Dance Junkies interviewed Dancing With The Stars Peta Murgatroyd a few weeks ago. They talk about about what Peta does to stay in such beautiful shape. She also dishes on her favorite dance from last season, how she prepares for the show every week, wanting a family, doing more Broadway, and so much more. Wonderful interview as always by Stuart and Elena with some great questions from fans including those from Pure Dancing With The Stars!! THANKS GIRLS and THANKS PETA!! One of the best interviews with Peta ever!!! xx
For more interviews like the one above and in case you missed them, go to Dance Junkies!!
As you might have read in a previous posting, Dancing With The Stars troupe member, Henry Byalikov has a dancing role in one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2012, “The Great Gatsby“. Henry also taught the leads Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan how to dance for the movie. Below is a new interview he did for it on The Morning Show. They also go through his whole career so far full of major accomplishments. Check out how he’s been working on the new lead for “Strictly Ballroom: The Musical” as well. FASCINATING! A MUST SEE! And let’s hope he gets the new lead!! He’d be perfect!!
“The Great Gatsby” has a December 25th release date. I plan to see this, do you? I was a big fan of the first movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Below you can view the trailer. Thanks to @Elara38 for the help with this post!!
Finally, the interview many of us have been waiting for…Elena Grinenko and Rib Hillis of Dance Junkies TV interviews Sasha Farber!! He answers a few of our questions too from Pure Dancing With The Stars. What a fun and fascinating guy!! I love the bit about his schooling and when he talks about Australia. LOL to him doing everything his Mom told him NOT to do. Thanks Rib and Elena!!! Stuart too. I know you are out there too on this somehow.
If you’ve missed any of the earlier Dance Junkies TV interviews, be sure you see them all HERE.
What a budding dancing career this cool talent has and if judging fans reaction is any indication for how he helped Derek Hough and Maria Menounos in their Bollywood Trio dance, I’m going to be surprised if troupe member Henry Byalikov isn’t a teaching Pro on Dancing With The Stars very soon and a popular and much loved one at that! Would you agree?
Henry was hand-picked by Australia’s leading contemporary ballet choreographer Mr Graeme Murphy to perform as a principal dancer in his brand new Contemporary ballet company ‘Graeme Murphy’s Suite Synergy 2011. Henry’s impact in the production was immediately well received with such reviewer statements exclaiming me as a “Fiery Flamenco Star”, and distinguishing him from the rest owing to Henry’s extraordinary ability, “Henry’s Byalikov, whose powerful intensity of focus and dramatic use of footwork, upper torso and arms unfortunately showed up the inadequacies of the accompanying quartet of dancers in this style”.
After performing to thousands he was then sought out again and requested to create a dance number for the lead roles in the brand new musical King Kong. He was then engaged as a performer in the musical.
Following the success he had in the musical, the choreographer Mr John O’Connell chose Henry to feature in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, as well as to teach the lead cast, the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, how to dance for the movie.
You can read more about Henry’s career here. Currently, “The Great Gatsby” has a December 25th release date. Below you can view the stunning trailer which features some of the cast dancing in several shots.
I’ll definitely be hitting the theatre to see this, will you? And wouldn’t it be cool if the producers of Dancing With The Stars featured Henry and the ballroom dancing in this movie on one of the results show to help promote it? A Dancing With The Stars fan can dream right?
Stuart and Elena of Dance Junkies TV have posted their new interview with Dancing With The Stars troupe member Sharna Burgess!!! Special thanks to those of you who asked her some cool questions which she answers too!!! Fascinating! See if you don’t agree.
If you’ve missed their earlier Dancing With The Stars interviews, be sure you check them out at Dance Junkies TV.
THANKS SHARNA, STUART, and ELENA!! EXCELLENT INTERVIEW ONCE AGAIN! xxx
We have an exclusive “one on one” personal interview with Dancing With The Stars Troupe member Sharna Burgess. As most of you know, I love the Troupe!! Not only do we get to see new dancing talent and a way to see even more dancers dancing on the show, they are the future of Dancing With The Stars as we have seen so far with the addition of the amazing pros Peta Murgatroyd and Tristan MacManus. So, without further ado, below is Sharna on her life and career so far for how and when she began dancing. When I read her answers, I was amazed at how much work she’s done on other dancing and movie projects and Dancing With The Stars “behind the scenes”. I also loved what she said about her other interests, being “a gypsy at heart” and why, and her compassion for her pets and animal rescue in general. Also, did you know she was the lead Latin Choreographer for “StreetDance 2 3D“? She also says there are some amazing things coming up for Dancing With The Stars in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy and if you have any further questions you’d like to ask and know about Sharna, leave them below in the comments section (as well as your thoughts) and we’ll be sure she receives them and feature them at Pure Dancing With The Stars in another new post in the coming weeks. So, below is the beautiful Sharna….
