'So You Think You Can Dance Tour' visits the Peace Center Tuesday

By Scott Stevens, Photographer,Web Developer
Published on Monday, November 17, 2014

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'So You Think You Can Dance Tour' visits the Peace Center Tuesday

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One of the many benefits of living in Greer is the proximity to the Peace Center, and this week the top billing will be the 13-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning show "So You Think You Can Dance Tour" making a stop Tuesday night.

The show will feature this season’s most popular routines, as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour. The lineup includes Top 10 finalists: Ricky Ubeda, Valerie Rockey, Jessica Richens, Zack Everhart, Casey Askew, Jacque LeWarne, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Bridget Whitman, and Emilio Dosal.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of reality TV, mainly due to the "cast" general lack of real talent, however shows like SYTYCD are the exceptions. The competition requires significant talent and hard work, and once you're on the dance floor, there aren't any second takes. It's you, your partner and your routine, trying to win the hearts of the judges and audience.

If you watched this season of "So You Think You Can Dance", then you know the talent required to make the show, and the top 10, was set at a high bar. GreerToday had the opportunity to do a Q&A session with arguably the hardest working contestant, Jessica Richens, who took third place.

GreerToday: So, how old are you and where are you from?

Jessica: 20, and am from Yorba Linda, Calif.

GreerToday: How old were you when you started dancing?

Jessica: I began dancing at the age of 4, and have trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop.

Describe your path to SYTYCD?

Jessica: I've been watching the show since I was 8 years old, and being in the dance community, we all knew about the show and wanted to be on it. You have to be 18 to audition, so I had to wait until this season for the opportunity. I went into it with low expectations, since I knew many amazing dancers over the years that didn't even make it past the second round. I knew how tough it was going to be, but wanted to give it a go.

GreerToday: I saw in your bio that you performed with the Rockettes at the age of 12. Can you tell me about that?

Jessica: Yes, I did the traveling show for Christmas with the Rockettes, and played the part of Clara. It was a dancing and singing part, then singing being a little out of my element, but it was so much fun. We did a total of (80) shows throughout the tour, and I even had to keep up with my homework while on the road.

GreerToday: Seems like you had to change partners almost every week. What was that like? Good, bad, challenge?

Jessica: It was both good and bad, and definitely was challenging. I was bummed when I lost my partners (almost every week), because I didn't get that close partnership many of the others were able to build with their partners. The silver lining was that it prepared me for the final rounds when the format changed to everyone changing partners each week. I felt like that was the norm for me, so the adjustment wasn't difficult.

GreerToday: Favorite partner and why?

Jessica: I thought it was really fun to dance with tWitch, my first all star partner. He kept everything relaxing and fun throughout the week as we rehearsed, and he is such an amazing hip-hop artist.
(see Jessica dance with tWitch, one of our favorites, below)

GreerToday: Favorite choreographer?

Jessica: I loved them all, but did especially enjoy Spencer Liff. I had him during Top 4 week and he choreographed Hernando's Hideway. He was so very understanding and nice, but pushed us to do our best.

GreerToday: What are your plans immediately following the tour?

Jessica: I'm going back home to Orange County, and will be auditioning throughout LA. I'll see where that takes me. I'm open to most anything.

GreerToday: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Jessica: I see myself in a dance company, and possibly on Broadway, which would be awesome. Anywhere I'm dancing would be fine.

Thanks again to Jessica for taking the time for the Q&A.

If you don't have plans Tuesday night, this show is a must. If you do have plans, cancel them and join me at The Peace Center for some amazing dancing.

Tickets are available at the door and the link below:






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