Meeting fans is addictive to ‘Dancing’ cast

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

“Dancing with the Stars” pro Emma Slater loves the “Dancing with the Stars” tours. After all, she’s not being judged by like the of Len Goodman.

“It’s more relaxed, as the pressure is off,” she says. “It’s a different experience. We get to hang with other professional dancers who we are best friends with. It’s really a fantastic time for us. I think that translates to the show. We get to meet the people who watch the TV show. We don’t get to do that in the studio.”

“Dancing with the Stars: Live! The Tour” comes to Pasadena Civic at 8 p.m. Friday, March 10.

The tour, which launched January 6 at MGM National Harbor in Washington, D.C., celebrates the show’s 31st season. Besides Slater, the tour features Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sasha Farber, Kateryna Klishyna, Gleb Savchenko, Britt Stewart and “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Alexis Warr (who now appears on “Dancing with the Stars”).

“Dancing with the Stars” season 31 runner-up and star of “The Bachelorette” Gabby Windey will join the cast for the entire tour, while fellow season 31 castmates Vinny Guadagnino, Daniel Durant, Heidi D’Amelio and Charli D’Amelio will join the cast on select dates.

Slater says it’s fun to meet with fans on tour.

“I always get, ‘You’re so much smaller than I thought you were,’” Slater adds with a laugh.

“I can’t tell you how many times I get that. People think you’re a monster. In real life, I’m only 5-foot-4. But everybody is so nice and so flattering. It makes us excited to see them so excited. I’m blown away by their interest in what I do. There’s nothing more addictive than making people happy — especially with something like ballroom dancing that we love and can be celebrated.

Dancer Mandy Moore choreographed the numbers in the show.

“She is just an absolute legend in the space,” Slater says.

“She just choreographed ‘Babylon,’ this massive film. She curated the most wonderful, energetic, stunning, marvelous show that I’m really excited to be a part of. There’s some beautiful storytelling in there, some sweet moments that pull on the heartstrings. There are moments of comedy and playful storytelling that I think will excite the audience.”

This year, “Dancing with the Stars,” the TV show, was on Disney+ instead of ABC. Slater says it was the right move for “Dancing with the Stars.”

“Disney+ was great,” she says.

“It marked the return of Conrad Green, who was an executive producer we had. He finally returned this season. He’s just a genius in what he does. He knows the show so well. He elevated the show to new heights again. That was an incredible feeling to be a part of.

“Alfonso (Ribeiro, host) was exceptional. He’s phenomenal. He’s a personal friend of mine. I’m so happy to see him do well.”

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