To begin, you are such a beautiful and passionate dancer, how long have you been dancing? How were you inspired to dance and who is your greatest dancing mentor?
Thank you!! Wow I’ve been dancing now for about 20 years (quite frightening how fast that’s gone!). I started when I was 6 with jazz, ballet and tap, and I was 8 when I started ballroom. I was a very active kid, in between singing into hairbrushes and making up dance routines in my lounge room, I was outside climbing trees, riding bikes and playing with all the kids in my neighborhood. I grew up in a country town called Wagga Wagga(Australia) until I was 12, so I was blessed to have a lot of freedom.
I kind of fell into dancing because I was that kid that was in everything. Sports teams, dance class, gymnastics, and swimming. I was always busy doing something. And I had potential for all of it. But even when you’re that young, something sticks to you more then the other. When I was 12 we moved to Sydney and it was too difficult to try and continue everything, simply put we couldn’t afford it in the big city. So I chose dance, it wasn’t difficult, I knew what I wanted the most. I found my passion, and I didn’t need the rest of it.
Its very difficult to pick a mentor, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds best and most respected ballroom dancers, and each of them special for their own strengths. I think possibly, the man who helped me find who I was as a dancer was Jason Gilkison. He taught me to discover myself through dance. It was quite an amazing transformation, realizing that being different and unique is a strength not a disadvantage.
My greatest idols however!! I think everybody in this industry will mention Michael Jackson, and I am no exception to that. I respect and admire creative individuality, innovation and breaking the rules.
Taking a look back to your first competition dance: what was it like and what do you remember the most about it? Also, what is your greatest memory looking back at your competition days?
LOL!!! BIG HAIR…. BIG BIG HAIR! That’s what I remember most My first competition I was in a lime green costume, my mum was fussing over me with lipstick and hair, making everything perfect. And my Grandma and Dad had THE proudest looks on their faces I think I’ve ever seen. I danced right in front of them on the floor, and I can still hear my dads voice cheering “COME ON MICHAEL AND SHARNA”. It wasn’t long after that we were traveling up and down Australia doing all the bigger competitions, and despite my young age, I had goals, I wanted to win… I wanted to be the best. It’s kind of special to remember that first day, my parents are my biggest supporters. Without them I would not be here answering your questions, I owe them a lot.
My greatest memory isn’t necessarily my greatest accomplishment. From the minute I started setting goals, the one at the very top of my list was hearing my name announced while walking down the staircase in the final of the Australian Open Championships. At the time that seemed like the biggest thing in the world I could do! And at 14 I made the Junior Open Latin final and walked down those stairs. It was incredible, the feeling of accomplishment, and hearing the arena erupt with all of my friends and family supporting me. I was walking on air and that smile didn’t leave my face for days!
How did it come about when you were asked to be on Dancing With The Stars?
Good news for Sharna Burgess fans…atleast I think so? According to this tweet from her, she might be back to dance and choreograph on the new season of Dancing With The Stars. As regular fans to the show know, the Australian “Burn The Floor” beauty was a part of the Dancing With The Stars dance troupe last season. If this is set in stone, Season 14 will be Sharna’s second season to dance!!
Too excited to sleep! So close to season 14 #DWTS @DancingABC !!! Can’t wait to dance and choreograph for y’all again!!
Let us begin!! The beautiful Peta Murgatroyd was born July 14th in Auckland, New Zealand. At 18 months old, Peta and her family moved to Perth, Australia where her parents could give her brother and her more opportunities in life. According to Peta, her mother always knew she was “artsie” and at 4 years old, Peta started studying to dance. She trained for 12 years at the Kirov Ballet under Madame Lubov Nikonorenko and became a classically trained ballerina. Peta was also trained in Contemporary and Spanish dance! At the age of 16, Peta started to ballroom dance and only after three months of training became an Australian Open and British Youth Latin finalist.
