Karen Hauer, Gorka Marquez

Get Ready to Heat Things Up with FIREDANCE in 2023! Interview with the stars.

Strictly Stars Karen Hauer, Gorka Marquez and their scintillating cast return in 2023 with FIREDANCE, featuring fresh flavours and super-charged choreography.

Are you ready to experience the rhythm, the passion, and the chemistry of FIREDANCE? Strictly Stars Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez are back and ready to reignite the stage in 2023 with a scintillating cast and super-charged choreography.

FIREDANCE is a captivating dance-off inspired by timeless movie blockbusters such as Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Carmen, and West Side Story. You can expect to be taken on a journey through the best of Latin and contemporary dance, as Karen and Gorka lead a sizzling team of dancers and mesmerizing fire specialists.

The show will be soundtracked by a sensational live band, performing an eclectic mix of Latin, Rock, and Pop music from artists such as Camilla Cabello, Jason Derulo, Gregory Porter, Gypsy Kings, J.Lo, Marc Anthony, and many more. Whether you’re a fan of ballroom or modern dance, this show promises to have something for everyone.

Karen and Gorka are known for their undeniable chemistry on and off the dance floor, and this year they’re set to turn up the heat even more. With fresh flavors and new routines, FIREDANCE promises to be a show like no other. So why not join in the fun and let the music move you?

FIREDANCE is the perfect way to escape reality and indulge in a night of entertainment, and with Karen and Gorka at the helm, you know you’re in for a treat. Book your tickets now and get ready to experience the rhythm, the passion, and the chemistry of FIREDANCE in 2023.

INTERVIEW with Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez


Tell us about the new show, you must be really excited about it? 

Karen: This is our third year doing Firedance and of course the first year we only got six shows in before it got stopped by the pandemic, so it still feels very new and exciting! It’s a show that is fresh, it’s sexy and it’s just a celebration! We have all the dances that the audiences love, like our tangos, our sambas and our salsas, so it just celebrates all the fun we have together as a friendship and everything we love to share with people. We just love dancing together so much, so we’re bringing that joy out onto the stage for everyone to have fun with us!

What’s different this time around? 

Gorka: It’s still along the lines of what we did before, but we’ve remade some of the show and brought in some more uplifting songs, some more modern songs and a fair few surprises too. The idea is still the same obviously, we’re going to be dancing all night, there’s lots of fire and a lot of energy, so everything that people loved about it the last time is still there, just with some new things brought in which we think really adds a whole new spark to the whole thing. It’s very exciting, as we know people are going to really enjoy it. 

The previous shows have been really well-received, so how did you go about changing it up while still keeping in everything that people loved the last time around? 

Karen: We have a great creative team who work with myself and Gorka, like our choreographer Nathan Clark, who is just amazing. For us it’s always about the volume when you do a show, as you can hear and feel when a number really, really connects with the audience. So it’s always fun to be able to evolve and change things up, as you have an idea what people are really going to respond to and the challenge is to then be able to give them that. It’s all about evolution, so seeing what new songs are out there that we really like and then finding how to bring them into the show, while connecting them to different parts of it that have already had a great impact and are really loved by the audience. It’s like a little puzzle, putting it all together and seeing what parts worked, what parts didn’t so much and what you can do to constantly be improving the whole show.

As much as you are the stars, Firedance is about the other performers and production as it is about the pair of you. Why is that so important for you to ensure? 

Gorka: Yes, that’s one of the things that makes Firedance so special, I think. As Karen said, we have an amazing team with us, so the production is always huge and of the highest standard, so that raises the volume of the show. From day one though, when we were looking for dancers, singers, musicians and so on, we were determined to get the most amazing ones we could find. That way, when we are not on the stage, the show is still amazing as the level everyone is at, you can’t help getting lost in it for the full 90 minutes. For us, it’s all about the dancing, the music and the performers. 

A lot of dance shows take in the artists talking to the audience, but yours is purely all about the dancing. Why is that so important to you? 

