Review of “So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Tour” in Sarasota, Florida

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October 29, 2015

Review By: Tahja

I had the pleasure to attend a performance of contemporary dance this evening at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall called “So You think you can Dance”.    Having never seen the program on television,  I didn’t have any  idea what the show was going to be about, but anything involving dance I always want to see.    The theme for this performance was the cross between “street style dancing” and contemporary stage dance, including variations of locking, popping, krump, waaking, hip hip, house, acro, ballet, jazz, modern lyrical, animation, tap and freestyle.

As a producer and choreographer of ethnic dance shows,  I can surely appreciate the tremendous amount of effort that went into the production of this show.

The talent and athleticism of the dance artists was nicely accented with creative lighting and a background screen of imagery which changed for each song, giving each dance a different mood.

Most of the choreography was a succession of very abrupt and staccato movements, mixed with lifts, kicks, falls, and group dynamic, performed to very modern or avant grade music.   I observed so many creative ways to fall to the ground and quickly get back up, I must try some of these at home!   (not!)

Besides the group dances, each dancer also performed a solo to show off their own unique talent.  All of the dancers were exceptional, but two dancers particularly stood out in my mind:  the dance of Virgil Gadsen in which he brought out so much personality was quite a shift from the impersonal feeling of most of the dances.  Gaby Diaz’s tap dance near the end of the show was a huge highlight and a welcome change from the contemporary style which towards the end of the program had gotten a bit repetitive.

The hall seemed almost full.  People were not dressed up as much as I expected for an evening at Van Wezel, but maybe I’m  “old school”.   The crowd was very enthusiastic and obviously familiar with the television program and were there to see their favorite dancers.   I did need ear plugs not only because the music was loud, but even more due to the people who sat in the next seat screaming  loudly with excitement about their favorite dancers, not surprising since 2 of the performers are from Florida.

The dancers in this program are all young talented super-athletes, and the choreography is fast, and creative.   The costumes are also varied and interesting.   I’m sure the dancers had to put equal amount of energy “back stage” as they did “on stage” to get into the next costume.

Due to the nature of the music used with unintelligible lyrics, the dance “style” lacks emotional depth and content, with the focus being on speed and athleticism.  Although the dancers themselves showed a great working relationship with each other, the “style” itself is a reflection of our society becoming less personal, as the movements worked best when the dancers were dressed as robots.

Imagine what these producers could do, with so much energy and talent available to them, if they decided to use dance to make a social statement of some redeeming quality to society, to leave their audience inspired, and thinking.   I will be very happy to return to see such a performance.

Congratulations to the artists, who put so much heart and energy and dedication into their work.   This was indeed felt by the audience, as we left exhausted, yet inspired to find new ways of falling gracefully and getting up unscathed!

About Tahja



Interview Questions and Responses with Dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Tour” in their own words… Alexia Meyer, Derek Piquette, Gaby Diaz, Hailee Payne, Jessica “JJ” Rabone, Jim Nowakowsi, Megan “Megz” Alfonso and Edson Juarez





Los Angeles, CA (August 18, 2015) – SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, the 13-time Primetime Emmy® Award-winning show that sparked America’s fascination with dance, is set to captivate audiences again this fall – live on tour. Celebrating its momentous 12th season and its exciting new Stage v. Street format, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Top 10 finalists will make their way across North America performing in 70 cities as part of the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE SEASON 12 TOUR. The Season 12 tour lineup includes the

following Top 10 finalists: Team Stage’s Gaby Diaz, Edson Juarez, Jim Nowakowski, Hailee Payne and Derek Piquette; and Team Street’s Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge, Virgil Gadson, Jessica “JJ” Rabone and Jana “Jaja” Vankova. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE airs Mondays (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

The tour kicks off on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX and crosses the United States and Canada with 70 sensational stops. The first leg of the tour will wrap on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, ID. The dancers will then return for the second leg of the tour in Canada, starting at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, BC, on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.

The official tour routing is available on American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets in select markets before the general public beginning Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. local time through Thursday, Aug. 27 at 10 p.m. local time. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, Aug. 28.

Visit for more information.

Fall’s hottest ticket will feature this season’s most popular routines from Team Stage and Team Street, as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour. 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions will present audiences across the country with the opportunity to experience the action brought into their living rooms each week on the beloved summer series, with a variety of sizzling, one-of-a-kind dance routines they have come to enjoy and expect from their favorite dancers.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE recently received eight 2015 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations, including Outstanding Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Host In A Reality or Reality-Competition Program (Cat Deeley), in addition to nominations for Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series, and Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic). SYTYCD’s exceptional costume team of Marina Toybina and Grainne O’Sullivan also won an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety Program.

