When I found out I was going to a live taping of Dancing with the Stars for the Disney ABC press trip I was on two weeks ago,
I was fairly excited. But I wasn't jumping up and down over it. I didn't know the show well, and I was overwhelmed with excitement about all the Big Hero 6 stuff that was planned.
Now that I've done it, if you asked me, Would you go to a live taping of Dancing with the Stars? I guarantee I would jump up and down and say, Yes, YES a million times yes!
The first thing that started getting me excited was when I found out I'd need a cocktail dress for the show. I love dressing up, and I was ready to find something cute and fun to wear! As it turns out, I pulled the dress I wore to Dancing With the Stars out of my closet:
It's a turquoise Max and Cleo dress that I bought a few years ago. You can see the color better in this group shot below:
If you're familiar with the show, you can see that I'm next to the judges table in the first picture, and our group is center-stage in the second photo. That's because we got to the studio long before the show started so we could have access to the stage and judges space.
Even though all the overhead lights were on, there were stagehands everywhere and I wasn't familiar with the setup, it was pretty amazing to be in the space that millions of viewers watch every week!
When it was time to clear off the stage, we headed to our seats in the first balcony. Not long after, all the seats in the audience were full and a crowd-warmer came out to start coaching all of us on what we had to do as a member of the Dancing with the Stars audience.
Did you read that? It's someone's job to make sure the live audience knows what to do and when to do it. That might sound like a pretty sweet gig, but I can't even imagine how exhausted that guy was by the end of the night!
The warm-up comedian started out by having us cheer and get excited, to the point where we were all standing, whooping and whistling. Then he explained that he had different hand signals that he'd make to tell us the level of cheering we needed to do. It ranged from polite applause to full-on standing ovation. Every type of applause required us to be standing up. Then we sat down. Then we stood up and cheered again. We did this multiple times before the show even started!
One more thing about the crowd-warmer: he worked his butt off during the entire show to make sure the audience was reacting perfectly for the audience at home. Between cheering for the good scores from judges, booing the bad scores and screaming for the dancers, he was up, down and all over the audience for the entire show. Two weeks ago I had no idea that job even existed, and now it's something I have a huge appreciation for!
As for the show itself, I was thrilled with the entire Dancing with the Stars experience! I knew of a handful of the dancers and the stars performing that night. In fact, seeing this dance from Alfonso and Witney from a few weeks prior definitely caught my interest!
Image Credit: ABC
The theme of the night was Dynamic Duos, where the stars and their partners portrayed famous couples through dance. My favorite dances of the night were:
Mark and Sadie as Adam and Eve
Alfonso and Witney as Batman and Robin
Bethany and Derek as Ricky and Lucy
While I was happy none of my favorites of the night were voted off, it was very tense to watch a dance-off and the judges make a decision before finally voting off Michael and Emma.
After the show, our group of 25 bloggers had a plan to head to an area restaurant. We were given the heads up that a few surprise guests “might show up.” But there were no guarantees and absolutely no word on if anyone from the show would actually be there.
I was blown away with the number of dancers and stars from Dancing with the Stars who came to hang out with us that night! Here's who came out:
Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas
Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
In addition to the cast members who came out, I think the entire restaurant noticed when these two walked in to support their daughter, Sadie Robertson:
The plan was to watch and live-tweet the the west coast airing of the show, but I think most of the tweets were first about how starstruck all of the bloggers were, then about how incredibly nice everyone was!
Photo credit: Choya Porter
Before we wrapped up for the night, Mark Ballas insisted on a group photo with most of the bloggers who were there. He's in the center of the picture, and that's me at the top of the pyramid 🙂
All in all, it was one amazing night, and I'm thrilled that I got to take part in all of it!
The Dancing with the Stars semi-finals air tonight from 8pm to 10pm ET and it's going to be an exciting show!
From the press release:
FIVE REMAINING COUPLES COMPETE IN THESEMI-FINALS DURING “PLUGGED/UNPLUGGED” NIGHT ON “DANCING WITH THE STARS” MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17
In the first round of the competition, the couples will perform a Jazz, Quickstep, Samba, Paso Doble or Argentine Tango to an original or “plugged” version of their selected song.
In round two of the competition, the couples will perform an Argentine Tango, Rumba, or Contemporary routine to an acoustic or “unplugged” version of that same song.
Special musical guests will accompany the unplugged performances. Singer Christina Grimmie will perform “Love Runs Out,” Time For Three will perform “Blame,” and YouTube sensation Noah Guthrie will perform his cover of “Problem.” At the end of the night, one couple will be eliminated and four couples will move on to the finals.
The two-night Dancing with the Stars Season 19 finale will air next week.
If you're Dancing with the Stars obsessed or if you want to learn more about the show, here are all the official links for the show:
Photo credit for Dancing with the Stars Logo and top group photo: ABC
Disclosure: Disney and ABC flew me to Los Angeles, California to participate in this event. All opinions are my own.