Alexis Warr Shares the Wise Advice Derek Hough Gave to his Tour Dancers
Updated: Jul 9
When Alexis Warr embarked on her first dance tour, it wasn't just for anyone, it was for Derek Hough. It's been a dream of a lifetime for her to be a part of the cast of Derek Hough Live! It almost feels like she was destined to work with Derek since she trained at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, Utah, the same studio where Derek and Dancing with the Stars pro Jenna Johnson studied.
She's been on a big stage before, though. On Season 2 of World of Dance, she danced with the Junior Team Division ballroom group, The Pulse. They made it to The Cut before being eliminated from the competition.
Alexis spoke with Dance Dish about the audition process, what it was like dancing with Derek and what her favorite number is on the tour.
Dance Dish: I know everyone had a unique experience in joining the tour. Did you audition for the Derek Hough Live! Tour?
Alexis Warr: I was referred from some people from Dancing with the Stars and my director knows Derek. Tabitha [D'umo] texted me and we set up a meeting in LA. I met with him, we danced together and then we just talked. It was more of a private audition. A couple of weeks after, they reached out and offered me the tour. It was unreal. I didn't believe it at first.
DD: What was it like dancing with Derek for that audition?
Alexis: He's such a great leader and such a great dancer. It just felt natural. I had so much fun with it. My mindset was to show him who I was as a dancer and as a human — I know he's very into that. I didn't want to focus on the fact that it was an audition.
When I left the audition, I felt great. I also reminded myself that whatever's meant to be, will be. I cried when I found out I made it because it felt so unreal. It was the most incredible feeling ever.
DD: What was the rehearsal process like for the tour?
Alexis: The rehearsal process was the toughest part because we're cranking out all these numbers in just a matter of a couple of weeks and they expect them to look perfect and clean. It was hard. I felt that's where I grew because we would have to learn stuff quickly and get it going. It challenged me, it pushed me — especially my brain — it pushed my brain and my body.
What's great about the tour is that it shows dance. It shows the versatility of dance. There's so much culture behind all styles of dance and I love and appreciate how Derek incorporated so many of those styles into this show. That's what I feel makes it an amazing show.
DD: What piece on the tour resonates with you the most?
Alexis: When we were learning "Shallow" and "The Greatest Showman" piece, I had a moment where I bawled my eyes afterward because of the message that comes across with each of them. It just touches my heart.
Derek gave us a little talk about it because in this industry, we are surrounded by so much judgment, so much negativity. We sometimes feel a lot of pressure in the dance world. Sometimes I question myself — Am I enough? Am I doing the right thing?
And what these dances and what Derek is saying — you are enough and you always have been and you always will be. It made me bawl my eyes out like a baby. It was a emotional time and that's when I started to dive into this whole tour. From the beginning. I wanted to be openhearted about this whole experience.
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