Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dancing With The Stars Live - 1/31/15

In my last post I mentioned that So You Think You Can Dance is my favorite TV show.  Well, coming in a close second is Dancing With The Stars.  Can you see a theme here?  Yep, I love dancing reality shows!  I love live dancing too so naturally when I heard the DWTS Live Tour was coming to town I really wanted to go.

I saw the tour several years ago when it came to Tulsa at BOK Center and had several of the celebrity dancers including NSync’s Lance Bass.  It was so good!  Then exactly one year ago I saw a group of pro dancers from DWTS who did a show at The Joint at Hard Rock Casino.  That was a much more scaled-down version and to be honest it wasn't so great.  Now, the dancing was phenomenal but the show seemed as though it was just thrown together at the last minute. 

For that show I had 5th row seats and for the finale they pulled up audience members to come dance on stage.  Well, you know Renee and I did our best to get up there…..and we did!  We didn't get the chance to dance with the pros but it was fun being up on the stage.   But man would I have loved to dance with them!

We had to exit the stage through the back so I took the chance to grab my favorite dancer on the show, Sasha Farber, for a pic.  I also had a chance to talk to Emma Slater and Mark Ballas and get a pic with Chelsea Hightower and let them all know just how amazing I think they are.

I took some ballroom dancing lessons a couple years ago with my hubby.  I absolutely loved it!  But with my kids at such a small age it was just too hard to keep it up.  I’m pretty sure when they are out of the house I may give it a go again.

DWTS Live Tour announced they were coming to Brady Theater in Tulsa a couple months ago.  Alfonso Ribeiro, the winner of this last season, was joining the pros on the tour.  And to top it off, Sasha Farber and Emma Slater were 2 of the pros along with Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Kim Johnson, and one of my favorite dancers from SYTYCD - Paul Karmiryan.  Who, by the way, I saw this last summer in MOVE Live On Tour with Julianne and Derek Hough.  We waited outside for 1.5 hours to get these pictures after that show!

So, not realizing that the show would sell out so quickly, I missed out on buying tickets.  But that wasn't going to stop me from finding some!  I checked the website for tickets for about 2 months.  The week of the show it was time to get serious.  I WAS going to get tickets! 

Monday of that week I logged on to the Brady Theater website and in the top corner it said there were obstructed view seats available and to call the box office.  So I did.  The lady said it was sold out.  I mentioned that the site said obstructed view were available.  So she checked and there were some way in the back on the floor.  Not the greatest seats but I really wanted to go so I was willing to get them.  I called up my friend Karrie and she said yes to the tickets. 

I waited too long that day to call back so it was Tuesday when I called to get the tickets.  They were gone.  I used the “your site says there are obstructed view seats” line and she still said it was sold out.  She said she would have them change the website so the obstructed view line was gone.  I was devastated.  My one chance to get tickets to the sold out show and I blew it. 

My experience is that the week of the show, the venue may release a few seats that were “held” for certain people but don’t get taken.  The lady on the phone the day before had told me that they did not hold back any seats.  I just had a feeling I shouldn't believe her.  So, a couple hours later I logged on to see if they had taken off the obstructed view part and instead there was a big red button “BUY TICKETS”.  I freaked out!  I quickly clicked on the button and sure enough there were 4 seats - front row, balcony, dead center.  Amazing seats!!!!  I texted Karrie and she was freaking out too!  Buy buy buy!  Let me tell you, persistence pays off!

So the day of the show, I was so excited to go I was ready early.  That never happens!  I was actually sitting around waiting to go.  I think I may like cutting it close better.  I don’t like the anticipation.  LOL We got to our seats and saw that one of my son’s classmates was sitting right next to us.  Her mom had seen my post on Facebook and got the other 2 seats that came available that day.  Yay!  I helped them get tickets and didn't even know it.

It started with Alfonso and Witney doing their dance from the show that included “The Carlton” move.  That was the perfect way to start the show.  I think everyone, including me, who watched the TV show this season wanted to see him do “The Carlton” from Fresh Prince of Bel Air as soon as they knew he was going to be on.  They did not disappoint.  The crowd went wild as soon as that part came up.  So fun to watch!


The show was a great mixture of dancing, interviews and music.  Alfonso hosted the show and he did a few dances.  He was very funny.  He and Witney were a great comedy duo.  He interviewed some of the pros during the night and there were times when some of the pros came out and just talked to us about their experiences on the show.  They brought them all out together at one point and did a question and answer session.

Another portion of the show was Mark Ballas and Dylan Chambers playing some songs on guitar.  They were great!  You could tell they had a passion for that.  After they played, Val Chmirkovsy played the violin. They did it again in the second half and Val and Mark had a dance off.  The crowd loved it. It was a great addition to the show.

My favorite dance of the show was one-time real life couple Emma Slater and Sasha Farber.  I’m sure I am a little biased about it being my favorite because Sasha is my favorite pro, but it was hot, hot, hot!  I love to watch the 2 of them dance together.  He has really quick feet and she is just stunning to watch. Here is a link to the dance I found on YouTube.

Bucket list item: take a dance lesson from Sasha Farber!

Overall, this was an amazing show and I think everyone in the audience loved it.  I would have liked to have seen a little more dancing but I think it was well balanced to keep the crowd involved and interested all night long.  I hope that Dancing With The Stars stays on the air for many more years to come and I will be watching and wishing I could be on it with every episode!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Holy Cow.....That's Nick!!!


