When Robert Green takes the stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center, it will be a homecoming that celebrates personal accomplishment expressed through movement.
Green, an Enloe High School graduate who grew up in Southeast Raleigh, is part of a nationwide tour featuring contestants from Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” The Durham show will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25.
“This is going to be such an amazing show to perform back home,” Green, 25, said in a recent interview. “I cannot wait to just give Raleigh what I got, can’t wait to hear the crowd, can’t wait to put on for my city.”
The “All the Right Moves Tour” features the Top 10 finalists and two all-stars from the latest season of the Emmy-winning dance reality show. Green was the first finalist eliminated from the show, but he said dancing among the best has fueled his tenacity.
It’s also brought him opportunity. While taking part in the show, Green danced in Taylor Swift’s video for “Look What You Made Me Do.” He went to Mexico for a Nike commercial and was a judge and soloist for a World of Dance exhibition. He checked off a bucket list item when he went skydiving on his birthday July 11. He returned to Raleigh to choreograph and teach at CC & Co. Dance Complex, a former training ground for him and three other show contestants.
“When he’s around, the energy just spreads,” said Christy Curtis, owner of CC & Co. on Six Forks Road. “Everybody feels it and everyone’s inspired. When he comes to visit, it’s like a celebrity has arrived.”
Although he didn’t win the competition, Green said he appreciated the chance to perform hip-hop and other dance styles.
“It’s just how it’s supposed to be,” he said. “Go through life, do all the things you’re called to do, serve your purpose, and know there are no mistakes, ever. Only learning opportunities.”
Green said he worried at first about being “too eccentric or too eclectic” for the TV show. But he promised himself he would be authentic.
“To be courageous and excited about being unique is a new feeling for me, and for that to blossom into me actually making it onto the show was not only a surprise, but a huge accomplishment,” he said. “It takes a little bit more courage to do something that’s not necessarily in right now, but sometimes you initiate change before you reap the actual benefits from it. I am so proud of being the start of that change.”
Green grew up a violin prodigy, but after a year studying music at UNC-Greensboro he moved to Los Angeles to pursue dance. A video of him telling his mother that he landed a dancing gig for Swift’s “1989” world tour went viral in 2015.
Performing for the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour is much different than performing with a megastar like Swift, Green said.
“We are the artists,” he said of the dancers in the new tour. “We are the reason people come out to see the show. We’ve inspired them. You feel that energy and you know they’re there for you. And they make us feel like rock stars.”
Students and staff from CC & Co. will be at DPAC to support Green.
“He’s done it his own way,” Curtis said, “and created a space for a lot of people to believe they can do it, too – find their own path, in their own way.”
Lori Wiggins writes about Southeast Raleigh for The News & Observer. Reach her email@example.com.
Who: “So You Think You Can Dance” Tour
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.
Where: Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham
Cost: Tickets start at $45.
Info: dpacnc.com or 919-680-2787