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.
As you all know, we have three new Professional dancers on Dancing With The Stars Season 13; Peta Murgatrord, Tristan MacManus, and Val Chmerkovskiy!! We hope to do a special feature on each of them in the coming days leading up to the premiere of Dancing With The Stars September 19th. In the meantime, enjoy these performances from the past to see why maybe the producers felt Dancing With The Stars Season 13 was THEIR TIME?!!
Below is Peta Murgatroyd during her run in Burn The Floor in 2009. Check out her sexy, curvy dance lines. It was actually this very video performance that drew my attention to her last year during Season 11. The next thing I knew I was doing a search for her at twitter and facebook wanting to know MORE!;
Tristan MacManus was also in Burn The Floor off and on until the first quarter of 2011. I love this Latin number. I believe Tristan is dancing in the above video as well?;
Lastly, here is Val Chmerkovskiy with his dance partner Daria Chesnokova dancing the Jive in the Dance With Me Soho Studios in 2010. He’s such a powerful and muscular dancer just like his brother Maks!;
First of all, Carrie Ann was interviewed by Popstop TV this week. In the interview she talks about Lindsay Lohan, Todd Palin, her Christmas plans, and more. Here is a take. Be sure to see the link for more as well as a video that I couldn’t embed here.
“I’ve been asking for Lindsay Lohan since she went to jail the first time,” Carrie Ann Inaba dished exclusively to me.
“Honestly, I definitely think it’d be a great experience for her because she’s very talent. I think it would be a great come back for her.”
Lohan on Dancing With the Stars would definitely benefit not only Lohan but also the network! Who wouldn’t tune in to see Lohan’s foxtrots? But what about Todd Palin, who’s rumored to be in the works of being on the show right after his daughter Bristol?
“Nope,” Carrie Ann said. “I wouldn’t be interested in seeing his moves.”
Carrie Ann is also a big advocate for same-sex couples on the show. “I love breaking down boundaries just in general in my whole life. I think it’s important to break down stereotypes and break down boundaries so I would love to see a same-sex couple on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ but we’d have to figure out some judging changes.”
Any chances of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi putting on their dance shoes in the near future?
“I would love that! I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get that but I think it would be great.”
Heidi’s Note: I believe that today was the semi-final of Strictly Come Dancing, so we know where Bruno and Len are right now. 🙂
In other news out there, Tony Dovolani has officially been picked to be a Judge for the 90th Miss America Contest to be held on Jan. 15th. From Google News.
“The View” co-host Joy Behar and actress Marilu Henner are among seven judges who will decide the next Miss America in January.
Judges for the beauty pageant in its 90th year also include country singer Mark Wills, “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry and Miss America 1990 Debbye Turner Bell.
“Dancing With the Stars” choreographer Tony Dovolani and shoe designer Taryn Rose are also on the panel.
The selections include plenty of ties to ABC, the network airing the pageant live Jan. 15 at the start of a three-year deal. The pageant hasn’t aired on network television since 2004, when ABC dropped it after record-low ratings.
Here is a new fun interview with Cheryl on her appearance in “Forever Tango“, the current broadway show that is coming to San Francisco from Dec. 21 – Jan. 9 (I am so dying to see this). She talks of why this show means so much to her (the roots of it go way back to when she was a little girl) and how she trained for it last summer in Argentina.
Speaking of shows, Mark Ballas says the show he’s doing, “Burn The Floor” is “bad ass”. Here is a take from The Houston Press.
“People should come to see Burn the Floor because it is bad ass from start to finish. High energy, in your face, awesome dancers, awesome choreography, and it’s a spectacle of our sport. People will love it. This is like Dancing With The Stars on steroids,” Ballas told Art Attack.
After learning eight routines in two days, Ballas opens tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina, then moves to Houston before taking a Christmas break and then rejoining the tour in Pittsburgh in late December and early January.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to keep dancing and be doing a show over the Christmas holiday. The choreographer [and director Jason Gilkison] is a good friend of mine and I have a lot of friends in the show so I thought it would be great to join. ”
Ballas said DWTS is very different from Burn the Floor because on the first, you’re dancing with an amateur. “You have to train them, mentor them and go out and perform with them. That’s in contrast to BTF,” a professional show with professional standards. “It was good to be able to really dance again and get into it and dance how I trained to dance,” he said.
