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dancing with the stars live!

Dancing with the Stars group

Watching Dancing With the Stars has been my guilty pleasure for years.

I never thought I’d be interested in anything having to do with ballroom dancing but, like millions of viewers, I find the show irresistible. Plus, I’m enamored with Val Chmerkovskiy.

I love following the celebrities’ journeys and learning their back stories. I mean, how can you not be inspired when you see people like Cloris Leachman, who, at 82, was the oldest contestant, and Amy Purdy, a double leg amputee, who became Season 18 runner-up, get out there and give it their all?

This past season was especially fun for me because Val finally won — with partner Rumer Willis, whose transformation and victory over the demons of her past (bullies, body image issues, living in the shadow of her famous parents) was empowering not just to her but to so many other girls out there.

Dancing with the Stars - Lois trophy

I was thrilled to be able to interview Rumer (I’ll post the link when it goes live) and to attend the 10th anniversary tour of Dancing With the Stars Live! in Costa Mesa last week.

Thanks to VIP Nation, Sara and I got to meet Rumer and some of the pros — including, sigh, Val — before the show at an exclusive Meet and Greet, where we got to take a photo and a selfie (taken by Keo Motsepe because, apparently, he has the longest arms!) and got to check out the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

We talked to a lot of fans, some of whom brought gifts for the pros, and we got to spend time with another mother-daughter combo, Deidre Behar of ET online, and her mom, Jamie, both of whom we hope to see again soon.

Dancing with the Stars curtain

From the moment the lights went down and Val walked onstage, in a robe and a faux beer belly, it was obvious he was the crowd favorite. By the time he whipped off his shirt to reveal his six-pack during “Shut Up and Dance,” the audience was cheering.

Former Bachelor star and Dancing With the Stars All Stars champion Melissa Rycroft hosted the show, which included lots of intimate moments with the pros. Val told the audience that not in a million years would he have thought ballroom dancing would be responsible for putting him on that stage. He said he started dancing at the age of 8 in the Ukraine only because his parents put big brother Maks in an after-school etiquette class, which included ballroom, and he tagged along.

Rumer Willis, who was not dancing because she fractured her foot, sang a few songs instead — she has a beautiful voice and a striking stage presence — and shared the importance of her experience. “People put me in a box,” she explained in an impassioned speech. “Don’t let anyone limit you.”

The night was full of humor, warmth — the audience knows these pros so well, there was a real sense of familiarity and family in that theater — and, of course, dance.

Dancing With the Stars swag

It was exciting to see the jive, the paso doble, the rumba and the waltz — words that have become household names to fans — in person. These dancers are so talented and they make it look so easy but it’s obvious that they work really really hard, which is why Melissa had to warn the fans in the first three rows that they were sitting in the “Val sweat zone.”

Witney Carson showed off the Carlton and donned the black leather pants Olivia Newton John made famous to take on the role of Sandy for “You’re the One That I Want.” Emma Slater and Sasha Farber did a jive that would give a normal person a heart attack, and Peta Murgatroyd was a stunning example of Melissa’s reminder that the women not only learn and perform challenging choreography but then have to dance backwards and on heels.

It was such an entertaining show and if it’s coming anywhere near you during the remainder of the tour, I highly recommend you get tickets.

I give it a 10!

Dancing With the Stars 10


  1. It always amazes me that these celebs can pull it off . It’s hard work!

  2. I used to watch Dancing With The Stars. Not sure why I quit. I should start up again since I did like watching the show.

  3. Gah! They are performing at the amazing Paramount Theater in Oakland in early August. So near and yet so far–tix sold out before I tried to get one. I’ll live vicariously through you! I started watching it when I was in my MFA program because several of the “other kids” in my class were into it (a bunch of 25-year olds!). Can’t wait to read more about the show!

  4. Robin Masshole mommy says:

    My mother LOVES this show. She’s love to see it live!

  5. Such a great show. I wish my kids didn’t always hijack the tv!

  6. I love Dancing with the Stars. Such amazing talent. What a great opportunity.

  7. Looks like you had such a fun experience. This is my moms favorite show.

  8. I love learning more about the back stories of celebrities too. It makes us realize that they are real people too just like us.

  9. That Val gets me every time .. hes so good looking and swoon worthy .. I can’t wait to see this interview. This was one of my favorite seasons

  10. Ah! Very cool! My dad would die to be able to see any of them live. Wow! Lucky gal!

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    That was a great opportunity for you to meet the stars of the show. My mom is a great fan of ballroom dancing and regularly watches Dancing with the Stars.

  12. I used to watch this before, then I got so busy with too many things. I miss watching this and I hope to catch up soon.

  13. Oh wow, lucky you. I have been watching DWTS since Season 3 and I’m an avid fan. Love that Val finally won, I’m looking forward to the next season already.

  14. Jennifer Williams says:

    I have never seen the show but hear about it often. I can only imagine the amount of work and training that goes into the dancing. I love hearing stories like Cloris Leachman and Amy Purdy – they prove that you should not let anything stop you.

  15. I LOVE DWTS! I’ve watched the show over the years and I think their live show would be so fun to see!

  16. Wow, Rumer looks incredible!
    And I have a crush on Val myself. It’s an incredible show, for all the right reasons.

  17. There’s no way I could do Dancing with the Stars! lol I am always impressed with the determination and sheer will that the celeb contestants put into it. I’ll be looking forward to your interview with Rumer Willis too!

