Written By | Jen Prouty
The excitement was palpable as you walked down Woodward Avenue in Detroit and headed toward the gilded golden doors of the stunning Fox Theatre. Known as Detroit’s crown jewel and located in the epicenter of the city, this theatre was the perfect venue to host the 2018 Live Tour of So You Think You Can Dance. The fans, a diverse mix of both young and old, buzzed with excitement as they waited in line to get in and small pockets of dance troupes performed informal routines to pass the time.
The Fox Theatre never ceases to take my breath away as I enter into the theatre and take in all it’s grandeur. Once set up, I impatiently waited for the show to begin, excited to see what was in store for the night. I love this concept of a live tour of So You Think You Can Dance. The show itself, which airs of FOX and has won 15 Emmy Awards, is an ‘easy to get addicted to’ reality show focused on dancing. For those that watch weekly, it is easy to understand how by the end of the season one could become quite vested in the finalists. So for those religious weekly watchers, the opportunity to be able to see these finalists perform and dance live has got to be absolutely thrilling! However, even if one is not a dedicated viewer or even a big fan of dance as an art form, the choreography by Emmy-winning choreographer Mandy Moore is sure to captivate and entertain.
As the lights dimmed, the top 10 finalists took to the stage and started the night off with a high energy group performance. The top ten finalists on the 2018 tour are Jensen Arnold, Hanalei Cabanilla, Genessy Castillo, Evan DeBenedetto, Jay Jay Dixonbey, Magdalena Fialek, Darius Hickman, Chelsea Hough, Cole Mills and Slavik Pustovoytov. The music pumped and the crowd clapped in time and cheers roared out from the audience every time one of the dancers took a solo leap across the stage. After a few minutes of grouped choreography, each individual finalist had a few moments to themselves in the center of the stage and each and every one of them got thunderous applause. I have to say though, based on the volume level of the screams, it seemed to me that Darius was a crowd favorite in Detroit!
After this first performance of the night, the cast sashayed off stage for costume changes and Lauren and Cyrus, both All Stars from the show, came onto the stage to greet the audience. These two acted as emcees for the night and they did an excellent job of keeping the house entertained in between performances. From sharing stories of the show, to posing trivia questions to the crowd, they enhanced the night and kept everyone cheering and laughing every time the spot light popped back on to them.
As the show flowed along, fans were able to witness some of the hottest dance routines from season 15, as well as, original pieces choreographed specifically for this live show. The format of the night alternated seamlessly between solo and duo dance combos, interspersed with larger group performances. The music for the different performances ranged from swing music, to latin, to hiphop and pop with costume changes that were perfect for every act. The overall show was executed perfectly and beautifully. Kudos to the visionary director Raj Kapoor for putting together such a captivating show.
There was a brief intermission for the crowd to get up and stretch, grab some more refreshments, or peruse the souvenir table. I took advantage of this time to chat with a few young dancers and fans who were sitting near me in the front row. I enjoyed hearing who their favorites were (Darius and HannahLei) and adored the way they had already planned out their future auditions for the show.
As the second act got started, I was able to put my camera away (a hard task to do but media guidelines only allow for the first couple of songs to be photographed) and enjoy just being an audience member. Without my camera pressed to my face I became as giddy as my front row BFFs. I think my favorite performances of the night were the duets as I loved watching them chemistry between the pairs of dancers. You can tell they have been together for awhile because their moves are so perfectly synchronized.
As the show came to a close, the group came out for one last performance together and it was an added bonus to see Lauren and Cyrus join in! As the last notes of the song rang out, confetti cannons launched gold confetti upon the crowd. Truth bomb: my inner child is secretly obsessed with confetti releases at the end of shows and I love the magic it creates as it floats down and glimmers in the lights. As I shuffled out with the crowd, picking gold slivers of mylar out of my hair, I made a mental note to buy tickets for the 2019 Live Tour. There’s going to be a 2019 tour, right FOX?!?