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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

How the 'Derek Hough Live!' Tour Revealed New Possibilities for Audrey Case

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Audrey Case first burst on the dance scene in 2012 when she competed on Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance. Her Top-10 finish eventually took her to Royal Flux, where Jaci Royal's beautifully complex choreography was a natural fit for Case's long lines.

After two seasons competing on World of Dance with Royal Flux in front of Derek Hough, Case is dancing alongside him on his tourDerek Hough Live! She spoke with Dance Dish recently about joining the tour and how her ballroom technique is going now that she's surrounded by the likes of Hough, Daniella Karagach and Alexis Warr.

Dance Dish: How did the opportunity for Derek's tour come your way?

Audrey Case: It wasn't like a regular audition. I got a text from one of NappyTabs’ assistants, Katy Tate, who asked me if this would be something I would be interested in doing. She asked me to come in and speak to Derek. I had no idea what to expect.

I got to the studio and it was just me and Derek. We started working on this duet that he was planning on putting in the show. He started talking about the tour, and at this point, I didn't know if I was going on tour or not. It was a very awkward day. [She laughed.]

He then played around with showing me some ballroom moves and I've never really done ballroom. I thought, uh-oh, here we go. But he said to me, "Oh yeah, you'll be fine." At the end of the day, they officially asked me to do the tour.

DD: How is your ballroom? I can't remember how much you had to do on So You Think You Can Dance?

Audrey: It was so long ago! when I auditioned for So YouThink, my mom hugged Nigel [Lythogoe] after my audition and he whispered to her, "Get her in ballroom." 

So I took private lessons once a week for a month leading up to Vegas Week so that I would have a little knowledge about it. Back in the day, ballroom wasn't even a thing for competition, but now it definitely has a presence. 

Vegas Week, we did the Cha-cha and it didn't go so well. I still made it through somehow. On the show, I had a salsa and it was pretty tragic. It's definitely not one of the most memorable routines ever. [She laughed.]

I'm definitely learning a lot from everyone here on tour. Even though I'm labeled as a contemporary dancer, it's been really cool to experience the ballroom side of things.

DD: What is it like performing to live music every night?

Audrey: I was really scared at first, but it's been so fun because it brings such a different energy to the stage. You get to feel the music rather than listening to a track. The musicians have a presence because they're on the stage with us the whole time. It's not just the dance energy, you have the music energy and a group of personalities that we're able to interact with. It's a really cool experience.

DD: How has this tour stretched you as an artist?

Audrey: I've created an image for myself in the contemporary world because that's what I'm most comfortable with and what I feel I'm best at. I haven't done this kind of dancing since So You Think, where you get exposed to so many dance genres.

This tour is a breath of fresh air because I feel like I'm getting back to the roots of what I grew up doing. It's opened my eyes to all the dancing possibilities I can do. I feel like I put myself in a box because it's what I'm comfortable with, but after this, I definitely feel more confident that I can do so much more than that.

DD: How did the Derek Hough Live! tour make an impact on you personally?

Audrey: We've all been really reflective about this whole process and how we made it here — most of us can't even believe it's happening. It's crazy to think that if I had not auditioned for Royal Flux five years ago, I wouldn't have the same path. The opportunities that I took directly led me onto this path of greatness of working with Derek Hough. It's so cool.


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