At 7 p.m. Friday night, John R. Emens Auditorium flooded with an unexpected crowd. Dancing Pros: Live appeared for a performance at Ball State.
For an event held on a college campus, there were few college students in attendance. The crowd instead consisted mainly of younger dancers between the ages of six and 10 and their mothers.
Young faces waited as the lights dimmed and the curtains rose to reveal the main event. Dancing Pros: Live is a performance in which five couples dance and compete against each other and the crowd decides who wins.
Dancing Pros: Live had an all-star cast. “Growing Pains” star Alan Thicke and “American Idol” competitor Joanna Pacitti host, while “Dancing With the Stars” alumni Edyta Sliwinska, “You Got Served” star and choreographer Oscar Orosco, and local Muncie radio star Steve Lindell judge.
As with famous hosts and judges, each of the performers is a professional from shows such as “Dancing With the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” as well as other national dance competitions all over the world.
The five couples included Latin American “Dancing With the Stars” winner Paul Barris and North American champion Anastasia Trutneva, U.S. 10 Dance champion Alexander Chernositov and Denmark Latin champion Arina Grishanina, “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist and all-star Ryan Dilello and U.S. 10 Dance champion Regina Maziarz, “So You Think You Can Dance: Canada” winner Denys Drozdyuk and 2012 U.S. national champion Antonina Skobina, and Canadian finalist Arthur Adamski and “Dancing With the Stars” competitor Chelsie Hightower.
In between the couples’ dances, the entire cast, sometimes including Sliwinska and Orosco, danced group numbers. The energy throughout the entire show was radiating.
Thicke kept the audience on their toes with his jokes while Pacitti balanced him out with her charm.
Along with dancing, viewers also experienced live music. During couples’ dances, Pacitti and “The Voice” contestant Angel Taylor took turns singing.
To top off the singing and dancing, the performers also wore extravagant costumes and practiced the art of quick changing. Each routine brought a new outfit, the performers keeping the audience’s attention. Bright, flashing lights reflected off the sequins on the dancers’ costumes, adding to the effect of the whole performance.
After two rounds of couples dances, the audience took control to decide the fate of the competitors. Electronic voting remotes were strapped to the backs of every other seat. Audience members voted for the couple they wanted to win. After another group number, the votes were “tabulated."
Thicke and Pacitti stuck to the dancing show theme and eliminated couples in a similar fashion to “Dancing With the Stars.” Two couples were called out at a time and told if they were in the final two.
The final two came down to Drozdyuk & Skobina and Adamski & Hightower. After several moments of anticipation, the hosts revealed that Drozdyuk and Skobina were the winners.
Feeding off the excitement and energy of the audience after the reveal, the dancers took the opportunity to show off one last group number while Taylor sang Pharrell Williams’s “Happy.”