‘Burn the Floor’ waltzes into the Paramount
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media April 13, 2012 3:34PM
♦ 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 21
♦ Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
♦ Tickets, $55-$65
♦ (630) 896-6666
Updated: April 20, 2012 10:49AM
Not only do the performers in the dance show “Burn the Floor” have to be in excellent physical condition, but they also have to have the correct mind-set, according to Karen Hauer, one the ensemble dancers.
“Mentally you have to keep your mind in a good place,” said Hauer, who has been with the company for two years. “You have to be in shape: not only technically and physically, but also mentally. You have to be prepared to perform.”
“Burn the Floor” will be presented on April 21 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.
The style danced in “Burn the Floor” is called international-style ballroom dance and consists of ten dances, split into five Latin American dances, such as the cha cha, the samba and the rumba, and five standard ballroom dances, such as the waltz, the fox-trot and the tango. “Burn the Floor” gives audience members expertly choreographed numbers which are executed with precision and seemingly effortless skill.
“There is no set story,” said Hauer of the show. “It is the history of ballroom dancing — the waltz integrates into the tango, the tango integrates into the samba. All the numbers are linked by the energy and the chemistry between the dancers and the music.”
The recorded music for the show is enhanced by two percussionists and two singers.
“The two percussionists and the two singers bring the power to us, the 21 amazing dancers,” Hauer said.
“Burn the Floor” has been performed for 12 years in more than 30 countries and 160 cities. The dancers, who range in age from 18 to 30, represent 10 countries, including the United States, Russia, Philippines, Ireland, Venezuela and Malaysia.
“The company did a six-month Broadway run, then it did London’s West End last year,” Hauer said.
Hauer was born in Venezuela, but was raised in New York since she was eight years old.
“There was a school-wide audition for an after school program called ‘Art Connection,’” she said of her early involvement in theater. “Later I got a scholarship to a dance school and I continued with ballet. Then I went to the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. There I had a cha cha class and I was hooked. I always felt that dance found me.”
And anyone who loves dancing will love “Burn the Floor,” according to Hauer.
“It’s a sexy show, but that comes with the work we do,” she said. “It is a roller coaster of a show. It goes from a beautiful waltz with beautiful chemistry to a wild samba, then to the love story of the rumba.
“It is an intense show, but a family type of show,” Hauer continued. “People of all ages will enjoy it. Dancing is the best thing out there.”