Which isn’t to say he doesn’t enjoy DWTS. “It’s one of my favorite seasons I’ve ever done.” He said he enjoyed working with Bristol Palin “just because she was so sweet, so easy to deal with, so wonderful, so eager to learn, open-minded, kind, loving, caring and just fun to spend time with, and to see her journey from the beginning to where she ended up was just remarkable and as a coach just very satisfying.”
I wouldn’t mind seeing this show too. Also, if you’d like to see some pics of Mark’s new home, he tweeted that you can see some pictures of it in the new edition of Ok Magazine.
Anyone missing and wondering where Maks is like I have been this last week? Well, here he is arriving at the airport, filming, and being interviewed on the Ukrainian version of The Bachelor which he is currently starring in. Can anyone understand what he’s saying? Be sure to see the link for more on this project.
Kym has given Stylelist some of her backstage beauty secrets. Here is take.
“We’ve used hair extensions and pieces since the beginning on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ And now, everyone at home can achieve those looks. It literally takes five minutes to do. Believe me, your husbands and boyfriends will thank you for it because you’ll spend far less time getting ready.”
When asked how she personally likes to use the extensions, Johnson replied, “To achieve highlights or lowlights without changing my natural color, I use extensions a shade lighter or darker, depending on my mood. I just clip in the strips! It’s that easy and there’s no risk of damage like with glued-in extensions. My favorite piece is the Salsaloosa — it’s like a messy updo, you put your own ponytail in and you just wrap the Salsaloosa around twice like a scrunchy. I prefer the “buttered toast” shade. For the strips I use a shade lighter, like highlights, but you really can’t go wrong.”
And for the show?“Often we go for a 1940s-inspired look and those are complex and glamorous. I like to do a bun, too. I’ve got such fine hair and these just minimize the damage and don’t have that funny synthetic shine to them that lots of inexpensive hair pieces do. I was wearing the extenions when my friend Jai Rodriguez from “Queer Eye” came with me to “Skating With The Stars” and he couldn’t tell I had the extensions on, so I know they’re good, because he would totally have said something.”
What’s a typical day like during the season?“We start at 8 a.m. and half the day is spent in hair and makeup, but it’s fun and social. I go to the makeup area and use gel [under eye] patches from Shiseido and keep them on while my hair gets done — they tighten the skin under my eyes and feel great and cooling and wake me up. Also, you cannot underestimate great lashes. My eyelash curler is my best friend and I use Maybelline Great LashMascara or Christian Dior DiorShow. These are absolutely a part of my daily routine.”
How do you stay motivated?“Each season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is grueling. We train about seven hours day every single day once the show starts. We get no days off at all. But it’s so much fun and I’m lucky to be able to do what I love for my job.”
Jennifer Grey’s surgery was a success this past week. She posted on it at Twitter a few days ago.
Thanks once again for all the good thoughts. Dr. Bray performed a perfect surgery yesterday and I am now safely home in bed.
I’ve mentioned before that Maks and Kym were taking part in the Broadway show Burn the Floor and that Maks had gotten great reviews when paired with Karina this fall. Well, the New York Post has an interview with the two of them that I thought some readers might be interested in. Side note: Alec and Edyta were scheduled to take over for Maks and Kym in January, but I read that, likely due to low ticket sales, the show is closing on or about January 10th. I don’t think this says anything about Maks or Kym but more about the economy. Granted, this is Broadway’s big season, but the competition is fierce and I think the big name musicals and shows are going to win the season. Anyway, from the New York Post:
Kym Johnson — who helped usher Donny Osmond to the No. 1 spot — and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have partnered up and are hoofing it on Broadway, putting in eight performances a week in “Burn the Floor.”
“On ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ we do a minute-and-20 second routine with a celebrity, so you’re not reaching your fullest potential,” says Johnson, who toured with “Burn the Floor” for six years before joining “DWTS.”
“You have to hold things back a little bit sometimes, but dancing with Maks in a proper Broadway show . . . the limitations are not there, you can just go as crazy as you want.”
As far as Chmerkovskiy is concerned, “DWTS” is more of “a social experiment” than the serious ballroom dancing competitions that the pros are familiar with.
“Two people are put in a room together — one is a dance professional and the other has never done it before — with a camera and it becomes a kind of ‘Big Brother’ experience,” he says.
“Now, you’re not just their dance instructor, but, at times, their shoulder to cry on, their psychiatrist, their teacher, their mentor and vice versa.”