Tonight I had the unique opportunity to attend the first stop of the DWTS Live Tour. A lot of the details for who’s involved in the tour and the fact that Mark Ballas would be singing and playing his guitar along with Val playing the violin have already been talked about, so I won’t go into too much detail on that for now. Plus, this post will be a high level look at the show. Hopefully later I’ll have more time to post a full write up on the show. Not to mention, I’ve got a whole slew of great pictures from my good camera that I’ll upload in the future.
For now, I’ll share a few pictures and my general thoughts of the event. I thought the show was fantastic. The dances were awesome and Alfonso brought a great energy as the host. The transitions between dances, musical numbers, etc, could use some work (it was the first show) and by the end of the show I felt that Alfonso probably talked a bit too much, but the show was still incredibly entertaining with a light touch of a few dances from the show and an awesome mix of new dances.
That was my biggest complaint with the last DWTS tour. In the past tour, they had a lot of stars dancing and they mostly did routines from the show. To me that was really disappointing. I really just wanted to see the pros dance and I didn’t care to see routines from the show that I could watch all I want on YouTube. So, I think they really nailed the mix on this tour of almost all new routines and Alfonso only doing 3 routines (and 1 was incredibly short, but sweet). You had to know they’d also bring the Mandy Moore routine with all the DWTS ladies as well (see picture below).
As I mentioned, the transitions needed some help. I imagine they’ll get better as the tour progresses, but I think it also suffered from not having someone like Tabitha and Napoleon (They did the Move tour) who are the experts at transitions between routines. This wasn’t a huge problem though since the dancing and other performances were so good.
I do think they did a great job putting together an interesting stage. I’m always torn between the small stage that features the dancers so well, but limits some of the dances that require extra space and a huge ballroom that requires a huge mass of dancers to really play well. However, I’m definitely falling in love with the smaller stage even if it limits some of the dance possibilities. The setup has two stairways that they can put on either side or link together in the middle in a kind of grand staircase look. It definitely adds some depth to the show, but I wonder if the dancers would be able to do more with a staircase that was half as high. You’d still have the multiple levels, but would have more room on the floor to dance. Here’s a picture of the setup:
The show did a really great job featuring the non DWTS dancers and many of the less famous DWTS pros as well. Emma was the highlight of the show for me for the ladies. She had a number of extraordinary numbers. Plus, she was as kind and sweet as she is on TV. However, Witney wins the award for most amazing costumes. She was definitely a star as well. Kym was a pretty big disappointment for me. I don’t think it was her fault, but for some reason she was given all the “sexy” numbers. It was like she was a playboy bunny with way too much prancing and not nearly enough dancing. It’s too bad since she’s such an extraordinary dancer. I wish they’d have given her some better choreography.
For the men, Mark and Val were definitely the most featured dancers. I think they gave the audience exactly what you’d expect from both of them. Whichever one you prefer, you won’t be disappointed and will likely see them as the star of the show. However, Sasha got a ton of featured dances as well. Paul was also a nice addition, especially for the contemporary dances.
The tour includes a number of group numbers and individual couple dances as you’d expect. However, a somewhat unexpected part was a Q&A session with the DWTS Pros (Mark, Val, Sasha, Keo, Emma, Witney, and Kym). Alfonso asked the questions and he brought it pretty strong for some of the questions. A few interesting insights (although, nothing too spectacular for hard core fans), but Alfonso brought up the showmance topic with Val and there was a pretty interesting reaction. Val was kind of tap dancing around the answer when Alfonso started to go to the next question. Val, literally stood up and said “He** no.” and then offered a more detailed answer. When he did that, someone from the audience yelled out about showmances for votes. Val addressed it head on and said that he didn’t fake a romance with his partner to get votes because he respected his relationship with his star, the show, and the dances. I’m sure that the Val lovers will see it as a sincere answer and the Val haters will see it as insincere.
One other question they asked was which of Mark Ballas’ partners was his favorite. He commented that he’d had 15 (amazing to think how many seasons he’s been on the show). Then, Mark said that Sadie, Kristi, Shawn and Chelsea were probably his 4 boos. However, in an incredibly hilarious moment, Alfonso then asked Keo which partner was his favorite. Luckily, the attendees seem very well versed in DWTS, so they got the humor of the moment.
Ok…one other question they asked. Sasha was asked his favorite moments on the show. He said being with Snooki, but then talked about all of the things he’s been on the show as part of the troupe. Then, Alfonso asked him, “What about the kiss with Derek Hough? That wasn’t your favorite?” Sasha hilariously responded, “It was simultaneously my favorite and least favorite moment on the show.” Oh yes, Val also comment on how his package appeared on the show (I really hope someone got a video of this moment). It was hilarious. As you can see, we really need DWTS fans at every tour stop to report on at least the Q&A at every DWTS Live tour stop.
I’d been told the show was 1.5 hours, but it went a full 2 hours with a short intermission. There are so many more details to share, but hopefully this gives you a small taste of the DWTS Live tour. I had a thoroughly great time at the show and I’m sure DWTS fans everywhere will enjoy it. It’s a great mix of music, dancing, and commentary.
I’ll do my best to post more details in a future post together with some amazing pictures. However, I grabbed this short clip of the final dance to give you a bit of a feel for the show. I’m really glad I was able to attend the first show. Now I’ll have to see if I can get tickets to the Las Vegas show so I can see how it improves between now and then. Maybe in Vegas I can even score some interviews with the dancers as well (no luck this time).