Meet Richard Smith: Destined to Dance
By Teresa Bagwell
Richard Smith realized his calling to musical theatre on board a Royal Caribbean ship. After his freshman year at KSU, he landed a six-month contract with the cruise line as part of their dance production team. On board for back-to-back seven-day trips, the dancers performed two shows per night, three nights per week. Despite the rigorous schedule, he loved every minute of it.
Upon his return to KSU, Smith changed his major to theatre and performance studies with a dance minor. Since then, he’s experienced all aspects of theatre. Besides being part of the dance ensemble in “King of Hearts” last year, he ran the props for “Urinetown,” and is an employee in the box office. For a while, he worked for Music King Production Company, which specializes in corporate gig entertainment in Atlanta. In addition, Smith is a member of the KSU Dance Company and takes voice lessons to sharpen his “triple threat” advantage.
Smith is excited to be in the KSU theatre program. “The department is intimate—the professors are easy to talk to. And I enjoy the type of shows we do: I like edgy rather than safe. We don’t do the norm.” Even though Smith has been trained in the traditional genres of dance since he was three, he enjoys “trying new things…lyrical, modern, hip-hop, freestyle. College is the time to explore…to see what’s right for you.”
An enthusiastic ambassador for the KSU dance program, Smith participates in campus outreach performances like the recent French Club Gala. “Everyone should take a dance class. Even if you’re a business major. Just walking across the room at an interview, you’ve got to exude confidence. Dance helps with that.”
After graduation, Smith plans to move to New York and hopes to work on Broadway someday. But for now, he’s doing plenty of musical theatre right here in Atlanta. Be sure to catch the dance company’s performance in February 2007. Smith refused to spoil the production surprise, but did say that the latest dance number, “A Dream Discarded,” is something totally new and not to be missed!