“I am thrilled with this season’s new Stage vs. Street format and the brilliant, fresh talent we have discovered. These dancers have inspired the choreographers to create remarkable dance numbers each week, truly showcasing individual talent. I am excited for your favorite dancers to bring their inspiration and routines to even more cities on this year’s nationwide tour,” stated Nigel Lythgoe, judge, executive producer and co- creator of the hit FOX series.


Tickets on sale starting August 28. Check local venues for more information. Tickets are subject to applicable service charges. Event time and dates subject to change. Check out for full list of dates and links.

10/13/15 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
10/15/15 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre
10/16/15 Austin, TX ACL Live at the Moody Theater
10/17/15 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
10/19/15 New Orleans, LA Saenger Theatre
10/21/15 Jacksonville, FL Times Union Center PAC, Moran Theatre
10/23/15 West Palm Beach, FL Dreyfoos Hall at the Kravis Center
10/24/15 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
10/25/15 Ft. Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
10/27/15 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
10/28/15 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
10/29/15 Sarasota, FL Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
10/31/15 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
11/1/15 Nashville, TN Tennessee Performing Arts Center
11/3/15 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
11/5/15 Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
11/6/15 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
11/7/15 Huntington, NY The Paramount
11/8/15 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music
11/10/15 Brooklyn, NY Kings Theatre
11/11/15 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
11/13/15 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
11/14/15 Portland, ME Cross Insurance Arena
11/15/15 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
11/17/15 Toms River, NJ Pine Belt Arena
11/18/15 Reading, PA Santander Performing Arts Center
11/20/15 Buffalo, NY Shea’s Performing Arts Center
11/21/15 Columbus, OH The Palace
11/22/15 East Lansing, MI Wharton Center
11/24/15 Cleveland, OH Palace Theatre
11/25/15 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
11/27/15 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
11/28/15 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
11/29/15 Cedar Rapids, IA Paramount Theatre
12/2/15 St. Louis, MO Fox Theatre
12/3/15 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
12/4/15 Tulsa, OK Brady Theater
12/5/15 Kearney, NE Viaero Event Center
12/7/15 Colorado Springs, CO Pikes Peak Center
12/8/15 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
12/10/15 West Valley City, UT Maverik Center
12/11/15 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl Concert Theater
12/12/15 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
12/14/15 San Diego, CA Copley Symphony Hall
12/15/15 Riverside, CA Fox Performing Arts Center
12/16/15 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE
12/18/15 San Jose, CA City National Civic
12/19/15 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
12/20/15 Santa Rosa, CA Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
12/26/15 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre
12/27/15 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
12/28/15 Spokane, WA INB Performing Arts Center
12/29/15 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
1/7/16 Victoria, BC Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
1/8/16 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre
1/9/16 Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
1/10/16 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place
1/12/16 Calgary, AB Grey Eagle Casino
1/13/16 Lethbridge, AB Enmax Centre
1/14/16 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
1/15/16 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place
1/17/16 Regina, SK Conexus Arts Centre
1/18/16 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
1/19/16 Thunder Bay, ON Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
1/21/16 London, ON Budweiser Gardens
1/22/16 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for Performing Arts
1/23/16 Hamilton, ON Hamilton Place Theatre
1/24/16 Ottawa, ON National Arts Centre
1/26/16 Moncton, NB Casino New Brunswick
1/28/16 Montreal, QC St. Denis Theatre

About So You Think You Can Dance

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and is from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, and dick clark productions. The series is executive-produced by Fuller, Lythgoe; Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions; Barry Adelman, Executive Vice President of dick clark productions; Beverly Frank of 19 Entertainment, James Breen and Jeff Thacker. Visit the official SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE site at to view exclusive videos, photos and contestant profiles. “Like” SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on Facebook

at Follow the series on Twitter @DANCEonFOX and join the discussion using #sytycd and #stagevsstreet. Follow host Cat Deeley at @catdeeley, and follow the judges Nigel [email protected] Paula Abdul @PaulaAbdul and Jason Derulo @JasonDerulo.

About 19 Entertainment/CORE Media Group

19 Entertainment is a division of CORE Media Group Inc. and home to iconic and enduring properties like AMERICAN IDOL and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. CORE Media Group is a content company that creates quality programing through its in-house creative team and a myriad of partnerships with well- established industry leaders such as Sharp Entertainment, Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions, Noreen Halpern’s Halfire Entertainment and B-17 Entertainment. Together, CORE’s dynamic group of content creators is producing quality entertainment for over 30 networks. For more information about CORE Media Group, Inc., visit

About dick clark productions

dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Country Countdown Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp; “World’s Funniest” from Jukin Media and dcp; as well as “BOOM!” from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group and DC Media, the parent company of dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit

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