Karla Puno Garcia is a NYC based performer, choreographer, and educator. She is currently a swing in the Broadway production Hamilton. Originally from Oxon Hill, MD, her first professional gig was at 12 years old 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. She performed works by Kyle Abraham, Dwight Rhoden, and Bridget Moore. She made her Broadway debut in Hot Feet, a dance musical directed by Maurice Hines, then went on to perform in the Broadway revivals of West Side Story, and Gigi; and the national tours of Wicked and The Addam’s Family.
Karla was a top 7 female TV finalist on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance (Season 5). Other credits include touring Australia as a soloist for Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance; VH1 Divas Live; the Comedy Awards, Live at Lincoln Center: Sinatra A Voice for a Century, Radio City, Anna Nicole Opera at BAM, and a principal dancer on NBC’s SMASH (season 2). In 2011, she was named UNIpro Magazine’s Top 30 Filipinos Under 30.
Choreographic credits include the Prospect Theater Company production of 1001 Nights and A Day, ENCORES Off-Center production of GONE MISSING, and Virginia Repertory’s production of IN THE HEIGHTS, which she received the Richmond Theatre Critics Award for Best Choreography. Her short film “The Spot” was selected for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and DC Dance Film Festival (see below). She has choreographed music videos for Mandy Gonzales, The Knocks (featuring Matthew Koma), Gabi, and the UK artist Kindness. Karla was one of six ‘Broadway-bound choreographers’ selected to present at the 2018 DANCEBREAK Showcase.
Karla is inspired by the great Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse and combines her technical foundations with different textures of musical theater, contemporary, and hip-hop. She appreciates the uniqueness of each dancer and encourages students to take ownership of their individuality and overall sense of artistic self.