What: “Dancing With the Stars — Live! Dancing All Night Tour!”
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 24
Where: Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth. St., Cincinnati
Cost: Sold out, but tickets are available on stubhub and other secondhand markets
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.tafttheatre.org
Like many competition reality shows, “Dancing With the Stars” likes to take it on the road. Their biggest live show yet comes to the Taft this weekend, featuring popular “DWTS” dancers such as Lindsay Arnold, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Brittany Cherry.
“It’s very fresh,” Brittany Cherry said. “There’ll be some storytelling, audience interaction, some emotional moments. There’ll be some standouts from the show that we’ve revamped, like (Alessia Cara’s) ‘Here,’ which is a pretty seamy foxtrot, and some original numbers.”
Cherry estimates that she alone participates in 14 numbers throughout the 90-minute show.
“We’ll all be running around the entire time,” she said. “There’s also a cinema portion that recreates songs from famous movies. I’ll be in the James Bond one.”
Dancing since she was 3 years old, Cherry broke through at 19 on Season 10 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” which she described as a “brief but awesome experience.” She was the first to be cut after making the Top 20.
“Doing the Afro-jazz number my first week on the show was really fun and challenging,” she said. “I’m from Utah, and that took me really far out of my comfort zone.”
It’s not uncommon for “SYTYCD” alumni to land on “Dancing With the Stars” as a pro dancer, though Cherry has been working on the show in various capacities for several years since appearing on the kids’ version of the competition at 13. She has been a full-time pro dancer on the show for two seasons now.
“ ‘SYTYCD’ makes you really well-rounded,” she said. “That’s good for ‘DWTS,’ because you do all different kinds of dancing.”
Cherry acquired a bit more fame when she did a ballroom dance with Ed Sheeran for the video to his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” In a social media post, Cherry jokingly recollected she was a little wary because she didn’t know Sheeran’s level of skill as a dancer, whether he a was more of the “fist-bump and twerking” type.
“We went backstage and had him move around, lift me, just show what he could do, and we choreographed the whole thing based on that,” she said. “The theme was that I was taking him through this, and he wanted to dance through the entire video. He’s a hard worker and one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. It’s my favorite job.”
As for which show, “SYTYC” or “DWTS,” has the most value in the dancing world, Cherry said they were too different to be compared.
“ ‘SYTYCD’ takes people who are dancers, gives them choreography to follow, and you follow their journey,” she said. “ ‘DWTS’ takes people who have never danced before and you follow their journey, and it’s not an easy competition. We’re not just dancers, we’re life coaches. These people are celebrities, so they already have followings, and their fans get to know them even better. They watch them struggle, watch them fail and succeed, and go through these dramatic changes. It’s a beautiful thing.”
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