International cast to ‘burn’ it up in Philly

International cast to ‘burn’ it up in Philly

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Some of the most talented dancers from around the world will take the stage in Philadelphia for “Burn the Floor,” a Latin and ballroom dance spectacular that has won over audiences across the globe.

Don’t let the ballroom tag fool you. This dynamic and extremely physical dance show definitely lives up to the hype.

“I think everyone has a perception of ballroom dance as being quite old-fashioned and out of date,” said dancer Gary Wright. “A lot of people are surprised when they come to see ‘Burn the Floor’ because it’s ballroom and Latin reinvented. So we made it to appeal to a variety of audiences, including a younger audience. It’s quite cool and trendy at the same time.”

The openly gay Englishman has been with the show for more than a year and a half. So far, he’s performed in locations across the globe, but he said he was most thrilled to perform in the U.S.

“I started with the cast in China, then we went to Broadway,” he said. “Then we did a world tour and a New Zealand tour. Now we’re doing an American tour. To be on Broadway is an amazing stepping stone in your career. I never expected when I was young to perform on Broadway. Coming to America is good because there’s no language barrier.”

To pull off the demanding dance routines, “Burn the Floor” recruited champion dancers from 10 countries. Wright said the show’s creators sought the best dancers rather than any specific nationalities.

“We’ve got a few Australians because it’s an Australian company,” he said. “When it started out, there were a lot of Australians in the company. In Latin American competitions in ballroom, there’s a standard for people all over the world. It’s not just a certain country. You can have somebody that’s a top Latin American dancer that could be from Australia. You can have a top dancer that can do ballroom from England. It all depends on the training and how they’ve been taught. It just so happens that when they put the cast together, everyone is just from all over the place.”

Wright added that when the dancers hit the stage, “Burn the Floor” is sure to win audiences over no matter their origin.

“‘Burn the Floor’ is the best ballroom and Latin show that there is around,” he said. “The show is not scripted but the audience can relate to it in whatever way they want to. Everyone who comes to see the show always says how good they feel when they leave.”

Catch “Burn the Floor” at 8 p.m. Nov. 12 and 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. For more information, visit or call (215) 790-5847.

Larry Nichols can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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