What a fun new interview with Dancing With The Stars Tristan MacManus. He and Kym Johnson are out there dancing up a storm in the current run of Ballroom With A Twist. He took time out to talk about it with News Press Now. He puts it all into perspective just perfectly for what this show is about. I can’t rave on it enough. Our schedule has recently been updated. Be sure to see this link for dates and ticket information, etc. Be sure you are following Ballroom With A Twist Facebook too. Things are heating up for the summer season as Gleb Savchenko told us too last week.
“I assumed that I’d come in and do a little bit of dancing, but as it turns out, we host the show,” MacManus says with a laugh.
MacManus quickly became an audience favorite and a great co-host. The friendly Irishman frequently gets the crowd involved, and he really lets them open up during revamped Q&A sessions.
“Over time, I’ve kind of gone a bit rogue with it,” MacManus laughs. “It used to be scripted out what we’d ask each other, and we’d tell them what we’d assume they’d want to know. Now, the audience can shout out any question they want to know the answer to. I find it more fun that way and people seem to appreciate the interaction more.”
As far as dancing is concerned, MacManus is quick to glaze over his portions of the show and pour praise on its other acts. In addition to performances by MacManus and Johnson, “Ballroom With a Twist” features numbers by Jonathan “Legacy” Perez, Randi Lynn Strong and Jonathan Platero of “So You Think You Can Dance” set to vocal performances by former “American Idol” contestants Gina Glocksen and Von Smith.
One of the greatest crowd-pleasers of the evening, MacManus says, is a scintillating contemporary dance routine by the “So You Think You Can Dance” trio set to Glocksen’s rendition of “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. He adds that the Missouri Theater audience shouldn’t blink when Perez showcases his impressive B-boy stylings.
“He spins on his head an awful lot,” MacManus says.
The professional squad runs the gamut of dance styles throughout the night, dabbling in the samba, the rumba, the waltz, the foxtrot, the quickstep, the jive and even a little bit of fusion. While the smaller routines are choreographed by the dancers themselves, MacManus says van Amstel’s signature touches can be seen throughout the large group numbers.
“There’s very ‘Louie’ numbers in there,” he says. “You can see a lot of Louie-esque movements. He loves very intricate choreography and a lot of really fast, double-time stuff, and you can see that influence in the show.”
“Sometimes, people assume that Kym and I are really good because we’re on the TV show, but the chorus numbers are great,” he adds. “I think people will really enjoy them and be surprised by them.”
While “Ballroom With a Twist” consistently brings in fans of “Dancing With the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol,” MacManus says the TV shows just don’t compare with the intimacy of the theater. On May 1, the audience will get an up-close glimpse at the talent, the athleticism and the colorful spectacle that makes those primetime programs a hit.
“Once you see the live show,” he says, “you’ll appreciate singing or dancing more than you’ll appreciate the TV shows.”