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the lion king

Dancing Queen

Lion King dance captain Kendra Moore on becoming a lioness, learning to sing, and returning to Alberta.

By Sally MacKinnon

At the age of five, Kendra Moore found her passion—one that has defined her life for more than three decades. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet came to her hometown of Edmonton, and when ballerina Evelyn Hart took the stage, Moore had a moment of pure clarity.

“I remember it exactly,” she says. “I just thought, ‘I want to do that.’”

This summer, Moore will come full circle. She is returning to Alberta not as a prima ballerina, but a dance captain in Broadway Across Canada’s presentation of Disney’s The Lion King. The musical is based on the 1994 hit movie, about a lion cub named Simba and his journey from exile to king of the jungle.

Moore teaches choreography—which has been set since the show’s inception in 1997—to members of the ensemble, the dancers performing behind main characters. She also takes over when a dancer is sick, injured or on vacation. That means at every performance she is backstage, ready to jump in as a gazelle, lioness or piece of the Serengeti.

Moore doesn’t find her duties stressful, even when she has to take over at a moment’s notice; her transformations give her the same serenity she discovered at five-years-old.

“There is something about it, expressing yourself through movement,” she says. “I’m thinking about nothing else. It’s more than just being in the moment.”