Karla most recently choreographed Hamilton’s 2016 Gypsy of the Year piece, which won top honors that night for Best Presentation (see below)! Karla combines her technical foundation in modern, jazz, and ballet with different textures of musical theatre, contemporary, and hip hop. Inspired by the greats Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, she emphasizes the value of strength, musicality, storytelling, and honesty in a performance. Karla has choreographed music videos for artists THE KNOCKS (featuring Matthew Koma), GABI, and KINDNESS. Her choreography for KINDNESS received rave reviews and was praised as “infectious” by chartattack.com. Her work has also been performed at the NY Jazz Choreography Project, BC Beat, Jared Grimes’ Broadway Underground, Capitol Movement, the 2nd Annual Blake Whyte Music Festival, and Dancin’ Downtown at the Joyce Theater, where her piece “Ai Du” was selected as a finalist. Her conceptual video “The Backroom” was featured on Danceplug.com and Broadwayworld.com. Summer 2017, Karla is set to choreograph a production of “In the Heights” at Virginia Repertory Theatre in Richmond.
Karla is currently in the Broadway cast of HAMILTON.
Originally from Oxon Hill, MD, Karla danced competitively for 15 years under the tutelage of Fran Peters. Her first professional gig was at 12 years old, when she performed with Debbie Allen and James Ingram in the Kennedy Center production “Brothers of the Knight.” She got the bug and dreamed of NYC!
Karla attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts on a $75,000 scholarship, completing a BFA in dance and a minor in journalism. At NYU, she performed works by Kyle Abraham, Dwight Rhoden, and Bridget Moore. At age 20, she made her Broadway debut in HOT FEET, a dance musical directed by Maurice Hines. She went on to perform in the National Tours of WICKED and ADDAMS FAMILY; and the Broadway revivals of WEST SIDE STORY and GIGI.
Karla was a top 7 female TV finalist on FOX’s SYTYCD Season 5. Other credits include Rasta Thomas’ BAD BOYS OF DANCE; VH1 Divas Live; Anna Nicole Opera at BAM; the Comedy Awards, PBS’s Sinatra Live at Lincoln Center, and the Radio City Show. Karla was also a principal dancer for 9 episodes of NBC’s SMASH season 2. In 2011, Karla was named UNIpro Magazine’s “Top 30 Filipinos Under 30.”