  18. Dancing with the Stars is one of my favorite show, at least is not violent and I can watch it with my kids, thanks for the great post and nice photos 😀

  19. I love watching this show! Normally we tape it then fast-forward through all the commercials 🙂 They have had some amazing dances over the year that’s for sure!

  20. Agh! You are so lucky!

    DWTS has been one of my all-time favorite shows for forever. I hold true to the opinion that it’s one of the best FAMILY shows on television. I am thoroughly entertained as an adult watching it, and I feel comfortable enough letting my kids watch it too. Like you said, the back stories are so inspirational. The hard work and dedication is apparent. The fact that the women professionals are in charge of their success…these are things I want my daughters to see.

    Also…VAL CHMERKOVISKY ::swoon:: 🙂


  21. I love DWTS and watch it every season. I wish I could dance like them.

  22. Dancing with the stars is one of those shows I’ve heard of but never watched. Some of my favorite celebrities have been on that show but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

  23. I have watched it a few times and loved it. I don’t watch it regularly like I do with my other shows. After the first few seasons I seem to have lost interested. I think it’s great that you got to interview someone famous and you were able to attend and watch it live. I think I would love to watch it live even more than watching it on tv.

  24. Wow! What an amazing experience this would be. Looks like you had a blast…. I haven’t watched Dancing with the Stars since the first season really, but being there? That would be too fun!

  25. What a fun experience you took part in with DWTS! Looking forward to the season!

  26. How awesome! Very cool! Some very talented individuals in that show. I know many of my friends who love the show and are faithful about watching it.

  27. My mother in law and father in law love Dancing With the Stars. They and my nephew are always talking about it.

  28. What a great experience. I love all the photos that you took.

  29. I haven’t watched Dancing With the Stars in a while. I love Rumer Willis.

  30. I keep staying how I need to watch this show. What a cool experience!

  31. What an awesome experience! I used to watch Dancing with the Stars all the time, but missed the last few seasons. I was always partial to Val’s brother 🙂

  32. That is some trophy! Love the bling and shine! What a fun experience!

  33. I LOVE DWTS!!! My mom bought me the work out DVD… that’s hardcore fandom. 😉

  34. This is so awesome. I don’t watch this show, but my grandma does. She would love to have been there with you.

  35. I am a DWTS addict and cant wait to see your interview. Love the cute pic with the mirror ball. I want to BE on this show.

  36. Lucky you!!!! I love Dancing with the Stars! Seems like you really enjoyed this awesome experience 🙂

  37. How fun! I have watched DWTS but missed this season. Glad your favorites won

  38. That had to be an amazing experience…wow! I don’t watch DWTS but I have a few friends who love it. I’ll be on the look-out for your interview post 🙂

  39. My cousin said he wanted to go see this with his mom live. I think it would be fun to watch.

  40. I have never really gotten into Dancing with The Stars but I do love watching it when I have time. They are amazing dancers.

  41. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I am completely addicted to this show! I love the dancing, the drama, the back stories — everything about it. I would have loved to see this show live but the cast isn’t coming to Philly, sadly. I checked as soon as they announced the tour. 🙂

  42. I had no idea that dancing with the stars had a touring show. Sounds like it was a lot of fun!

  43. Elizabeth O. says:

    What a wonderful experience. I miss watching this show. Looking forward to reading your interview.

  44. What an exciting experience. I bet it was so fun watching it live. I can’t wait to find out about your interview with Rumer Willis.

  45. I do believe Sarah’s smile says it all!

  46. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This sounds amazing. I love watching Dancing with the stars. I loved when Snooki was on the show.

  47. Wow, what fun, and what a great opportunity. I want to be you, Lois…or your daughter, at the very least 🙂

  48. This sounds like such a fun experience. Rumer is so pretty and has a wonderful voice.

  49. Rachelle J says:

    Oh wow! It looks like you had such a fun time! We are big DWTS fans here as well and I have to admit, I’m totally jealous of you right now!

  50. Debbie Denny says:

    It does look like fun. I will have to look for it,

  51. What a great evening you had! WOW! I am always so amazed and impressed with all that the dancers accomplish!

  52. Sounds like a great show & the pictures are really great. Its really a wonderful opportunity to meet the celebrities and to have some fun time around. I do wish to dance with my favorite stars.

  53. My mom and sis are huge fans and have been so wanting to go to this!

  54. Sounds like a fun experience. I watched the first couple of seasons but it’s been awhile

  55. How fun! Can’t wait for the interview!

  56. I must be one of the few people who don’t watch DWTS! Maybe I should give it a try.

  57. I started watching Dancing with the Stars about 8 years ago. Throughout the years, I somehow kind of forgot about the show. I have a thing where if I start to watch a show, I need to see it from the very first episode. I cannot start watching something in the middle of the season.

  58. Never watched it before. Looks like a load of fun though!

  59. Ok, I have to admit, I have never actually watched dancing with the stars…but this sounds like such a fun experience for you! Plus, I love Rumer, so will be watching for your interview with her 🙂

  60. Since I’m stuck somewhere in 1945 as far as stars are concerned I look to you to keep me abreast of what’s new and happening. How cool that you and Sara got to do this! Awesome, Lois. And I can’t believe Rumer had these issues – she is such a beautiful girl. You never know, but so happy to hear she overcame them. Fun time, Lois!

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