Jorja Freeman brings BURN THE FLOOR to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Jorja Freeman
Name of Edinburgh show: Burn The Floor
Venue: McEwan Hall
Performance time: 3pm
Show length: 60 mins
Ticket price: From £13.80

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’m a dancer from Melbourne, Australia and have been touring and dancing with Burn The Floor since I was 19… I’m now 26! I started dancing at age 3 when my Mum and Dad couldn’t handle having me and my twin brothers at home (we were a lot to handle). So my Nana would take me to dance class. My Nana was once part of the Australian Ballet and my Mum never danced so for her she loved the fact that I was even up for it.

Up until age 15 I studied and competed in Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre and Ballet (which I hated) I then made a straight switch to Ballroom and Latin dancing.. where I got to dance with boys!

I never did extremely well in Competition dancing nor did I really enjoy it to be honest… what I enjoyed was performing… even as a little girl I always had to be the centre of attention… self admitted! I loved the stage!

So at age 19 when the offer came to join Australian Dance Company, Burn The Floor it was right up my alley, and definitely a dream job for me! My first BTF experience was touring the USA, my first theatre was The Pantages in LA.. it truly was one of the most memorable nights ever… I remember everything about it… except dancing on stage.. go figure!

Since then Burn The Floor has become my home away from home, giving me professional dance opportunities that I never thought possible. I’ve performed on London’s West End in 2016, have toured Japan twice in some of the biggest theatres I have ever seen, and have had the privilege of touring my home country 3 times now.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Burn The Floor is an incredibly unique dance company, there is no other like it in the world. for 20 years it has breed rebellious, competitive ballroom dancers into rockstars. Most former dancers are now professionals on Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with Stars USA and various other dance franchisees around the world.

The show at Edinburgh Fringe is a new product for Burn The Floor, it is all about pushing the boundaries in every way possible. The multicultural cast includes 12 young, sexy, rebellious, elite dancers and 2 Male vocalists.

This show uses the traditional dance style of Ballroom dancing and fuses it together with some of the most iconic music of our time. it mixes classic rock songs from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker, and Robbie Williams and sexes it up with some pretty hot dancing!

This show is all about showcasing dance as an art form. However that may be, whether its two people dancing together with a basic piano behind them, or a full cast of 12 working as one to portray a love story. The show has everything and leaves everyone wanting more!

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
This show as a whole is a new product for the company, it is a raw, indie and stripped back version than what you may have seen elsewhere. Most routines for this show have been in the works since September 2017. However, some of the routines within the show are classics that have been part of the show for 10 years.

This show is relevant to its audience because it is simply so ahead of its time within the Ballroom dance industry. The Fringe festival is all about new, experimental, forward thinking ideas… and this show is exactly that! This is not your typical ballroom dancing show, in fact it often scares the rest of the dance industry because of how foreign it is to typical Ballroom dancing.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Make a conscious effort to go see and experience things you wouldn’t normally…you just may be pleasantly surprised! Put yourself out of your comfort zone that would be my advice… thats when the best memories are made!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Oh boy!! There’s been a few, most involve costume mishaps and in turn making an absolute knob of myself trying to cover them up.
But by far the moment that sticks in my head…. and many other cast members head’s, would be the time that I launched myself into a stage backdrop, broke all the light bulbs on the stage’s set, and completely decked myself (in a big Spanish flamenco dress). Then due to the weight of the dress I was not able to get back onto my feet so thought it was best to just roll off stage into the nearest wing….. not something I’ve repeated!

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I have a lot of inspirations within the dance and entertainment industry. one of them is our Director, Peta Roby I aspire to be her! Her special way of managing the company with such a cool and collaborative approach is something that is so unique and effective. she allows dancers to explore their own artistic direction and freedom whilst working within a group, it is so admirable! Derek Hough is also a dance genius who has now also set a new direction for ballroom dancing choreography and content.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Well, Burn the Floor actually have a very famous ritual which the entire cast are involved in at the 5 minute call of every show. It began back when the company first toured Japan. Its called ‘Chang, Chang’ this has been going for almost 20 years and is something that unites the entire performing cast every show…. but its our little secret 😉

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Oh where do I even start! I want to also put myself out of my comfort zone, thats for sure! But I have definitely pencilled in ‘Amanda F*cking Palmer’ its described as ‘Punk-Cabaret’… its got me very intrigued! I also love my English stand up comedy, so I think that will be a night out with the Poms of the cast! ‘Show Stopper’ the improvised musical is another one… we have a TV Show like it at home…. its Gold! I’m sure many more will join the list as we get closer!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Burn The Floor is like nothing else on this Fringe program… and I’m not just saying that! These dancers are hot, and bloody good! The vocalists are nuts, and the artistic direction is what is pathing the way for the future of the Dance Theatre industry.

I mean the company has been around for 20 years…. its gotta be good!

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