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Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Chelsie Hightower of Pleasant Grove waves to the crowd during the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour Tuesday at the E Center.

"SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE," E Center, Tuesday

When Odyssey Dance Theatre's Thayne Jasperson talked with the Deseret News a few hours before he took the stage with 11 others for the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour, he said he hoped the show was going to be everything he wanted it to be.

Well, if he wanted the performance to be a high-energy, eye-pleasing and eardrum-smashing good time, then he got his wish.

"So You Think You Can Dance" tour, featuring the top dancers from the fourth season of the Fox TV reality series, made it to the E Center on Tuesday.

Along with Utahn Jasperson, there were two other Utah dancers in the cast — Gev Manoukian and Chelsie Hightower. They joined Mark Kanemura, Comfort Fedoke, Kherington Payne, Twitch Boss, Courtney Galiano, Katee Shean, Will Wingfield and season-four winner Joshua Allen.

Not only did the cast dance its way back into the hearts of the members of the sold-out audience, but the dancers also took time to interact with the audience and introduce each others' flashy, but short routines.

Earlier in the day, Manoukian said memorizing the spoken-word intros were the most challenging thing for him on the tour.

"The dancing is difficult, but we have all danced the routines before," he said. "It was getting the rhythm down with the speaking and jokes that was hard for me."

The jokes came a plenty with Manoukian becoming the evening's clown as he emerged in an array of costumes, including Vienna waltz evening gown and a traditional Austrian dress.

Hightower's energy shined with her flair and style during her solos and duets with the other guys. Her contagious smile and quick-steps helped get those standing ovations.

"I am so excited to be dancing in front of my friends and family," she said during the interview session. "It totally blows me away that there are people who have supported me throughout the season. I can finally dance for them."

The routines of the evening were chosen by the producers of the TV show and tour, said Galiano and Wingfield during the interviews.

"They asked us which routines we liked, and we gave our input," said Galiano.

"The funny thing was when we got the show's list, a lot of our favorites were already on the list," said Wingfield.

It was evident with the smiles and camaraderie on the stage how much fun the dancers were having.

The only disappointment of the evening was the traditional Russian dance. Although the audience members jumped to their collective feet at the end, the dance did not utilize Boss' and Allen's gymnastic capabilities. There could have been more.

Still, the "So You Think You Can Dance" tour can be considered a huge success, especially when you watched the fans' reactions throughout the evening.


E-mail: scott@desnews.com