The first thing that strikes me sitting down with Marla is that she doesn't take herself too seriously. Looking back on each step of her career so far with disarming candor, she recalls that dance studios were a great alternative to the scalding plastic slides of Miami summer, that Juilliard was tough sometimes and she just wanted to have fun, that she initially resisted the daily slog of mastering a choreographer's specificity and that a spontaneous hunger for more information (not to mention love) was what took her to Europe. What remains constant in this story is real adoration for dancing. From quickly shot audition tapes to a breathtaking Broadway debut, Marla Phelan is riding the wave, staying present and not stopping anytime soon. 

You know, when you say you’re a dancer people think that that’s this glamorous, really cool thing and you see music videos and those dancers are SO COOL — but we’re really nerdy. We’re really, really nerdy. And artists — you think “oh my god, that creative artist that gets to like, live in the studio and paint, how cool are they...” no, it’s really nerdy. It’s obsessive. We’re perfectionists and it needs to be exactly right.
— Marla Phelan


Marla Phelan is a NYC  based dancer and choreographer and a graduate of The Juilliard School Dance BFA, 2009. Originally from Miami Beach, FL, Phelan has toured the world with Hofesh Shechter Company, Aszure Barton and Artists, and performed the works of Ohad Naharin, Mark Morris, and Lar Lubovitch.

In 2011, Marla joined acclaimed Immersive Theater company Punchdrunk, playing lead roles such as Lady Macbeth in the off-Broadway production of Sleep No More and Wendy in the London production of The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable. 

Phelan has be seen in music video Night by Night by Chromeo, dancing weekly on Italy’s TV show Amici and in short film Flow, featuring her own choreography. 

In 2015 Phelan worked on the movement development lab for Fiddler on the Roof Broadway and went on to make her Broadway debut as an original cast member (U/S: Shprintze, Bielke) and as the company’s Dance Captain for this Tony Award nominated production. 

In addition to being a featured dancer, Phelan assisted Hofesh Shechter and Bartlett Sher in the choreographic arrangements for performances at The 89th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The 70th Tony Awards, The Late Show, and company video teasers and photoshoots. 

Marla’s choreography is featured in Stuart Weitzman’s latest global print and online campaign and most recently in Mazda’s CRX commercial campaign, due to release in 2017.  Marla is deeply interested in movement as a raw communicator and creating dance on stage and for camera.  The physicality of her work draws on the functionality of the body as an animal and the spirit of being human.  Her career is a testament to her ability to perform and create an array of styles and techniques, it is a skill she prides herself on.