by Maurice Hines. She went on to perform in the Broadway revivals of WEST SIDE STORY and GIGI; and the National Tours of WICKED and ADDAMS FAMILY. She was a top 7 female TV finalist on FOX’s SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Season 5, and she was a member of the Washington DC-based hip hop crew Boogie Bots, as seen on MTV’s ABDC. Other credits include touring Australia as a soloist for Rasta Thomas’ BAD BOYS OF DANCE; VH1 Divas Live; the Comedy Awards, and Radio City. Karla was also a principal dancer for 9 episodes of NBC’s SMASH season 2. In 2011, Karla was named UNIpro Magazine’s “Top 30 Filipinos Under 30,” with Bruno Mars and Cheryl Burke.
As a choreographer, Karla combines her technical foundation in modern, jazz, and ballet with different textures of musical theatre, contemporary, and hip hop. Inspired by the greats Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, she emphasizes the value of strength, musicality, and honesty in a performance. Karla's work has been performed at BC Beat, Jared Grimes' Broadway Underground, Capitol Movement, the 2nd Annual Blake Whyte Music Festival at Alvin Ailey, and Dancin' Downtown at the Joyce Theater, where her piece 'Ai Du' was selected as a finalist. She has choreographed music videos for artists GABI and KINDNESS. Kindness' single "This is Not About Us," received rave reviews and her choreography was praised as 'infectious' by chartattack.com.
As an educator, Karla teaches all around the country at studios, intensives, and conventions. She is an adjudicator for numerous dance competitions including Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, Dancers Inc., and more. Karla appreciates the uniqueness of each dancer. In class, she encourages students to take ownership of this individuality, building technical strength, musicality, and overall sense of artistic self.