insightful in-depth reviews

27, Jan 2017
Dancing stars Val & Laurie

Dancing with the stars, in person

by Corey Cohen
for The Cultural Critic

Dancing With the Stars on tour, Upper Darby, PA, January 2017

Dancing With The Stars may be off TV, between seasons, but the choreography hasn’t stopped. Ten of the most talented ballroom dancers on the planet are travelling America in the Dancing With The Stars Live: We Came To Dance tour. They’re also bringing with them DWTS champion and Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez.

Together, these eleven provide one of the most entertaining and talent-filled night out you could imagine.

Hernandez, you will recall, is the diminutive 16-year-old gymnast who charmed viewers with her Olympic appearances, then went on to earn first place among this season’s celebrity guests on Dancing With the Stars.

It helps to be a fan of the ABC television show, but you don’t need to know any of these dancers to enjoy their spectacular ability. They start off the show by giving us a brief backstory on each one of them followed by a dance that highlights each individual’s talents and path to success. Later we see segments involving demonstrating different genres of dance, highlight performances from this past season, and their favorite Broadway and film choreography of all time. It flows to make for a smooth andenjoyable night.

It was a real joy to see fan favorites Val Chmerkovskiy, Sharna Burgess and Lindsay Arnold show off their mesmerizing moves in person; the screams and cheers for them from the audience were deafening. However as great as the stars were in person, their lesser known counterparts were equally stellar. Newcomers to the screen Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe and Hayley Erbert demanded attention with the incredible stage presence and ability they have. On top of all this was Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez serving as part-MC/part-featured dancer and she handled in brilliantly. Her infectious smile and laughter warmed up the room and her dances (including some that helped her win the Mirror Ball Trophy) impressed. Hernandez is a true dynamic star in the making.

Dancing With The Stars Live was only in the Philadelphia area for one night, but the show will continue to tour for about another month followed by a brand new season of the show in the spring. For diehard fans of the program, it may be hard to wait that long. But rest assured, in the interim they’ve offered a night of uplifting and mesmerizing dance.