Carlita Victoria is the dance captain for North Carolina Theatre’s long-awaited production of Sister Act, which opens on October 11. She’s also an actor, personal trainer, nutritionist, and mental health advocate. So, as you can imagine, her schedule is pretty packed, but we were lucky enough to score a few minutes with her and ask her five key questions.
If you had to pick just one musical number/dance section from Sister Act that stands out as "outstanding," what would it be and why?
Carlita tells us that her absolute favorite number, at least so far, is “Take Me to Heaven.” She says there are “lots of fun props involved.” Plus, she points out that all the “incredible soloists get to shine.” She describes it as “a marathon number” and “one of the most challenging and rewarding numbers to perform.”
And, bonus question, if she had to pick a second favorite? Carlita is all about “I Could Be That Guy.” In her words, “When you see Nick Rashad Burroughs’ performance, you’ll know why.”
What has been the most enjoyable part of your position for this production?
From what Carlita tells us, everything about being a part of Sister Act has been a blast. She’s having fun learning the “music and the movement,” and she praised Robert Hartwell’s character-evolving choreography, calling it “a vibe.”
She’s also having fun hanging out with the “other nuns and exploring our sisterhood as it develops throughout the show.”
What about the most challenging aspect?
We’re so glad we asked this question because it clued us in to a fun fact about Carlita. She’s not just the dance captain. She also plays a nun. Talk about pulling some serious double duty!
In terms of the choreography, Carlita says, “This is one of the most tricky shows because the movements are deceivingly intricate, and it’s my job to ensure that our movement stays together and continues to tell the story that Robert intended.”
And, when it comes to the Catholic sisterhood, she says, “We’re wearing large, flowy habits for most of the dance numbers, which is a challenge. We have to dance even bigger and make our movements that much more clear.”
What is the best way to describe the choreography?
Carlita lovingly describes Hartwell’s choreo as “fun to watch.” She also says it “tells the story and translates well through lots and lots of fabric.” Going into greater detail, she explains that “his movement is bold, athletic, and will keep audiences engaged. It’s the kind of movement that will make you want to jump in and join us.”
Let’s face it. Judging by that description, we’re already ready to start dancing.
The film on which the story is based does not contain dancing/choreography. What do you think dance adds to the story?
This was probably our favorite question since we’re really curious about the recent film-to-theatre trend (instead of vice-versa). And, honestly, we couldn’t explain it better than Carlita herself. She says:
“I think a lot of audience members may automatically assume we are performing Sister Act 2, which includes a lot of dancing and a different storyline. This show, Sister Act, is the tale of how Deloris arrives at the convent and the sisterhood that gets created by her time there. Including dance in this story adds an unexpected layer, and the nuns expand their worldview, try new things, and welcome people of various backgrounds as a result. I think it's so important that by the end of Sister Act, change has happened on all sides.”
Carlita said it best. Positive change is what it’s all about. If you’re ready to change your view of Sister Act and be reminded of the potential inside of all of us, NCT’s production is where it’s at. Get your tickets stat, and don’t forget to look for Carlita on stage!
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