Karen: The lovely thing is there are so many great shows out there that have all the chatting and connection with the audience in that way, but we want to find our connection with what we were born to do and what we’ve been doing since we were kids and that is simply through dancing. If Fred and Ginger were dancing, or in a movie together, they were just dancing and that’s what we love. You can just go out there and move your body and have fun. Also, everyone knows everything they need to know about us already! I grew up in Venezuela, Gorka grew up in Spain and we love dancing, that’s it!

Gorka: And if they want to know more, theY can just look us up on Wikipedia! It’s cheaper than buying a ticket!

How much does having your own show free you from the constraints of the ballroom?

Karen: I think the nice thing is that we’ve trained in so many different styles, that being able to utilise that is really special. Obviously we can do all the waltzes and tangoes etc, which we do in our own way and we do enjoy putting things in there that we know people really like to see, but there’s still dances we actually don’t like. Every dancer has some, so it’s great to have the freedom to just do the things we love and I think that comes over in the performances. We like the fire dances, we like the strong, rhythmical dances that have power behind them. At the same time though, we do have some very simple, beautiful and understated numbers that people love to see, so there’s a good mix in there, but it’s all the things we love. The fact we have a background in different styles is a good thing, so why not put it out there and show ourselves in a different light? 

Gorka: I think people can be used to seeing us doing ballroom dancing on TV, but that is also a style that is meant to let us showcase ourselves, to express things and to interpret the way we feel things, not just the music, but whatever has happened to us throughout the year, we channel that into the dancing. That’s what makes dancing unique, as everyone can do the same dance, but it’s how you interpret it that makes it your own. 

One of the biggest things that people loved at the previous shows was the huge production and in particular the massive amounts of fire you have onstage. Like the rest of the show, is that another element that you will be taking to the next level this time around? 

Gorka: I think it’s going to be even more epic than it was before, to be honest. The production and the fire in particular was always hugely important to us, so like the music and the dancing, we really wanted to make sure that the other aspects of the show like that were stepped up another gear too. It all has to complement each other, so what we have in store this time around is just incredible. I think people would be blown away by it even if there was nothing else happening on the stage, to be honest! We’re already planning on stepping it up even more for next years show, too! 

If you had to pick one thing, what would be your favourite part of the show? 

Gorka: I love every part of it, but in a funny way, I love the last number that we used to do as it was so fun and upbeat, we’d always end up getting the giggles, as we don’t take ourselves too seriously and just have a laugh with it. I’m sure that will be the same with the new one.

Karen: I agree. The fact that we get to be so creative and do something that allows us to be so proud of ourselves and our team really means so much to us, so that moment at the end of the night is always just really special. It doesn’t feel like a job, it’s more like a gig that we just happen to be at. It doesn’t feel choreographed in a way, as there’s so much freedom in it, which is what we want the audience to feel too. It’s just such a liberating feeling to be up there with everyone.

Over all the years you both have been on Strictly, you have inspired so many young people to take up dancing, either for fun or as a career. What advice would you like to give them?  

Gorka: I would just say that if it’s something you love, just do it. If you are a dancer and are passionate about it, put all your effort into it 24/7, as nothing is easy in life, but if you really want it, don’t let anyone try and take that passion away from you. Work hard and love it every day, as standards are high, so if you don’t love it, you’ll quit, but if you do…just do it. 

Karen: I couldn’t agree more with that. It’s all about discipline. You have to be so disciplined with yourself and be very aware of all the ups and downs, as there are many. The ups are going to feel amazing though, as the downs are the things that will push you harder to feel the ups when they happen! You have to be always listening and learning, as you’re always a beginner in a way. That’s why I’m always ready to be watching and learning from anyone in front of me, whether they have just started or have been doing it for a long time. Always be learning and get ready to work hard, as it never stops. It’s not to scare anybody, but no matter how far you go or how much success you have, in order to keep that success, you need to keep working hard. But it’s worth it! 

Do you think about the future and if so, what do you think it holds for you? 

Karen: Im not ready to hang up my shoes yet, put it that way! In fact, I can’t see my drive ever retiring as once you do, what’s left? It’s lovely for people who do enjoy retirement, but I don’t ever want this to end, so I’ll always want to be involved in the arts and in dancing. It’ll always be a part of my life, so I’ll go as far as I can and for as long as I can, that’s for sure!

www. firedancelive.co.uk

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