Life On Tour Series – PLAY On! | Inside Dance

Life On Tour Series – PLAY On! | Inside Dance

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Life On Tour Series – PLAY On!

By Chris Korotky

What dancer wouldn’t want to perform to adoring fans giving you back every bit of the energy you’re giving to them while working with some of the most creative minds and talented artists in the entertainment industry?! So what’s it really like? How long are rehearsals? What does it feel like performing in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans? What’s it like behind-the-scenes? How much are the artists involved in choreography and development? What’s it like criss-crossing the globe for one performance after the next? In our Life on Tour series, consider us your All-Access pass to tours of some of the biggest artists today. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be up on that stage!

When Katy Perry announced her new “PLAY” artist residency at Resorts World Las Vegas, we knew we had to be among the first to see what was sure to be a blockbuster performance from one of the biggest hitmakers of the past decade and a half. Known for integrating dancers as a prime fixture of her past tours, a residency provided a new arena with new possibilities and, yes, a new playground. Dancers have become so integral to a Perry performance that when Entertainment Weekly once chose to showcase her in a cover story, three of her dancers appeared alongside her on the cover. [Fun Fact: One of those dancers, Cassidy Noblett, also has appeared on the cover of Inside Dance magazine!]

In our May issue, we give you an inside look at the incredible production, which lives up to its “larger-than-life” billing. You’ll also hear from a performer Maile Makaafi, who is part of the inaugural dance cast for PLAY and recently appeared on the Inside Dance Podcast with Taylor and Alex. Makaafit attended Pace University and was also a Radio City Rockette dancer before moving to LA and landing one of the coveted spots in Perry’s Las Vegas Production. Here’s what she had to say about Dress Rehearsal and Opening night…

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Our invited dress, my dad and my brother came, which was really nice. And I want to say, because we were doing full show runs, like, all the time. I can’t say that it was quite like muscle memory, but you had sort of an expectation of what the show is going to feel like. Because you’re going through each and every act, like nailing your quick changes finally. But at the end of the day, we were looking out at an empty house, so family and friends was really fun! We were still trying to get those first audience nerves out. But the very next day was our official opening show and I have never experienced a crowd like that before! They were just roaring, like, literally roaring. And so many people were dressed up as Katy… that’s what Katy’s fans are like. Shout out KatyCats! I am so inspired by them, truly…. Every single person in the house was on their feet, jumping, screaming, singing with her, like, looking at us, even the dancers. Everyone is so attentive and so invested. There wasn’t one person sitting down or relaxing. The energy exchange between stage and audience was unbelievable. After just one night, we were like, ‘Opening Night, that was crazy.’ Then we got to show two, and it was the same thing. And show three and show six was, like the best audience ever. It just kept building. It was wild, so wild, and so inspiring for us to receive that. And just made you want to scream with your body and give it back to them! –Maile Makaafi

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For the complete feature (including the awe-inspiring advice Maile would give to her younger self that is a lesson all unto itself), subscribe now for the May issue of Inside Dance and enjoy your All-Access Pass to our Life on Tour Series all year long!

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Photos Courtesy Resorts World/Getty Images by Kevin Mazur

Subscribe now to receive the April/May Issue of Inside Dance magazine at

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