"Dancing with the Stars" stars razzle-dazzled on Sunday night at Proctors in Schenectady.
Everyone knows the real stars in “Dancing with the Stars” are the professionals – those flashy, sometimes sharp, sometimes sensual dancers who dole out so much wit and sass that audience can’t help but be blinded by razzle-dazzle.
And eight of those stars – donning sequins, studs and sometimes very little -- were fully illuminated and fully intoxicating on Sunday night at Proctors.
The road show, the spin-off the long-running ABC series, hits the boards for a one-nighter that sent audiences screeching and swooning over their speedy salsas, breezy waltzes and stabbing tangos. These mavens of ballroom styles – everything from the samba to the fox trot – glided, swirled and hopped with ease and perfection. And they did it with so much style in costumes that dripped elegance and/or sex appeal that even those who think the show was kitschy can’t avert their eyes.
I’m not a fan of the show. But I myself was swept into the glitter and glitz, mainly because these dancers – as led by Emma Slater – were simply top-notch movers. They seamlessly blended styles in brief but breathy numbers set to everything from standards to disco to pop. The scenes from one snappy dance to the next were cut so quickly, there was not time to be bored. This crew -- for their stamina alone -- was impressive.
Slater was the headliner along with one of the 31st season’s actual “stars,” Gabby Windey. Like most the stars on “Dancing with the Stars,” she is not an A-listers. A quick Google search found that Windey appeared on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” She was also a former Denver Bronco’s cheerleaders, who alone, looked cute and competent. In the arms of Alan Bersten, she floated across the floor.
But as soon as the real dancers gathered around her, there was no comparison – this group that included Brandon Armstrong, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko and Britt Stewart, were versatile, flawless and most of all, humorously entertaining.
The standout was Alexis Warr who could do it all. She not only hit all the right moves in ballroom, but in modern dance and acrobatic. She was cast in number after number, clearly the show’s workhorse, performing flips, cartwheels and all the barefoot lyrical numbers that found her racing down smoky staircases in flowing gowns into the arms of smitten suitors.
Clearly “Dancing with the Stars” does not mind cliches. And neither does its doting fans, mostly women, who were rewarded with showers of streamers that rained down on them.
I didn’t mind either because the dancing was fine.