Since December 14th, I have been on tour with Dancing With Stars Live. This was my 3rd tour with them and it turned out to be my favorite one yet. The show was created to be more personal for us dancers and it was so beautiful to share our stories 54 times! I also found out that we sold the most tickets out of any DWTS tour up to date. How incredible, right? I sometimes forget what a dream it is to tour the country, meet my amazing fans, and dance on stage every night…. and I get to call it my job.
If I’m being honest, touring can be pretty exhausting. It is soooooo worth it but it is definitely not as glamorous as it seems. A normal day on tour goes something like this:
-wake up (in your bunk bed… more like a coffin) in a new city
-slowly get out of bed. If you’re lucky enough to have woken up before 11am, you catch breakfast inside the venue
-check out the new venue’s stage and then find the dressing room
-group text for anyone wanting to go to the gym
-gym for an hour or so
-if it’s an exciting/interesting city, maybe you explore and walk around
-shower in the venue
-if you have meet and greet, you should probably starting getting ready
-two or more hours spent putting warpaint (makeup) on and doing hair
-meet and greet time
-quick bite of dinner before heading to warmup
-finish warmup and final touch ups before the show starts
-dance for 2 hours and 15 minutes
-finish show, shower, and pack everything up
-meet fans waiting outside the bus
-get on bus…. eat food and watch movies
-climb into bed and try to sleep while driving hours through the night
-wake up and repeat
If you like rollercoasters, you should definitely try to sleep on a tour bus!
The relationships you make during tour are incredible. Not just between us dancers but with our stage hands, wardrobe, bus drivers, tour managers.. we really do become a family. We make lots of inside jokes and mini tour rituals. For example, every night when I walked down the stairs before Mambo Number Five, one of our screen guys, Ryan, would give me a huge high five right before I started to jive with Alan. Marley, who was head of wardrobe, would write our names on pieces of tape every show and put them in front of our chairs in the pop up backstage. I looked forward every night to see how she had written my name. Sometimes there were hearts involved, sometimes missing letters, and on our last day there was chocolate involved. She knows the way to my heart. 🙂 Another one of my favorite rituals we did as a cast was a huddle after every show. Depending on the city or what had happened during the show we would chant a word or a phrase and do a ‘1, 2, 3, break’. Those are little moments that seem small and insignificant at the time but they are the moments and memories that will stay with me forever.
One of my favorite things about touring are our ‘girls dressing room’ chats. During high school I didn’t have a ton of close girlfriends so its been amazing to create some really close friendships with these girls. We talk about girly stuff, we vent about life, we cry together, we catch up on the Bachelor, we share beauty products and advice, and we laugh for hours and hours on end. It’s like having a mega slumber party everyday!! I truly love Lindsay, Emma, Hayley, Sharna, and Laurie SO much and I’m grateful to have shared these past few months with these beauties.
I had the opportunity of being dance captain again on this tour and I’m really grateful for the patience I received from everyone who had to put up with my hundreds of text messages and reminders. 🙂 We found ourselves in a lot of funny/stressful situations during these past few months, so we ended up having to revise the show multiple times!! Every time there was a revision it meant you were going to get an insanely long text from me with a new show order and specific changes we were going to make. It also meant respacing and lighting rehearsals. I am SO grateful for the respect my peers showed me and for the support we gave each other. We always pulled out an amazing show and we couldn’t have done it without one another.
Tour always somehow teaches me a lot about myself. In the past I have felt the need to rely heavily on other people to stay entertained and comforted during 3 months on the road. I had this constant fear of being left out or not in the inner circle of what was happening at all times. This time around, I made it a goal to enjoy moments to myself. I needed to train myself how to enjoy being alone. I would take walks by myself in the different cities we were in, I saw sites I had wanted to see, I would sneak into bed earlier than everyone else and read a book, and I just did things for myself for once. I didn’t try to seclude myself by any means, but I usually feel that I have to do what everybody else is doing in order to stay happy. What I forgot to prioritize for so long was myself. So this time around I made sure I did something each day for ME. This may seem a little selfish but that never was my intention. I just wanted to learn to be secure in my own being and content with making simple daily decisions on my own. This also helped me with my quest to love myself. I ended up loving these moments to myself. I think a lot of us have this fear of being alone. We may even think of it as rejection. But we need to learn to appreciate having security in our own being. The most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. Explore yourself, do things for you, and love yourself!
I cannot believe tour is over! I am so proud of the quality show we put on every night and I’m honored to have been a part of this cast and shared the stage with these incredible dancers. I want to thank all of my partners who had to put up with me every night, the crew who went above and beyond to make our show perfect, Faculty (especially Guy) for giving us this platform to share our talents, and everyone who came out and supported us during these past 3 months! We appreciate your love and enthusiasm for our show very much! Thank you for adding another chapter in my book of life! Having said that, I am definitely ready for a few days at home with my family and ready to catch up on some sleep. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!
*Here are some of my favorite pictures taken by fans during the tour! Thanks for all the pics 🙂
City of Stars
International Cha Cha
Love In the Dark