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It’s Peta Murgatroyd’s time to shine in latest dance extravaganza

April 9, 2018

The last time ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” professionals Peta Murgatroyd and Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy hit the road together in 2016 for their “Our Way” tour — which included a sold-out performance at Greensburg’s Palace Theatre — it was all about the Ukrainian-born brothers’ rise to success on and off the dance floor.

This time around, it’s Peta’s turn to shine.

“I get to tell my story, how I got to Hollywood, how I transitioned from ballet to ballroom — I really get to go into detail about my life,” says the two-time Mirror Ball champion about the “Maks, Val & Peta Live On Tour: Confidential” tour that stops at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center on April 10.

“I’m so proud of it already,” she says about the show in a phone interview a few hours before the eight-week, 49-city tour kicked off March 19 in Springfield, Mo. “I’m anxious to see the audiences’ reactions.”

The New Zealand-born dancer is performing with her husband, Maks, her brother-in-law, Val, and a cast that includes Chris “Kiki” Nyemchek and Koine “Koko” Iwasaki, 2017 finalists from the Fox competition series “So You Think You Can Dance.”

In 2017, Peta married Maks and had the couple’s first child, a son, Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy, now 14 months old, who accompanies them on their tour bus.

“Shai is with us for the whole tour,” his mom says. “I’d never leave him at home.”

Their son was the inspiration for one of the 28 numbers in the two-hour “Confidential” show, a “Stroller Dance” performed by Maks and an ensemble of male dancers.

Peta’s career has included lead female dancer in 2009′s “Burn The Floor” on Broadway, “Dancing with the Stars” since 2011, the live tours, and her latest project, starring in the movie “Faith, Hope and Love,” with Robert Krantz, Ed Asner and Michael Richards, due for release in November. She also has her own line of tanning products,

She is proud of her blog allthingsfamandglam.com, which she started before Shai was born and keeps current with photos and tips for other first-time mothers and news about her work and family.

Preparing for the tour was “definitely challenging and difficult,” she says, “but I feel it’s the best I’ve ever danced. I’m delving into contemporary dance and I get to relive my ballet career. The audience will see all types of dance in the show — from tango and waltz to cha cha and hip hop.”

Maks says their “Our Way” tour “was just the beginning of the story. This time I’m a husband, a father, in the best shape of my professional career and still learning on and off the dance floor every day. Sharing a stage with my wife and my brother, what could be better than that?”

Val adds, “This time we have set the bar higher, and given ourselves more time and freedom to create, rehearse and ultimately perform the show that we can honestly say is our very best.”

The “Confidential” tour winds down May 16 in Las Vegas, when Peta says “we might have a nice little party — and some time off.”

Pittsburgh connection

Mark Swanhart, a native of Vinco, Cambria County, and former dance major at Point Park University, is the creative director and writer of the “Maks, Val & Peta Live On Tour: Confidential” tour.

“I love how daring they are,” he says of the tour’s three headliners. “This show sets itself apart from the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ brand. It tells a story through dance; we think it’s a universal lesson of love. When you see them live, it’s a whole other energy. They are so good at their craft.”

Swanhart performed with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the first national tour of “Fosse” before choreographing “La Boheme” on Broadway and in Los Angeles. He has worked as a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil and for Celine Dion’s “Taking Chances Tour” and as creative director of “Britain’s Got Talent” in London and “America’s Got Talent” tour. He is creative producer for NBC’s “Little Big Shots.”

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.