Firedance: Karen and Gorka turn up the heat as dance show heads to Peterborough's New Theatre

Karen and Gorka, known for their appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, are heading to the New Theatre next week.Karen and Gorka, known for their appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, are heading to the New Theatre next week.
Karen and Gorka, known for their appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, are heading to the New Theatre next week.
Jules Boyle catches up with the Strictly Come Dancing pair who take to the city stage on February 23

Strictly stars Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez return to Peterborough's New Theatre this month with Firedance, featuring fresh flavours and super-charged choreography.

Tell us about the new show, you must be really excited about it?

Karen: This is our third year doing Firedance and of course the first year we only got six shows in before it got stopped by the pandemic, so it still feels very new and exciting! It’s a show that is fresh, it’s sexy and it’s just a celebration!

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What’s different this time around?

Gorka: It’s still along the lines of what we did before, but we’ve remade some of the show and brought in some more uplifting songs, some more modern songs and a fair few surprises too.

The idea is still the same obviously, we’re going to be dancing all night, there’s lots of fire and a lot of energy, so everything that people loved about it the last time is still there.

The previous shows have been really well-received, so how did you go about changing it up while still keeping in everything that people loved the last time around?

Karen: We have a great creative team who work with myself and Gorka, like our choreographer Nathan Clark, who is just amazing.

For us it’s always about the volume when you do a show, as you can hear and feel when a number really, really connects with the audience.

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So it’s always fun to be able to evolve and change things up, as you have an idea what people are really going to respond to and the challenge is to then be able to give them that. It’s all about evolution, so seeing what new songs are out there that we really like and then finding how to bring them into the show, while connecting them to different parts of it that have already had a great impact and are really loved by the audience.

As much as you are the stars, Firedance is about the other performers and production as it is about the pair of you. Why is that so important for you to ensure?

Gorka: Yes, that’s one of the things that makes Firedance so special, I think.

As Karen said, we have an amazing team with us, so the production is always huge and of the highest standard, so that raises the volume of the show.

From day one though, when we were looking for dancers, singers, musicians and so on, we were determined to get the most amazing ones we could find.

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A lot of dance shows take in the artists talking to the audience, but yours is purely all about the dancing. Why is that so important to you?

Karen: The lovely thing is there are so many great shows out there that have all the chatting and connection with the audience in that way, but we want to find our connection with what we were born to do and what we’ve been doing since we were kids and that is simply through dancing.

If you had to pick one thing, what would be your favourite part of the show?

Gorka: I love every part of it, but in a funny way, I love the last number that we used to do as it was so fun and upbeat, we’d always end up getting the giggles, as we don’t take ourselves too seriously and just have a laugh with it.

I’m sure that will be the same with the new one.

Over all the years you both have been on Strictly, you have inspired so many young people to take up dancing, either for fun or as a career. What advice would you like to give them?

Gorka: I would just say that if it’s something you love, just do it. If you are a dancer and are passionate about it, put all your effort into it 24/7, as nothing is easy in life, but if you really want it, don’t let anyone try and take that passion away from you. Work hard and love it every day.

Karen: I couldn’t agree more with that. It’s all about discipline. You have to be so disciplined with yourself and be very aware of all the ups and downs, as there are many.

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Do you think about the future and if so, what do you think it holds for you?

Karen: I’m not ready to hang up my shoes yet, put it that way!

In fact, I can’t see my drive ever retiring as once you do, what’s left? It’s lovely for people who do enjoy retirement, but I don’t ever want this to end, so I’ll always want to be involved in the arts and in dancing.

It’ll always be a part of my life, so I’ll go as far as I can and for as long as I can, that’s for sure!

Tickets for Firedance are available at