Julianne and Derek Hough Dance, Sing and Get a Little Too Preachy

The show included a lot of crowd participation.
The show included a lot of crowd participation. Paige Skinner

Baby boomers love Julianne and Derek Hough. Old women especially. Their old-man husbands are just there because their wives forced them out of the house to see two blond-haired, blue-eyed siblings tango with each other.

But the men aren’t too upset because they love Julianne. But the women really love Derek. They love when he dances. They love when he sings. They looooove when he takes his shirt off.

The brother and sister pair who got famous from Dancing With The Stars were at Verizon Theatre on Sunday night for their show, Move Live on Tour. For nearly two hours, the two jived, swing danced, flipped, twirled, tapped, sang and emceed.

The show is essentially a high-energy dance show starring the two siblings and featuring about a dozen backup dancers — all brunette to contrast the two blond Houghs. There were several costume changes, different hair styles and changes of music genres, and Derek performed three whole times without his shirt on.

The dancing was incredible. To dance at the energy and level they did for two hours with a 20-minute intermission is impressive. There’s a reason they are considered world-class dancers and have, between the two, eight mirrorball trophies from "Dancing With The Stars." No matter what kind of dancing they were doing, the audience was captivated.

None of the routines went on too long, and Julianne and Derek stayed in the forefront for the majority of the time. However, there were times when Julianne and Derek let the backup dancers take center stage while they sang the music accompanying the routine. While two dancers performed to Christina Perri’s “Human,” Julianne sang the song from an elevated platform. And it wasn’t great. Julianne has a fine voice, proven by her 2008 country album and her role as Sandy on Fox’s Grease Live. But after dancing and sounding like she was out of breath, it came off feeling and sounding like a high-school talent show.

There was a lot of crowd participation. And the baby boomers seemed to love it. Twice, Julianne and Derek instructed the audience members to stand up, stretch, hug the person next to them and wave their hands in the air. The baby boomers did it without hesitation. They clapped and yelled and wooed anytime they were asked.

click to enlarge The show included a lot of crowd participation. - PAIGE SKINNER
The show included a lot of crowd participation.
Paige Skinner
One older woman especially got in on the action. When Derek asked for a volunteer from the audience, he picked one woman who was about 70 and danced with her onstage. She was living for it. She grabbed on to him every chance she got. She kissed him on the cheek when there was an opportunity. She let him twirl her around. She did everything but go home with him.

Dancing and singing and crowd participation were the norm for the night. Toward the end of the show, the Houghs tried storytelling by explaining how they got to where they are in the form of Disney songs. Julianne said she did everything first: moved to Hollywood, went on Dancing With The Stars and starred in a live TV musical, and older brother Derek followed her in footsteps. The small comedic flare in the act was enough to divvy up all the dancing and give audience members a change in production.

The night didn't end with a bang, however. Instead, it ended with what felt like a premature standing ovation from the audience while Julianne and Derek explained how much the fans mean to them and how dancing started as something they did together in their childhood living room.

“Motion equals emotion” was the big slogan for the night, and although the baby boomers didn’t seem to mind, the end of the night felt a bit preachy. Julianne and Derek instructed everyone to stand while they spouted off some inspirational sentiment about loving one another. I would have preferred one big dance number to end it.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner