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Dancing with the Stars: A Tour Experience in Seattle

Have you ever wanted to see a tour that is all dancing and not a musical performance? Well, on March 11 Kate Megathlin and I attended the Dancing with the Stars tour in Seattle. 

For those who don’t know, Dancing with the Stars is a reality TV show competition where contestants are partnered with professional dancers, also known as “pros.” They have to compete in different ballroom styles, such as Jive, Samba, and Viennese Waltz. Each night is themed, like Disney Night or Whitney Houston Night. At the end of each week, one couple gets eliminated based on the combined scores from the judges and audience votes. 

The tour experience took place at the Paramount Theater. Since Seattle wasn’t a stop on the tour last year, the theater was packed, giving the impression of a full house, which is rare for events in the city. 

The pros who performed (pictured below) were Emma Slater, Alan Bersten, Britt Stewart, Danielle Karagach, Brandon Armstrong, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, and Rylee Arnold. The night’s special guest star was Harry Jowsey, a contestant in the previous season of the show, season 32.

Rhiannon Phillips | The Seattle Collegian

The show had intricate numbers, all choreographed by the talented Mandy Moore (not the actress) through an array of songs from “Groove Is In the Heart” by Deee-Lite to “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe. The show also included some bits that were very musical theatre and old Hollywood-inspired, which made the hearts of the fans, including mine, very happy.

I want to highlight some of the numbers and funny gimmicks that made the show worth watching and attending, ones that stood out to Megathlin, myself, and the audience. 

“A Palé” A song by Jon Warg, this dance was a Salsa with some Burlesque elements, which led to a very flirtatious and sensual attraction between the dancers: Stewart, Slater, Karagach, Armstrong, Savchenko, Pashkov, and Bersten. They used prop tables and chairs at the beginning of the dance and would go back to the props every now and then.

“Lose Control” — Sung by Teddy Swims and danced by Slater and Bersten, the performance captured the emotions of two lovers and their relationship through the Viennese Waltz. Their dancing was so beautiful that it told the song’s story to the audience.

Gangnam Style — I know what you’re thinking. Did they really dance to “Gangnam Style” by PSY? That song is so overrated and overplayed. Well, yes, they did, and not only that, but it was also a running joke throughout the show because Jowsey’s only perfect score was the team dance to that song. They even made a joke about the song by trying to have Jowsey dance in different ballroom styles like the Paso Doble. They also referenced Titanic, with Jowsey doing the iconic pose with Slater while the song was playing in the background. 

MGM Group Number — This group dance will be a fan favorite from the tour for a long time.  It followed the Laboratory of Dance, where they tried to calculate the right movements, chemistry, and passion that make the perfect dance. 

The number was an homage to the Golden Era of Hollywood, where each of the pros and Jowsey had to play these different characters and dance with each other in a complex storyline, to break down its complexity.

Emma, the Femme Fatale, tells each person who they are and who arrived at the saloon/bar together: Alan is the Bartender at the saloon, Harry is the Busboy of the saloon, Rylee is the Flapper, Pasha is the Nerd who has feelings for the Flapper, Brandon is the Gangster who has feelings for the Aristocrat played by Britt, Gleb is the Gambler who showed up to the saloon with the aristocrat. The number was incredible with songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Lloyd Price, the 2Cellos cover of  “Smooth Criminal,” and many more. 

Make Me Feel — Sung by Janelle Monáe, the dance was a sultry Jazz number performed by Slater, Bersten, Armstrong, Pashkov, and Savchenko. This dance used props in a breathtaking way that showed Emma’s chemistry with each of the dancers in the number. How each of the guys played the tension with her was incredible, and it left the audience in awe and smiling throughout the performance. 

A Chance to Dance – The final thing I wanted to highlight is the bit “A Chance to Dance” because this gimmick was a spoof on reality dating shows like Love Connection and Matchmaker. Slater had Stewart choose one lucky audience to pick a pro to be their dance partner. 

The contestant was an audience member named Jean, who wanted to be on the show since season one and also wanted to be on the Bachelor spinoff, the Golden Bachelor. While the pros that were the “dates” were Bersten, Savchenko, and Armstrong. 

Jean was reading the three questions that Emma provided, to which all of the men gave very flirtatious answers except for one. Brandon was berating the Seahawks, and he left his seat because he knew that since the audience was mostly Seahawks fans, it offended them a lot. In the end, Jean picked bachelor number two, Gleb, and they danced a little bit of salsa together. 

Looking back at the event, it was really fun to be an audience member and watch what the pros and Jowsey were doing throughout the tour since it started in January. I highly recommend that you go and watch it the next time the tour comes to Seattle.  Emma says, “Seattle is my favorite stop on the tour.” If you are in town, you won’t regret going. 


Rhiannon Phillips
Staff Writer at The Seattle Collegian

As Rhiannon had done journalism in the past for her high school. She hopes to continue that path through the Collegian.

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