We have a couple favorite professional dancers that we like to watch on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, including Sharna Burgess who consistently delivers powerful performances. And we’d hate to admit that we’ve been taking her for granted, but after speaking with her about the show, we now realize how much sacrifice goes into every week to deliver such spectacular choreography, elaborate costumes, and entertaining celebrity performances.
We will never take Sharna for granted again–and this is why we appreciate her success, dance, and opinions about men.
JA: Hi Sharna, I thought you were supposed to be in Washington DC.
Sharna Burgess: I was suppose to be, but since Tavis and I were eliminated, we didn’t get to travel to rehearse.
JA: How is that going to change the rest of the season for you?
SB: It doesn’t really change much. I am still on the show. I will still be dancing every week. And now that I am eliminated, I am sure they will use me to choreograph a lot of things, which I love to do. I’ll be just as busy as ever; that is for sure.
JA: What all is going on with your life right now?
SB: There is a lot going on. Obviously Dancing with the Stars is going on right now, so I can’t have anything else going on. I do have a project in the works, called Ballroom Fusion, which is a ballroom convention. It will be touring in the summer. It is going to do ten major cities. Basically, it is a convention where we are going to get a bunch of the Dancing with the Stars pros to come along. It will be an amazing three day weekend for big fans of the show, fans of dance, or anybody in general that just wants to come. You can even take your very first dance steps, or you can be an experienced dancer. At the end of the week, all of us pros are going to end up dancing a show at the closing night gala, which will be included in the weekend of ballroom fusion. So, it is a huge project, but certainly is a fun one. I am excited to get it started.
JA: When is the start date for that?
SB: It will be this summer. So, as soon as our season finishes we will be starting. Let’s say the top of June I think is our first date.
JA: How many people will get the chance to sign up?
SB: We’ll be in big convention centers, so our capacity is anything. But I would say that we are expecting anywhere between 800 to 1200 people per city. Because I know that everybody really wants to get involved and meet some of us and have a lesson from us, and we would like to do that for our fans too. So that is really exciting for us.
JA: Do you have a website up for that yet?
SB: Our website is actually being constructed right now. It will be up and live in the next two months. When we started this convention idea, you really begin to learn how much goes on in putting it together. We will definitely have tickets for sale by the end of the year, and the website will be up and running in the next two months.
JA: Will we be able to find the website through the Dancing With the Stars site?
SB: That is part of a conversation that we are having with Dancing with the Stars right now, who are also very excited about this project.
JA: What do you think has been the key to your success on the show?
SB: One of the biggest things you can do when you come on a show like Dancing with the Stars is to be unique. My choreography has its own style in comparison to other people. Not better or worse; just unique. I think that is what helps me stand out. To be honest, this job requires that you are a fantastic dancer/choreographer, but you have to have the art of patience. If you don’t have that, you are not going to love your time here. It can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding once you’ve put the work and time in.
JA: Because of the changes in your celebrity dance partner?
SB: Not necessarily the changes, but just the schedule. The pros on the show do much more than just work with our celebrities. We choreograph all of our own numbers. We are also in group numbers. Sometimes they will get one of us to choreograph that group number. We are also involved in the creative concepts of designing the sets; designing the costumes, going into wardrobe meetings, and on top of all of that, we have to make time for media to come into our rehearsal, doing lots of interviews, and all the extra bits that our producers need. So the weeks can be incredibly stressful when we have to juggle so many things, and at the same time get our celebrities comfortable and ready for that Monday night show. There is a lot more involved that most people realize.
JA: What can we learn about a man based on the way he dances?
SB: There is a very sexy thing about a man that can dance–and also a woman. I think it exudes confidence when someone can dance. That is probably one of the best qualities a person can have—confidence in yourself and who you are, and the way that you move, whether you dance or not. As human beings we feed off of energy, and I think that confidence, and a little bit of cockiness in men, is an extremely attractive quality. Women flock to that. So, I think that dance goes hand in hand with it. If he’s out there and dancing on the dance floor; that means he’s got the confidence to do it, and the confidence in knowing how to use his body.
JA: Who would you like to dance with if you had unlimited access to every person who’s ever walked this earth (past or present)?
SB: Certainly Gene Kelly would be one of my absolutes. I am the biggest fan of him. Mikhail Baryshnikov is another one who I find just absolutely mesmerizing. I always look to the greats. The Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire. Even Shirley MacLaine, and all the West Side Story (1961) cast. I admire and love dance back in that day–it was so innovative, so real, and so raw. I love it. Growing up as a kid I was introduced to some of the old school movie greats, including Singing in the Rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Calamity Jane even. There was a lot of older movies that I was exposed to, and I just sort of fell in love with it–that old Hollywood. Definitely, it would be all the greats (laughs).
JA: Thank you Sharna!
Sharna Burgess is one of the professional dancers on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. This season Sharna appeared dancing with PBS talk show host, Tavis Smiley. In past seasons she has danced with funny man Andy Dick, Olympic gold medalist Charlie White, and football great turned ESPN talent, Keyshawn Johnson.
Also, check out our interview with Dancing with the Stars celebrity, Antonio Sabato Jr.