MUSIC ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ comes to stage
“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 SouthFlorida.com.
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 BrowardCenter.org.
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 KravisCenter.org. 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.