See what makes her dances more than just steps at the State Theatre

Image by: Cameraman/Fotolia

By Lianna Matt

Even if your television had the worst resolution in the world, you could see 14-year-old Eva Igo’s legs go into the splits as she bent over backward, spun, flipped and stood stock still, her eyes staring straight at you on NBC’s “World of Dance.” The Twin Cities local came in second place on the summer TV show, barely losing to hip hop duo Les Twins by one tenth of a point in the finals. While the show was recorded in Las Vegas, Igo and many of the other “World of Dance” contestants are going on tour across the country, including a stop at the State Theatre October 26.

Igo will be performing at least some of her “World of Dance” pieces at the State Theatre, but she hinted at new pieces, too—possibly a duet between her and 11-year-old junior divisional finalist Diana Pombo, who shares some of the same impossible flexibility and lithe strength.

Eva Igo goes into a handstand on "World of Dance."

Photo courtesy of NBC's World of Dance.

The show’s inaugural season, which ran for 10 episodes, was helmed by Jennifer Lopez and included other celebrity judges including Derek Hough and NE-YO. Unlike other competitions, soloists eventually competed against groups; young teenagers competed against some of the biggest names in the field; and Latin dance, hip hop, contemporary and more shared a stage and a judging rubric. But, as Igo showed, none of that mattered.

After her first blow out performance of “River” during the qualifier round, Hough was at a loss for words, eventually getting out, “Eva … you are … absolutely extraordinary. I mean, I was like, ‘Oh, she's coming out here, she's on her own; how can an individual compete against a group?’ Right there. That's how you do it.”

Igo has been dancing since she was three, following in the path of her older sister (now in college), and she can’t remember a time dance hasn’t been part of her life. Somehow the time spent at Maple Grove’s Larkin Dance Studio just kept getting longer and longer as she learned different styles like jazz, hip hop, ballet and her favorite, contemporary. She tried other sports and activities along the way, like softball, but whenever there was a schedule conflict, she always chose dance.

“You can’t make them do it because it’s going to cause a whole lot of their problems in their life,” says Dawn Igo, her mother. “When you have to do early mornings or miserable late nights, it’s got to be something that you want to do.”

Igo’s love for dance is easy to see, like in the fire and grit that was her junior division final performance “Ready Or Not,” a song by Misha “Book” Chillak featuring Esthero. You can see what dance does for her in return, too, during her mid-season dance to “Creep,” where she danced about the hurt left from insecurities in a despairing tangle of emotion and cathartic performance.

“[Contemporary] is a style that, no matter what it is, you can express any emotion through the movement,” says Igo. “Since I practiced it so much, it goes more into muscle memory, and then I get to think about more of the emotion.”

During the competition, Igo was judged on technique, performance, choreography, and creativity and presentation, but when you see her dance, you’ll be focused on one thing: her passion.

For other dance performances, here is a small sample of upcoming shows:


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