Michelle Loewenstein
2 minute read
19 Sep 2015
8:00 am

Burn the Floor: Dancers tear up the stage

Michelle Loewenstein

When people hear about Burn the Floor – Fire in the Ballroom, they generally say: “Oh, is that the Latin thing?” They aren’t entirely wrong, but this production is far more than some showcase of plastic-faced performers wearing feathers and frills.

As with previous incarnations of the Burn the Floor brand, this show takes the Latin and ballroom genre and turns it on its head. Choreographer Peta Roby has created a melting pot of dance, vocals and percussion, which somehow manages to marry different styles together to create something unique and exciting.

The cast includes performers from around the globe. Unlike other similar dance productions, Burn the Floor isn’t built around a few strong dancers supported by an ensemble. Each dancer can hold their own as a lead, and is given a chance to shine. Johannes Radebe of Strictly Come Dancing fame has joined the company for their tour and he doesn’t disappoint.

GRACEFUL: Megan Wragg and Johannes Radebe. Picture: Mariola Biela

GRACEFUL: Megan Wragg and Johannes Radebe. Picture: Mariola Biela

The crowd went wild when he took to the stage and he lapped up the attention while more than proving why the highly selective choreographers had chosen him for the show. He performed a beautiful contemporary number with Australia’s Megan Wragg, which had his Strictly partner, Leanne Williams, sitting on the edge of her seat, hands over her mouth.

Another local talent, Pretoria’s Kylee Brown, who joined the Burn the Floor cast in 2013, was breathtaking in a duet with England’s Stephen Vincent. Ballroom fans looking for the classic “couple who float on air” will love this number. The show relies heavily on its two vocalists, Jessica Lingotti and Mikee Introna. The two gave strong performances, although Lingotti was let down a bit by some technical glitches with her mic.

Special mention needs to be made of Pat Madden on percussion, who was just brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dancing or who appreciates a good show.


  • Cast: Johannes Radebe, Kylee Brown, Lauren Oakley.
  • Director: Peta Roby.
  • Theatre: The Mandela at Joburg Theatre until October 3.