back to news Aug. 1, 2012

Undergraduate Dance Student on Broadway

A.J. Blankenship, an undergraduate dance major and former Ohio State cheerleader, has taken his talents to Broadway this summer for the 12-week limited run of Bring It On: The Musical.

After years of extensive training in both dance and gymnastics, Blankenship came across this opportunity only five days before auditions started.

“I thought it would be a great experience to practice the art of auditioning so I jumped at the chance,” said Blankenship. He spent four long days in New York City singing, dancing, and reading scripts for one of the most prestigious creative teams in the business, including Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.

Blankenship will play a supporting role in Bring It On: The Musical, which is inspired by the Bring It On film and tells the story of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through extreme cheerleading competition.

Blankenship credits much of his success to the training he received in the Department of Dance. Originally a business major and dance minor, Blankenship switched his major after taking a dance class. “Taking a class from the amazing instructors in the department quickly inspired me to join for the major,” he said.

While all of his professors were extremely supportive of his audition and were quick to help him prepare, one in particular encouraged him to take a chance. Meghan Durham-Wall, visiting assistant professor, gave Blankenship the confidence to audition. “She really believed in me,” said Blankenship, who was in her class when he got the call saying he got the job.

Although Blankenship will not return to Ohio State in the fall, as Bring It On: The Musical runs until October 7, he promises to watch every single Buckeye football game.

By Marissa Pacheco, editorial intern at ASC Communications