Geneseo Alumnus brings Broadway wisdom into Brodie classrooms

Joseph Langworth, visiting dance instructor and Geneseo alumnus '88, journeyed from Broadway back to Brodie this past January to teach at his Alma Mater.

Teaching jazz, tap and musical theatre classes in the School of the Arts, as well as directing two numbers in the Geneseo Dance Ensemble, Langworth's return to campus four months ago has left a lasting impression on students and faculty members alike.

Based in New York City, Langworth has built up quite a reputation for himself. He has worked with top choreographers across the country, performing on Broadway and in several national and European tours. Recently, he had the honor of choreographing "South Pacific" which showed on Broadway.

Entering Geneseo as a speech communication major, Langworth did not intend to pursue dance, but after dance faculty member Jonette Lancos saw Langworth perform the title role in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" as a freshman, Lancos recruited him as a dance minor.

"At that point I had never put on a pair of tights in my life," said Langworth. "I was always a musical theatre guy."

After graduating, Langworth returned home to Westchester to teach at a school for the deaf. He picked up a copy of Backstage (a paper containing theatrical auditions) and decided on a whim to audition for the European tour of "West Side Story." After a successful tryout, Langworth was on the tour and officially in New York's theatre scene.

His next big career move was landing roles in the Broadway production of "A Chorus Line."

"I was 23," said Langworth. "Having a Broadway credit really opened a lot of doors."

Those doors have continued to open as Langworth has solely worked in theatre since. "Stage is what I make my living doing," he said, "because it's always what I've wanted to do."

Langworth said he learned that performing is just as much of an art as a business. He stressed that making connections and talking with people are just as important as having talent. "Treat everyone with a mutual respect," he said. "Relationships you have with people while working can pay off down the road."

His relationship with Geneseo is a prime example. "I'm really grateful to Geneseo, because when I was at school here, I felt really supported and encouraged as a choreographer as well as a dancer," he said.

Langworth said he is highly anticipating the Geneseo Dance Ensemble's upcoming annual performance. He said plans to bring in a jazz and musical theatre-based influence to the show.

"I'm really impressed with the dancers here," said Langworth. "They've really kept up, and challenged me!"