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Moves that will ‘Floor’ you

March 4, 2011

Published in Metro

Hits like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars” have revitalized America’s enthusiasm for ballroom dance, but they don’t show everything.

“The camera angles create something else out of it,” says Anya Garnis, who has performed in both TV shows with her partner of 12 years Pasha Kovalev.

She says when zooming in and panning out, the camera dictates what viewers see, and ultimately, the experience.

“You watch it live with a very different perspective,” she says.

With 18 other champion dancers, Garnis and Kovalev do it all live in “Burn the Floor” — tangos and quicksteps, sambas, rumbas and cha-chas, plus five more traditional ballroom competition styles.

Garnis says her favorite dance in the show is also the most physically demanding, thanks to its seven-minute duration. Called “Dirty Boogie,” the number features all 20 performers spontaneously jiving on stage together.

“As much as you try to reach out to the audience when you’re on TV, you don’t really know the impact you’re having on them. All you see is the lens, the lonely eye,” Garnis says. “That interaction with the live audience in ‘Burn the Floor’ is unexplainable. Two shows are never the same.”

Dancing outside of the box

Though she misses the intensity of competition, Garnis would rather perform the dances for fun.

“When competing, you can’t express yourself freely, or do certain steps. It’s like a little box,” she admits. “Here I can truly express myself as an artist.”

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