MU­SIC ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ comes to stage

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - FRONT PAGE - By Rod Stafford Hag­wood

“So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018” brings some of the per­for­mances from the TV show to the stage. The na­tional tour will make two stops in South Florida, Nov. 10 in Fort Laud­erdale and Nov. 14 in West Palm Beach.

The cast is made up of fi­nal­ists from this year’s Sea­son 15 of the Fox hit, in­clud­ing Dar­ius Hick­man, who grew up in West Palm Beach. The tour will spot­light pop­u­lar rou­tines from the sea­son, as well as pieces chore­ographed specif­i­cally for the tour.

Show all-stars Lau­ren Fro­der­man and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer also will per­form. Fro­der­man won Sea­son 7 and went on to dance with the Rock­ettes and the band Big Time Rush. Spencer was a Sea­son 9 run­ner-up and ap­peared in the movie “Step Up All In.”

Hick­man, 19, at­tended West Palm Beach’s Bak Mid­dle School of the Arts and Alexan­der W. Drey­foos School of the Arts. He re­cently spoke with

What are you most look­ing for­ward to do­ing or see­ing when you get home to South Florida?

For me, it sounds cheesy, but I’m re­ally ex­cited to meet ev­ery­one I’ve in­spired who are fans of mine. It’s crazy to even say that I have fans or to think that there are peo­ple who ac­tu­ally look up to me. I’m so ex­cited to see how many are stu­dents or adults, the age dif­fer­ence.

When you lived in West Palm Beach, where did you hang out? Were you a beach per­son, a Clema­tis/Ci­tyPlace guy, school­bound?

It was ac­tu­ally a lit­tle bit of all three. I was def­i­nitely very busy. I did dance af­ter school and in school. In my free time, I was at Ci­tyPlace a lot of times. And the beach was al­ways a go-to on week­ends when there was no dance.

Did you ever hang out in Boca or Fort Laud­erdale?

I ac­tu­ally did. I was never re­ally in Fort Laud­erdale, but I spent a lot of time in Boca. A lot of friends who trav­eled from Boca went to my school, so I vis­ited a lot of them.

You had a child­hood filled with chal­lenges — child­hood abuse, mother in jail, raised by an aunt who was in an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship — and yet you seem to have nav­i­gated treach­er­ous wa­ters. So how im­por­tant were the per­form­ing-arts schools you at­tended in get­ting you through those tough times?

Dance, it re­ally saved my life ba­si­cally. ... It helped me to have some­thing to fo­cus on that was pos­i­tive. Go­ing to Bak [Mid­dle School of the Arts] and Drey­foos [School of the Arts], I was al­ways learn­ing some­thing new. I had been around so much neg­a­tiv­ity. It took a toll on me. I knew I needed to do [dance] in or­der to be happy. That’s why I went to those schools. They were such a big help, that fo­cus. And that I could be amaz­ing and that I could in­spire other peo­ple.

Do you re­mem­ber your first per­for­mance?

I don’t have much me­mory of it. I do re­mem­ber the way it made me feel. I re­mem­ber be­fore go­ing on­stage be­ing very ner­vous — be­ing very, very ner­vous. And I also re­mem­ber be­ing very com­fort­able with the chore­og­ra­phy. I’ve al­ways been very quick to pick up chore­og­ra­phy, which has ob­vi­ously been a big help. I re­mem­ber my mom. I re­mem­ber her in the first row with a cam­era. I said to my­self, “You’re go­ing to be fine, Dar­ius. You know the chore­og­ra­phy.” I was not scared to per­form. I was su­per ex­cited. It was the best feel­ing af­ter the per­for­mance, my mom, see­ing her tears and say­ing that I was re­ally good. I thought, “It’s amaz­ing I can make her feel that way.” Maybe I can make other peo­ple feel that way.

Was there a nar­ra­tive or an ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing ra­tive that we didn’t get to see on our end that was mean­ing­ful on your end?

I would say def­i­nitely more of the per­sonal footage would have been amaz­ing — cam­eras not just be­ing with us in the re­hearsal process, but af­ter the re­hearsals, just how we are as peo­ple. A huge les­son I learned from be­ing on that show is to be your­self and be­ing com­fort­able to be your­self, peo­ple will ap­pre­ci­ate that. Last year, I au­di­tioned and I didn’t make it. I was very un­com­fort­able. It was about be­ing able to open up, but it was very hard for me. I wish that was more shown on the show.

Tour­ing isn’t some­thing you’ve done be­fore, right? How are you pre­par­ing for be­ing on the road?

Hon­estly, I have not pre­pared. I’m very ex­cited, but I don’t know how to pre­pare. I need to get my mind pre­pared, be­ing men­tally OK to han­dle the pres­sure. I have to dance my heart out ev­ery week on the show, so I think I’m phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble.

One of the most talked about per­for­mances this sea­son was your duet with Tay­lor Sieve that ex­plored gen­der iden­tity. We know how fans of the show re­acted, but what kind of re­ac­tion did you get while be­ing se­questered for the show?

Ev­ery­one was shocked. [It was] ex­cit­ing to per­form some­thing so real, and to be able to ex­press some­thing so mean­ing­ful on the stage, some­thing so se­ri­ous. I don’t think peo­ple were ex­pect­ing that. I’m still get­ting mes­sages about it. It’s so amaz­ing to see how many peo­ple it reached. And so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple, women, men, older and younger. It was one of my fa­vorite pieces I’ve ever done.

“So You Think You Can Dance Live! Tour” plays 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Broward Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., in Fort Laud­erdale. Tick­ets cost $34.50-$99.50. To or­der, call 954-462-0222 or go to BrowardCen­

The tour also ap­pears 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Kravis Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 701 Okee­chobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Tick­ets cost $30-$110. To or­der, call 561-832-7469 or go to Krav­isCen­ rhag­wood@southflorida .com


The cast of Sea­son 15 will per­form in South Florida twice: Nov. 10 at Fort Laud­erdale’s Broward Cen­ter and Nov. 14 at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Cen­ter.

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