It has been one decade since six American celebrities were paired with six professional dancers on live national television to try out their ballroom skills and compete for a championship in front of judges and viewers alike.
Twenty seasons later, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” once again is making its way across the country on a national campaign, dubbed “Dancing With the Stars: Live!” the “Perfect Ten Tour.”
The 2015 tour – the fourth in the show’s lifespan – makes stops in more than 40 cities nationwide, with Sacramento’s Community Center Theater serving as the halfway point on Sunday in a grueling three-month schedule.
The tour features 10 of the show’s most prominent current professional dancers and includes the most recent season winners, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and actress Rumer Willis, and all-stars season winner Melissa Rycroft as host and performer.
Rycroft will help guide audiences through the experience.
The tour is meant “to bring the ballroom to the fans,” Rycroft said in a phone interview. “Not many people can actually go to the shows on Monday night and experience what it’s like in the ballroom.”
A question-and-answer session at the beginning of each show allows fans to question their favorite dancers, some of whom have been involved with “DWTS” since its debut in 2005. Rycroft also says members of the crowd will be invited onstage at points throughout the show, and some dancers will go into the seat aisles to dance with onlookers.
She said Willis – one of the two celebrities cast for the “Perfect Ten Tour” – will sing in the show in Sacramento. The actress has a stress fracture that will prevent her from dancing during the remainder of the tour.
Though a live tour doesn’t have the winner-take-all drama of the TV show, Rycroft says “DWTS: Live!” is no less enjoyable.
“You get to see these dancers not being stressed out,” she said. “I think when you’re going out on tour, the audience is not necessarily coming to the show to see the drama. They want to have to fun and dance and have a great time.”
Rycroft said to expect everything from contemporary and hip-hop to pasodoble and tango.
Larger group numbers are a highlight of the touring show, says executive producer Guy Phillips of Faculty Productions, a co-sponsor of the tour with BBC Worldwide and ABC.
Phillips says the true essence of “DWTS” is phenomenal dancing.
“The live stage show is really about the biggest and best professional performances,” Phillips says. “So that’s a sort of natural fit for a theater environment – to have the very best dancers doing exactly what they do.”
Rycroft echoed that sentiment, calling professional dancers “celebrities in their own right. The audience has fallen in love with them as dancers and as people … on top of the fact that nobody can dance like them.”
DWTS: Live! Perfect Ten Tour
- What: Live performance of professional dancers and winners of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”
- When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento
- Cost: $49.50
- Information: www.dwtstour.com