Ballroom with a Twist heats up Honolulu→

It’s not your grandmother’s ballroom dance, not that anything’s wrong with that. Dance geeks like me, or shall I say, dance enthusiasts, if you didn’t get a chance to check out “Ballroom with a Twist” Tuesday night at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, you’ll have one last chance this evening.

There was a fresh blend of ballroom, hip hop, singing and just the right amount of steamy numbers that kept the audience engaged and towards the end of the show, literally on their feet. “Dancing With the Stars” celebs Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff and Tony Dovolani were joined by fellow dancer Sharna Burgess. The audience applauded her for learning the routines and filling in for the uber popular Cheryl Burke.

“American Idol” popular contestants Von Smith and Haley Scarnato nailed it with their rendition of “The Prayer” and impressed throughout the night adding a live musical element to some of the dance routines.

One of the evening’s highlights was the intense paso doble performed by Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess. But when Maks and Karina hit the floor, with no music, letting the excitement of the audience build, that was the moment of the evening. The crescendo was reached when Maks flung off his shirt, and seriously, women screamed like “Magic Mike” was in the building.

But I am a true “So You Think You Can Dance” purist and Legacy (Jonathan “Legacy” Perez) wasitfor me. 

He’s a b-boy with a heart and his skills transcend street-style dancing. I was also happy to see Jenna Johnson from “So You Think You Can Dance” rocking her ballroom moves.

Oh, spoiler alert, they let a bunch of people join the lead dancers on stage during the last performance, definitely more than I think they expected. Most were hugging on Maks. For that alone, you might want to trek on to the Blaisdell Concert Hall tonight.

via frolichawaii

Review: ‘Ballroom With a Twist’ - Honolulu Pulse - Hawaii Entertainment and Nightlife→

It was all hips and dips and flash and dance as “Ballroom With a Twist” took to the stage — and floor — of the Blaisdell Concert Hall on Tuesday.

“Dancing With the Stars” professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy (last season’s winner), his brother Valentin, Karina Smirnoff, Tony Dovolani and Sharna Burgess showcased an evening of high-energy song and dance numbers in a snappy two-hour show. It was a polished, exciting performance, made somewhat suspenseful by the preshow announcement that Cheryl Burke, another “DWTS” pro who was scheduled to appear, had to leave the tour due to a family matter.

No matter. Burgess learned Burke’s routines in a day, partnering beautifully with Dovolani in a graceful waltz and a sensual rhumba, while longtime dance partners Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Smirnoff charged through a couple of the more energetic numbers. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Burgess also contributed a dynamic paso doble.

In case you’re wondering whether these dances look just as good live as on TV — it’s better live. Yes, you might see some sweat, but the moves are that much snappier, the extension that much longer, and the balance and control that much more apparent, making for a much more powerful emotional impact.

The glint off the fingernails adds a bit of spice to the action. And when Maks took off his shirt, the definition of his pectorals popped and seemed worthy of the screams he elicited from females in the crowd.

One might have wanted to see more of the “DWTS” stars, but the evening was amply supplemented by several ensemble numbers performed by dancers from “So You Can Think You Can Dance.”

Especially impressive among this group was Jonathan “Legacy” Perez, whose breakdancing stylings combined with his gymnastic athleticism to create some wicked spins and stunning crablike moves, all on his hands with his body almost horizontal to the floor.

The singing part of the show was provided by Von Smith, whose YouTube videos earned him a place on “American Idol,” and Haley Scarnoto, a quarterfinalist in the sixth season of “Idol.” Smith’s clear tenor proved amazingly elastic, while Scarnoto had a slight huskiness to her voice that paired nicely with Smith.

The show also gave the audience an opportunity to interact with the “DWTS” stars. An audience Q&A might have gone a bit better, since many of the questions focused on the pros’ personal lives (no, Maks is not marrying Meryl Davis), but it was interesting to realize all of the dancers who appeared Tuesday were from foreign countries.

Dovolani, a native of Albania, said he always wanted to dance in America, but it was only when he got here that he realized “dancers are not that popular, which I couldn’t understand because all the boys were playing with other guys, in tights, playing football, while I was dancing with the girls. So I didn’t mind being not that popular.”

It was also charming when the late Don Ho’s wife Haumea was invited on stage to help the crowd learn some dance moves. That soon gave way to a rather large crowd up on stage with the stars.

There might have been a few more people up there than even the performers expected, but they handled it with aplomb, with nearly everyone getting a personal hug or handshake by the time they left.

So if you go on Wednesday, you too might get to dance with the real stars of “Dancing With the Stars.” The show is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35-$95 and available at or 866-448-7849.

via honolulupulse

8/19/14 Q&A (4 of 4) via pouncer84

BWAT in Hawaii.