Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound dance troupe stops in Syracuse

Young dancers and dance enthusiasts filled The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater to see alumni of the 'So You Think You Can Dance' program.

Dreams take us to places we could have never imagined.

Out of the dreamland and mind of one of So You Think You Can Dance’s most well-known alums, Travis Wall, comes Dance Reimagined, a story about the manifestations of dreams, innermost thoughts and confronting your demons through dance.

Wall’s dance company, Shaping Sound, co-founded by fellow dancers Teddy Forance, Nick Lazzarini and Kyle Robinson, stopped in Syracuse at the The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater on Saturday for the ninth tour date out of a 12-day tour.

The theater was filled with mostly young girls ranging from 10-17 years old, their parents and fellow jazz and modern dancers. The show began with the season 12 winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Gaby Diaz, gracing the stage, her presence followed by a roaring sound of applause.

Dance Reimagined takes the audience through the story of Diaz in a dreamlike state, struggling to find herself as a woman while going through various stages of finding love.

“It’s basically real life,” said 19-year-old Shaping Sound dancer Jay Jay Dixonbey. “When I sit back and watch the show, I feel like I’m watching a movie. It looks like a real life situation. It could actually be happening to somebody; somebody could be going through that. You could literally be dreaming that, wake up from your dreams and be like, ‘You’re not good for me.’”

Brynn Fletcher, who has seen Shaping Sound perform in New York City as well, said that she loved how they told the story through dance, and that the show inspired her as a dancer to tell a stronger story that affects people emotionally with her body.

The strength of the show and connection it made with the audience is a testament to the strong bond between the dancers, and the show’s artistic director, Wall, who everyone from company dancers to audience members praised.

“This was my first time working with Travis one-on-one,” said Dixonbey. “Working with Travis is mind-blowing. He’s literally the most brilliant man. He knows exactly what he wants and [I] trust him. He knows what he’s talking about. If he gives you a correction, just do it because it’s only going to make you better.”

The corrections, hours spent in rehearsal and getting extremely close with each other, physically and mentally is something these 14 dancers had to do in order to pull off the show, especially with most having not known or worked with each other before.

Briana Morrison, who grew up training at Wall’s mother’s studio couldn’t believe how quickly the cast bonded and that the tour was only one show away from ending.

“It was so quick,” she said. “We all didn’t really know each other and now we’re so close. It’s just a big family.”

From the official Instagram account of Shaping Sound (@ShapingSoundCo) and the accounts of individual dancers in the cast, such as Dixonbey, Morrison, Diaz and Jim Nowakowski, you can see the close-knit, fun-loving bond of the cast from the first time they rehearsed together until now.

With this being his first time on tour with the company, Dixonbey said it was truly an eye-opening experience for him.

“It was a great experience, and I learned so much,” he said. “Not just as a dancer, but as a person. It’s an amazing experience and you gain so many great friends.”

You get to know yourself very well, said Morrison about the tour. Following their dreams as dancers to express what many confront in their innermost thoughts on the stage is the connection between the artist and the art that was left all on the stage.

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