BEFORE there was Dirty Dancing… before there was Saturday Night Fever… before ballroom dancing became cool with reality TV, there was the real deal – the dancers tearing up the dance floor, in an “international style” competition since 1920.
International style competitions involve five Latin American dances and five classic ballroom dances. From this competition came a theatre production so fabulous, so hot that it’s called Burn the Floor.
Only the fanciest foot moves and tidiest twirls make it on this stage … and they’re coming the iZulu Theatre at the Sibaya Casino in Durban from June 8 to 19.
The original concept of the theatrical dance production grew from an electric display of ballroom and Latin dancing at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday party in 1997. It was there that the ballroom dance world was opened up to producer Harley Medcalf .His first edition of Burn the Floor was launched in 1999 and revolutionised the image of dance.
By 2016, it has evolved, and the new South African run of Burn the Floor: Fire in the Ballroom has a theatrical rock angle. Think Santana, Janis Joplin, Christina Aguilera and Led Zeppelin. There are no Tiny Dancers here. It’s something about the way you look tonight. It’s hauling out your blue moves. Described as “gloriously sinful” it promises to put dance competitions as you know them to shame.
Choreographed and directed by long-time Australian Latin champion Peta Roby, the international cast of dance champions includes the sensational South Africans, Johannes Radebe and Kylee Brown.
Born and talent nurtured in South Africa, Johannes Radebe started dancing at the age of seven. He is the current reigning South African National Ballroom and Latin American Champion and is a season dance trainer for the TV production Strictly Come Dancing SA. Johannes recently became a very recognisable figure in South Africa when he and his celebrity partner, Capetonian Leigh-Anne Williams, were the runners-up in the 2015 season of the TV show.
Kylee Brown was born in Pretoria and started dancing at the age of eight. Kylee is the undefeated WDC South Africa Under 21 Latin Champion. In 2011 she won the Under 21 WDC World Latin Championships and the highlight of her dancing career to date was winning the Under 21 Open British Latin Championship in Blackpool in 2012.
Burn The Floor: Fire in The Ballroom is brought to South Africa in 2016 by Dance Partner Productions, in association with the South African State Theatre and Bernard Jay. Step lively if you want to see it. Tickets at Computicket.