I am really speechless when it comes to writing about see Shaping Sound but I will do my best to put into words how I felt about it.  What is Shaping Sound?  Well, only the most amazing dance company ever!  If you are familiar with my favorite show So You Think You Can Dance then you are familiar with the amazing Travis Wall.  Travis was runner-up on Season 2 of SYTYCD and has since been nominated for Emmy awards for his choreography.  He, Season 1 SYTYCD winner Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson formed Shaping Sound together.

I am an avid fan of So You Think You Can Dance and have never missed an episode since it started in 2005.  I am not a dancer but I wish I was.  I teach Zumba© Fitness classes so that’s the closest to dancing I get.  Oh wait; I did take some ballet and jazz classes when I was 25.  I even performed in a recital.  Go me!   But anyway, I love dancing so it is very natural that my favorite show would be all about dance. 

I also am a reality show junkie so when I saw that Travis Wall would be starring in a reality show a couple years ago I was so excited.  All The Right Moves was on Oxygen and thank goodness I still had cable then.  Loved the show!  Got to know all about Travis, Nick, Teddy and Kyle and how Shaping Sound was born.  But then…..nothing.  It was like it just disappeared, at least for me being in the middle of the country anyway. 

But a couple months ago, I was looking at the schedule for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and what did I see?  Shaping Sound was coming to Tulsa!  I literally jumped up and down!  They did really keep the company going and it wasn't just a pretend thing for a reality show.  I have to go!!!!

You should all know by now how much I love contests.  This event was no different.  Our local newspaper’s entertainment section – Tulsa World Scene – ran a Facebook contest to win tickets and a meet and greet with Travis Wall.  You better believe I was in!  All you had to do was do a short video of why you want to meet Travis.  Well that’s easy….because he’s amazing!  So I entered the video and waited a couple days.  I kept checking back to see how many people had entered.  Only 3 videos, but one was a 6 year old little girl.  Crap!  I can’t compete with cuteness like that!  But they ended up giving all 3 of us tickets.  Thank you Tulsa World!

So Renee went with me that night.  She was a dancer, teaches Zumba, and is also a big fan of SYTYCD and Travis Wall.  Our seats were amazing – orchestra level, dead center about half way back in the theater.  She wasn't familiar with the show All The Right Moves but did know who Nick was from SYTYCD.  I filled her in a little about it and then the show started.

This is where I become speechless!  There are a lot of words to describe this performance but really only one word truly described my experience – MESMERIZING!  I literally caught myself not breathing with my mouth hanging open just motionless as I was drawn into the story.  I’m even shaking a bit as I I’m writing this and remembering how incredible it was.

I’m not going to try to tell you the whole story but what I can tell you is that it was absolutely clear what they were trying to say yet not a single word was uttered.  Over all it was a love story that had soft moments, intense moments, fun and upbeat moments and you rode that roller coaster up and down every hill and around every curve as if you were experiencing it all yourself.  I distinctly remember one part where the main couple was fighting and I felt that tension through my whole body.  I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen. 

I have been to a lot of shows in my life and there is always a part of the show that is kind of a lull; parts where you get a little bored and are ready for it to move on to the next part.  I can honestly say that in this show that never happened!  It kept your attention the entire time and you never wanted to look away because you didn't want to miss anything.

My favorite number was when the men came out and danced to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.  It was clearly an audience favorite too as the crowd whooped and hollered as they danced.  The lighting was perfect and followed the beats of the song at times.  It was strong yet comical at times.  Just a whole combination of talent in the strength of the dancing and the choreography put together.

Now, I need to talk about Nick Lazzarini for a minute.  I knew him from SYTYCD and ATRM and had even voted for him on Season 1 when he won.  He stole that show!  There was so much talent on that stage but let me tell you that when he stepped on stage you couldn't look at anyone else.  The immense joy on his face showed that he loved every minute of what he was doing.  His passion for dance is incredible on top of the fact that he is just an amazing dancer.  At one point Renee leaned over and said “I am really loving Nick!”  I said “I was thinking the exact same thing!”

The rest of the cast was incredible too.  Jaimie Goodwin, who was also on SYTYCD, danced the lead role.  She was spectacular and could mold her body into shapes you didn't think were possible yet just sit on top of a wall with her back turned to you like a statue and you were still breathless watching her just sit there.   

Renee’s favorite number was danced by Chelsea Thedinga and Daniel Gaymon.  It was beautiful.  As the curtain came down the first thing I said was “Can we watch it again?”  I really did not want it to end.

After the show was over the whole cast goes out to the lobby to meet the fans.  But, since we won the contest, we got to stay in the theater and the cast came out to meet with us first.  How exciting!  We just thought we were going to get to meet Travis.  But instead we got to meet all of them….even Nick!

As they started coming out to meet us, all we could think was Holy Cow….that’s Nick! 

We were extremely excited to talk to them all and they were all so nice.  They were all big huggers and they meant those hugs!  It was so nice to see that they genuinely wanted to talk to us and were so gracious to take pictures with everyone and sign our programs.  I particularly like the Kyle and Teddy sandwich!  

We even took a picture with Nikole, the producer.  She was a sweetheart. We heard over and over how nice the theater was and how great the programs were that had their picture on the cover.  I love our Tulsa PAC!

As we left, we giggled like schoolgirls about what just happened and that we didn't have to fight the crowds to get our pictures.  We had even joked with some of the cast that we could be their groupies, follow the tour bus and see it again the next night in Kansas City.  I would truly go see that show over and over and if it comes anywhere near you, you have to go see it.  And while you are there say hi to Nick from Shannon and Renee in Tulsa!