How does the show at the Trop compare to the one viewers see at home?
It’s really, really similar to the TV show—it’s very fun; it’s very entertaining. The difference is that it’s more interactive. You get to feel the energy; you get to see it up close. We pick people out of the audience to dance with, and we chat with people during the whole thing. It’s everything the show offers but with a little bit of a Vegas twist.
In your opinion, why should people go see the show at the Trop?
Well, here’s the thing. You know, the show is really aimed for all ages. We definitely have the older viewers—they’re always there, and they’re always great and always so much fun to have in the audience. But then you get the younger crowd, the teenagers that just appreciate dancing and might be fans of a few of the celebrities there. And then they bring their boyfriends, who just enjoy looking at the females who are half-naked the whole time. And then you have the women who come in to see the half-naked men. It’s all positive. It’s so much fun and it’s easy to watch.
- Dancing With the Stars
- Through July 7; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday, 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 p.m.; Sunday, 2 & 8 p.m.; $40-$144
- Tropicana Theater, 800-829-9034
I read that you were taking a break from Dancing With the Stars to focus on other aspects of your career. So what made you want to do the production show at the Tropicana?
I think on a bucket list for a performer is definitely doing a stage show, whether it’s in Vegas or on Broadway or whatever. It was a nice, limited-time engagement to keep myself busy for a little bit, but for me it was more about being with the people that are on this cast, because it’s such a great cast and we’re all really good friends. It was one of those things, like, “This is going to be a really, really good experience. I should do this.” But I also have the freedom to pursue my business interests in Vegas. I’m recording my album right now, and I own a studio out in California that’s being run through me and my family, so that’s been really great. And my costume line through Discount Dance Supply is also getting released this year. I’ve been really fortunate to be able to take my work with me to Vegas.
You’ve been experiencing some of our city’s nightlife recently. What has been your best night out here?
It’s been crazy because we’ve all been working so hard on the show—we basically did the whole show in two weeks from start to finish, so we really didn’t have too much time to go out and enjoy everything. But we’ve gotten to see some shows, and we’ve been to a few of the restaurants around town, like STK, and it’s been phenomenal. A couple of nights ago we all went to the Bank at Bellagio, and it was just such a blast … and then we went out to Drink & Drag by Fremont, which was super fun, too, because I’m a huge bowling person. It’s nice coming in to a new city that I’ve never really explored before and doing it right—having fun and going out with the right people.
I saw on Twitter that you and some other DWTS Vegas cast members have been having some fun with the Recycled Percussion cast …
Sabrina Bryan and I share a dressing room, and the Recycled Percussion boys are two doors down from us and they’re always playing crazy loud music and drumming on stuff. So we wanted to mess with them a little bit. We started slowly—we would toilet paper their room or put stickers all over their room, just stupid stuff. And then it started turning into more of like a vicious thing, and they took one of our Hello Kitty stuffed animals, hung it from the ceiling and dripped fake blood all over it. We’re planning a really big finish, so by July 7 when our show at the Trop is over, you better prepare yourself. That’s all I’m going to say! (Laughs)
Would you consider another season of DWTS?
I would definitely consider another season. There’s all this talk about an all-stars season and bringing people back. I think it’s a phenomenal idea, and I would totally, totally do it.
In your DWTS career, who’s been the most fun person to work with?
You know, the little Disney kid that I have right now in Vegas with me, he’s like my little brother. He’s only three years younger than me, but he’s just a doll to work with, and he’s so much fun to have around. He’s always positive, he’s always happy and he’s just awesome. His name’s Kyle Massey and he’s just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
Who’s been your most difficult DWTS partner thus far?
I get, you know, the partners that are very hard to place … the cases like the Steve-Os, who are not quite concentrated on dancing. But I’m really patient, and I can make anybody dance, pretty much. I don’t look at it as a difficult situation; I look at it as a growing and learning experience.
What do you think of ballroom dancing’s popularity? Have shows like DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance helped boost its popularity?
I’ve always danced. I’ve always been around it. But I think for Middle America, for people who might not be dancers, it brought dancing to the forefront. Dancers have always been a kind of background image, we’ve always danced behind an artist or we’ve danced in a movie behind the actors. We’ve always been very secondary. So shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars and America’s Best Dance Crew are really showing dancing in another light, where people who are not dancers can appreciate the art and what we all put into it. … I get tweets and emails from people saying, “I’m in my 50s, [and] I just started dancing because of the show and because of what you guys do.” It’s really cool to be a part of something that people feel inspired by, because we’re inspired by it every day.