Robert HartwellMotown the Musical
Robert Hartwell is a proud magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan's prestigious Musical Theatre Program where he garnered the Willis Patterson Diversity Award and graduated with magna cum laude honors. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Robert began his dance training under Kirstie Tice Spadie at the North Carolina Dance Institute. He received his high school diploma studying at the North Carolina School of the Arts: School of Dance. Robert cut his teeth on the national and international tours of DREAMGIRLS, which premiered at the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. After the tour he made his Broadway debut in MEMPHIS the Musical as Wailin' Joe and understudied all 3 male principal roles: Gator, Delray, and Bobby. He then joined Matthew Broderick in Kathleen Marshall's NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT where he earned a nomination for the Fred Astaire Award for Best Male Dancer in a Broadway Show. In 2012 Robert joined the original Broadway cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA. He can currently be seen on the first national tour of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL.
Robert was the featured in DANCE MAGAZINE's July 2012 article, "He's Got Rhythm: Nice Work's high flying Robert Hartwell" by Sylviane Gold. He has trained at the Hungarian National Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Stage Door Manor all on scholarship. He has also worked regionally at the Music Theatre of Wichita, The Hangar Theatre, and the Fulton Opera House. TV Appearances include The Tony Awards Live Telecast (2011, 2012, 2013), THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman (2012, 2013), and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2011, 2012). Robert was also the face of the Starbucks Coffee national print campaign for the debut of their Blonde Roast Coffee. Some of his favorite roles include: RENT (Angel), PARADE (Jim Conley), and HAIRSPRAY (Seaweed J. Stubbs).
Robert has taught hundreds of master classes and is frequently invited back to his Alma Matter to coach and choreograph. With a teaching philosophy that dance is the highest level of communication on the planet Robert aims to bring out the joy and uniqueness in each student that he teaches.
Thayne was a fantastic teacher! He challenged our students while still helping them feel successful. He is not only an amazing performer, but a great teacher as well! The skill and knowledge he brought to our students was invaluable.” - M. Hinson
Chaz was awesome! The dancers enjoyed his class, loved watching him perform on stage and meeting after the show.” - S. Opfermann