"So You Think You Can Dance" Winner Ricky Ubeda's Broadway Debut

March 11, 2015

Winning $250,000 may be nice, but a Broadway debut is, well, priceless. As part of his prize for winning Season 11 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Ricky Ubeda landed an ensemble spot in the hit Broadway show On The Town from February 27 to April 26. Fresh off the whirlwind “SYTYCD tour,” the 19-year-old is not only new to Broadway, but musical theater. I caught up with him this week to see how he’s handling the pressure.


How does it feel to make your Broadway debut?

Pretty surreal. I never thought being on Broadway is something that would happen this soon in my life. 


How long did you have to rehearse?

Just three days! I learned all the material from the dance captains, and then we had a put-in rehearsal with the entire company, but I didn’t do the full show in order until my first performance. So it was a little bit stressful! Luckily, everyone was helping me. 


What’s the acting and singing been like?

I never formally trained in either, and unfortunately I didn’t have time to prepare because I was on tour with “SYTYCD.” But I’m learning a lot from all my castmates and doing the show every single night. 


How does being on Broadway compare to “SYTYCD”?

On “So You Think You Can Dance,” at the end of the day, someone was going home every week. It was a lot higher stakes because you could lose the experience in a blink of an eye. Here, we’re all part of same team with the same objective to entertain and put on a great show. 


Did “SYTYCD” teach you anything that’s helped you with this experience?

How to learn choreography quickly! And performing for large audiences helped me to be comfortable performing on the stage here. 


What’s the most challenging part?

Being around so many talented people. But it’s also the best thing. I’m one of the only people in the cast who hasn’t trained in musical theater, and these people are such great examples to be learning from. I don’t feel like an outsider, but I am.


Would you do another Broadway show?

Absolutely. It’s a lot of work doing eight shows a week. But it’s also the funnest thing ever. I come home every night so happy and glowing. It’s like, ‘Wow, I just “worked.” ’