Peta then moved to London, England to further her career and compete. Amongst many international competitions Peta finished 2nd in the Great World City Championships and was a semi-finalist in the Lion City Championships in Singapore. Peta was also a finalist in the Australian Open championships. But, nothing meant more to Peta when she placed 3rd in the world at the British Youth Latin Championships in Blackpool, England in 2006 where she “wanted to live and breathe the life of a dancer”.
In 2004, Peta’s musical theatre career really took off when she was chosen to be a cast member of Burn The Floor. Her lifelong dream of dancing on stage and living the life of a true dancer had come true. Like fellow cast mate Tristan MacManus, she travelled the world with them for 6 years. In August 2009, Burn The Floor hit Broadway. It was at this time Peta was made the lead female dancer.
It was January of 2010, Peta made a decision to pursue a career in film and television. Since that time, Peta has performed on Dancing With The Stars in Australia and America and So You Think You Can Dance in Australia and Holland. Peta has also choreographed and performed with great artists Heart, Rod Stewart, Taio Cruz, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, and New Kids On The Block. Peta also toured with the theatrical dance production “Ballroom With A Twist”.
But, things really started to pop for Peta again in the Spring of 2011. Peta was hired to become a member of the Dancing With The Stars Troupe. Due to her success and quick popularity on the show, she was promoted this Season as a Pro partnered with L.A. Laker Ron Artest.
Peta’s career doesn’t stop with dancing. She’s also done some modeling and recently did some fun spreads for Regard Magazine as well as Pilates Magazine. It’s no wonder ….as well as being beautiful, I’ve always thought she had a natural knack for soaking up the camera just like the dance floor.
Peta dates beloved fan favorite and former Season 10 pro dancer Damian Whitewood who she met in her homeland of Australia. The two reside together in Los Angeles, CA.
Here’s to the lovely Peta and one of my favorite women pros! We hope her run on Dancing With The Stars is a long one and we wish her much success! If you haven’t read our first profile on Tristan MacManus, you can do so here. Stay tuned, Val Chmerkovskiy is next!
Ok, here are Heidi and Court with their personal thoughts on Peta and we’d love to hear yours as well…
Courtney: Are all Kiwis & Aussies blonde, willowy, & gorgeous? Because between Peta & Kym, I’m beginning to think so Seriously though – I think Peta may be the closest thing to a replacement for Edyta that we’ve seen so far. Beautiful girl with a rockin’ body and impossibly long legs, and not afraid to show some skin! She also seems rather soft-spoken & calm like Edyta, which will help when it comes to dealing with potentially squirrely partners. And she and Damian are just PRESH together – very striking, pretty couple, much like Edyta & Alec…only with a bit more personality, methinks I’m definitely excited to see just what she can do with her partner…and with the other pros, in both team & pro dances.
Heidi: Heh, you said squirrely. Frankly, I have a hard time focusing on Peta when that pic right up there has bare chested Damian in pajama bottoms. Oohh yeah. That’s nice. Anyway, yeah, Peta is gorgeous and she does seem calm – but hopefully she’s not toooo quiet. She didn’t have much to say in one of the rehearsal videos I saw – and I think that was part of Damian’s problem. I think the producers LIKE the pros to talk and have personality – or BE personalities. It certainly doesn’t hurt the show! But we’ll see – we haven’t seen really that much of anyone yet.
So, yes, first up is the amazing, talented, mysterious, handsome, and fun Irishman who has captured hearts and fans quickly on the show, Tristan MacManus!!
Born July 23, 1982, Tristan is a native to Bray, Ireland, which is a small town located on the east coast. Tristan started dancing when he was 9 years old. He, as well as his sister, were first encouraged and introduced to dance by their grandparents, Jon and Phyllis McCann, who were and are also dancers. However, his sister didn’t take to dancing or the attention like Tristan did. She ended up quitting and Tristan continued to dance. However, Tristan also liked soccer. So, he divided up his time between both soccer and dancing. Soccer dominated his time mostly at the time since he wanted to do what his friends were doing and no one really “danced” where he came from. Eventually, Tristan realized he wasn’t as talented at soccer like he was at dancing although even to this day, he’s remained an avid fan of the sport. Tristan then decided to return full time to dancing where he was trained and competed in Latin, Ballroom, Irish, and Jazz dancing. He danced extensively in Ireland and all over Europe capturing numerous titles as a Junior and Amateur at the European and World Championships and the All Ireland Championships.
