Be warned: this will probably be a pretty long post. Get a snack and something to drink and enjoy 😉
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I had the chance to see two shows of the tour Ballroom with a Twist. While I feel like I was hit by a bus today (details later), it was totally worth it and I had an unexpected takeaway from the show.
If you haven’t heard about the show, it’s basically a variety show featuring a cast of people from three reality shows: Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. While a majority of the cast can be considered “lesser-known”, they are all incredibly talented.
Here’s a “commercial” showing what you could expect:
And right about now is the time when I wish I took more photos to share…
Wednesday night’s show was in St. Petersburg at the Mahaffey Theater. Beautiful theater with the box seats on the side and balcony seating behind. My sister and I had seats in the second row. Yes, second row from the stage! It was so awesome to be that close! Last night’s show I had a seat in the front row. Just as amazing!
The show opened with the whole cast performing a little Cabaret-esque jazz number. After the opening number, Cheryl and Tony came out and did a fun samba routine to “Bailando” from Enrique Iglesias. They came out in the audience and danced a little with some audience members. Tony seemed to be in cheek-kissing and hug-giving rather than dancing. Cheryl had a hard time finding a guy willing to dance with her … really?! Have you seen Cheryl Burke?! There’s no reason why anyone should hesitate on dancing with her! I would’ve danced with her if I had an aisle seat lol!
The rest of the show was kind of a blur. I definitely don’t remember what order everyone came in. Unfortunately, Lacey was injured and couldn’t perform either night. Cheryl and Anna learned the routines she was going to perform so we didn’t miss out on anything 🙂
Anna and Dmitry (or as the cast addressed him, the adorable nickname Dima) danced what I believe was a foxtrot after more group dances. Cheryl and Tony came out later and did a waltz and Dmitry and Anna did a tango.
The group dances and singers in between were fun. LOTS of jive, which was nice because I LOVE jive and just watching their feet! Tony danced with all the “kids” to Pharrell’s “Come Get It Bae”. One of my favorite routines. Randi Lynn Stron, Jonathan Platero and Legacy performed an amazing contemporary piece while Gina Glocksen sang “Gravity”. There was a part towards the end that it literally breath-taking.
Another routine I really enjoyed was one where the cast seamlessly went from samba to tango to paso doble to rumba (not that order). It was really neat to see and I’m kind of proud of myself to seeing the changes in dance styles. I also really enjoyed the Latin section that opened with a beautiful rumba, went into cha-cha, then salsa.
I kind of felt bad for the dancers. I don’t know what it is, but people really like to be silent spectators. Cheryl even said at the beginning of the show that they all feed off of the audience’s energy. When the audience cheers during a dance, that won’t mess them up. I literally see them stand a little taller, kick a little harder (in jive lol) and smile a little bigger. I did my best and cheered until my throat hurt and clapped until my palms were sore. It’s really like a sporting event. Dancers are athletes, after all.
Wednesday night’s show I watched for pure enjoyment. While I enjoyed Thursday’s show, I also had a bit more observing that I wanted to do. Is there a better way to become a better dancer than to watch those who are great dancers live and in person?
I noticed that Cheryl and Anna had something that made me watch them more than the other girls in the cast. I didn’t know what it was. So I spent the second show thinking about that.
It’s that sparkle. That sparkle that says to me “I’ve been doing this a while, I know my stuff and I am totally comfortable and love what I do.” I’m not saying that the other ladies in the cast don’t feel or think the same way, and I’m definitely not saying that they’re not good, they are all incredibly talented dancers. I’m saying that I don’t get that feeling from them. I see the same thing from a lot of the guys too. The ones that stand out to me are the ones making eye contact with the people in the audience. They are the ones you want to cheer for at the end of the show.
That is another goal to add to my checklist of “Being the Best Dancer Kisha Can Be” list–dance with that sparkle, connect with the audience, show that I am happy to be there to share what I love. I’ll list those right after “talk about self in third person.” 😉
In conclusion, I would recommend anyone who enjoys either of those shows or dancing in general to check out BWAT. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely see it again!