Immerse yourself in a Latin infused experience as Strictly Come Dancing stars, Gorka Marquez and Karen Hauer take to the road for a dancing spectacular, sure to leave viewers in awe. Ahead of their performances in Scotland, Gorka spoke to Family Life.
Going back to the very beginning, how were you first introduced to ballroom dancing?
I was always involved with dance; from being in the Christmas play and my mum also loved dancing, so I think I got the rhythm from her. We would all dance at dinners, but my dad didn’t dance, then one day they were going for a dinner and my dad decided to have lessons to surprise my mum. I used to go with him and watch, and that’s when I tried to get involved. We had ballroom sessions and I slowly got into it, and the teacher said I had rhythm and the potential to be quite a good dancer.
I tried it out at school, too, tried it and just loved it. During my first competition there was a girl who didn’t have a partner and they asked me if I would like to dance with her, so I did. We danced and we even won the competition – from that moment on I liked the feeling, and I liked winning and I just got more into it until it became my passion and my career, now it is my life.
You’ve had an excellent career to date, from working in the theatre to Strictly Come Dancing: how will you take this experience with you into Firedance?
From every job to every moment of my career I have learned something. My competition career gave me technique and information on logistics – as a dancer we’re working every day and we have to be consistent in what we do.
When I joined theatre shows, it gave me the performance side of dancing, going beyond technique to tell the story and show emotions from everyone. When I joined Strictly (Come Dancing) it was on television, and you’re dancing in front of the audience and you know how much they love what you do and you always want to do more, and do better.
I think to have our own show and now touring the UK is the best for everyone who wants to come and support us, and make our relationship with [the fans] closer. When you’re watching on television you are seeing us dancing on the screen, but with the live shows we can meet people at the stage doors and react to them. Another good aspect of the show is that we can talk and interact with the audience when we’re performing and it makes us all feel closer, and you have a better relationship with your fans and the people who support you.
Both yourself and Karen have worked together on Strictly, but how did the conversation start to team up for Firedance?
If we go back to 2019, we were both doing a couple of shows together, and then we were dancing together a lot and doing different performances together and we were very happy dancing together. It was very easy. I remember when we met for the first time to look at the performances we had, and it was all very organic – we were both on the same page and had the same ideas of how we wanted to dance and perform. I think it also comes from our background: we have the same culture, we’re both Latin and we speak the language, it is very easy.
In a personal way, too, she is a fantastic dancer. Karen has so much talent and qualities, and potential. When you’re dancing with her it does make your job easier. Sometimes that is what you want: to dance with someone that you enjoy, where you don’t have to think about the dancing.
Most importantly, what can people expect from Firedance?
We wanted to do something different. We are looking at a show that is edgier, darker and modern – much more Latin, with added ballroom and glamour. We are Latin, passionate, glamorous and we are going to have Latin inspired music that is mixed together with modern music, there will be a lot of colour: it’s everything that you know already, but with that Latin twist.
There will be 30 to 40 different songs throughout the show – there is a lot. Our director is very creative, too, and he is someone we have worked with before for Strictly, and people love his ideas and we are working together to create something new.
We need positive shows that can make us smile and forget about what is going on in the world, and that is the power of Strictly. When you go into any live performance you take that joy from Strictly into any performance. During Firedance people can come and sit down for two hours have fun, smile, be positive and enjoy.
There is no denying the Latin infusions that have influenced Firedance. How has growing up in the Latin culture helped to bring this to life on the stage?
We are bringing more of our culture onto the stage. It has already happened with music: there is so much English and Latin infused music over the last couple of years in the charts. When you listen to music in the UK every singer or band has been working with a Latin singer. This is giving us the chance to throw our Latin culture and bring Latin dancing to the UK.
Finally, what three words do you have to get people excited for the show?
I would say: different, sensual and passionate.