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'So You Think You Can Dance' comes to Sarasota

The 10 finalists from this year's "So You Think You Can Dance" competition perform Oct. 29 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. PUBLICITY PHOTO
The 10 finalists from this year's "So You Think You Can Dance" competition perform Oct. 29 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. PUBLICITY PHOTO

They're all coming to Sarasota: Team Street's Megan "Megz" Alfonso, Eddie "Neptune" Eskridge, Virgil Gadson, Jessica "JJ" Rabone and Jana "Jaja" Vankova, and Team Stage's Gaby Diaz, Edson Juarez, Jim Nowakowski, Hailee Payne and Derek Piquette.

If you recognize those names, you're no doubt a fan of "So You Think You Can Dance," the terpsichorean competition that's been a TV hit since for 12 seasons.

This year's top 10 dancers, including winner Diaz -- the first tap dancer to ever win an entire season's contest -- are touring the country together. They'll be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Thursday.

The TV version is still going strong after all these years, and this season it picked up eight Emmy Award nominations. The "street vs. stage" format inaugurated this season was a hit with viewers and critics.

On the tour, the dancers are re-creating some of their best and most popular dances from the season. New dance numbers have also been created specifically for the tour.

It's a long tour, with 70 stops through the end of January. The Sarasota show comes early in the tour, which means that the dancers should still be fresh, and means that the chance of injuries that could hamper the dancing or even lead to a dancer or to being unable to appear will be less than later they will be in a month or two.

Details: 8 p.m. Oct. 29, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $64-$85. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.

-- Marty Clear

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