After winning the All Ireland Championships for the last time in 2000, Tristan was getting burned out of competing. He moved on to perform in musical theater in the successful tour “Simply Ballroom” which initially started in London and then made a run in Las Vegas. After that, he went to London’s West End where he performed in the stage version of “Dirty Dancing.” He served as the production’s Dance Captain and Ballroom Supervisor.
After “Dirty Dancing”, Tristan then danced in the highly successful “Burn The Floor”, which travelled the world from Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Singapore, Canada and the U.S.
In 2004, the handsome Irishman also snagged a part and appeared as a dancer in the film “Ella Enchanted” starring Anne Hathaway. He danced with Vivica Fox who played a “Fairy”. You might also be able to see him dancing in this scene?
That’s not all! While taking a break from touring, Tristan became a dance teacher. He taught for a year at Super Shag Dance Studios in Charlestown, Mass.. Tristan also taught in Ireland’s Trinity College and U.C.D.
It’s funny how things lead to another because the producers of Dancing With The Stars first approached Tristan to dance on the show when they saw him dancing in “Burn The Floor”. The call came just after he’d returned to the tour. He had only been back to work in Burn The Floor for two or three weeks, and he had to tell them that he wouldn’t be able to do Dancing With The Stars at that time. Luckily, they were insistent. They came back a couple of months later when Season 12 was first starting and asked if he’d be available. He was immediately added to the new Dancing With The Stars Troupe which, with his popularity, led to a promotion in Season 13 as a Pro paired with Nancy Grace. Nancy has described Tristan as “handsome, but, when the music starts, it’s like someone sprinkled magic on him and he makes a complete transformation.”
Tristan, here’s to you and may your run on Dancing With The Stars be a lengthy one!!
Here are Courtney and Heidi’s feelings, thoughts, knowledge, and predictions on Tristan and we look forward to yours too!!
Courtney: As funny as it may sound, the first thing I thought upon hearing Tristan’s troupe intro last season was “Yes!!! Another fun accent…and it’s not Russian or Austrailian!” I dunno, accents fascinate me – especially Irish & Scottish ones. Tristan just sounds so happy & positive when he talks! He definitely seems like he’s got a good head on his shoulders and is willing to put in the work to really help Nancy shine on the dance floor. And let’s face it: if anyone or anything can endear Nancy to the masses, it’s a bit of the luck o’ the Irish!
Heidi: I think it’s pretty clear that the producers are trying to find the next Derek, Maks or Mark with Tristan – and it looks to me like they made a great selection! What a cutie and I confess to being a sucker for an Irish accent as well. Now, at the risk of being the downer of the group, I will avoid getting too attached to Tristan because, let’s face it, the producers don’t have the best track record for finding a pro THEY consider worthy to stick around for several seasons. I thought Damian, for one, deserved another chance – he was partnered with someone with a tremendous…impact. Nancy is the same sort of partner, albeit for different reasons. I worry for our boy Tristan. Although, if our suspicions about the future of Derek and Maks are accurate, then Tristan may be entering at just the right time. One thing’s for sure, he would ease the pain of losing one of the big dogs. :-)
As some of you have posted in the comments sections and in some twitter chat (including @DWTStroupe), Daria Chesnokova and Sasha Farber might be the replacements for Nicole Volynets and Tristan MacManus in the Dancing With The Stars Dance Troupe. Another dancer that might be dancing in the troupe is Sharna Burgess.
Daria, also known as “Dasha”, is Val Chmerkovskiy’s former dance partner from from 2008 until this year. She is also from the Ukraine like Val. The two have won numerous World dance titles together and have helped to teach at the Dance With Me Soho Studios in New York.
Sasha was born in Russia, but, moved to Australia when he was 13 at which he started dancing. By the time Sasha was 17, he had won the Australian Youth Latin Championships twice and represented Australia at the World Latin Championships. He was featured in the closing ceremony at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and has danced several times on Dancing with the Stars in the past. He is most known for his role in the highly successful dance theatre production Burn The Floor. He has been described as an “explosively, energetic dancer”.
Sharna Burgess, like Sasha, is also from Australia where she studied dance. She has also been a dancer in “Burn The Floor”.
If true, I think these dancers would be the perfect replacements even though I don’t understand why they dropped Nicole? She was fantastic as well.
The three new dancers will join Teddy Volynets, Kiki Nyemchek, and Oksana Dmytrenko who were are 2nd year members of the Dancing With The Stars Dance Troupe.