Ballroom with a Twist


Grant Morgan

The performers took one final bow before the end of their performance.

By Grant Morgan, Arts & Life Editor

The live show “Ballroom with a Twist” is making its rounds across the country and stopped at UA’s E.J. Thomas Hall on Saturday, Jan. 24. The cast combines the talents of some of America’s most notable entertainers from popular TV series like ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol and others.

The production is a two-and-a-half hour show that has everything from breakdancing to John Lennon’s Imagine, to ballroom dancing.

The night began with a brief teaser of different types of dances from each member of the cast. Then the lights came on and the show’s main speakers, dance-professional Tony Dovolani and So You Think You Can Dance finalist Lacey Schwimmer, introduced themselves to the crowd.

“This is the part of the show where we sing a folk song…all about Ohio and how cold it is here. I think I left my jacket back in Las Vegas,” Schwimmer said.

She and Dovolani hopped off stage to take “selfies” with five members of the front row—this would be only the beginning of their interactions with the crowd that night.

More performances included solos and duets by American Idol finalists Gina Glocksen-Ruzicka and Von Smith. Cast members, such as Dancing with the Stars’ Dmitry Chaplin and Anna Trebunskaya, came out and performed a number for the crowd.

Just before intermission, four performers got back on stage to answer questions from the audience.

Here they got to show their comedic side.

“Who is your favorite celebrity to dance with?” asked a shout from the audience.

“Emmitt Smith!” Dolovani responded.

“Who is the one celebrity you wish you could dance with?” asked another audience member.

“Michael Jackson,” Schwimmer said, while Chaplin and Trebunskaya half-jokingly said “Megan Fox” and “Bill Clinton.”

The real performance was released during the second half of the show. The longest dance combined most of the cast and was choreographed in tune to a mix of Black Eyed Peas and Shakira music.

Two dancers then came out on stage and displayed their strength with aesthetic movements, including one-arm lifts and holds and isometric balancing.

Towards the end of the show, the previously mentioned four performers came back on stage to teach the audience some moves of their own. The crowd loved it; and by the end of the piece was dancing along with an eight-step left-to-right pattern to a shimmy to a flamenco-style hip swing to top it off.

The last performance of the night brought the whole cast on stage. Afterward, the curtain drew as each of the performers showed off their individual talents in a dance ring.

“Ballroom with a Twist” was the third performance of the month at E.J. Thomas Hall. The next performance, “The Vagina Monologues,” is playing on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10.