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Interview: Jemma Armstrong of BURN THE FLOOR “BE BRAVE. TOGETHER” at Cool Japan Park Osaka WW Hall

Armstrong has been a dancer in "Burn The Floor" since 2009.

By: Jun. 24, 2023
Interview: Jemma Armstrong of BURN THE FLOOR “BE BRAVE. TOGETHER” at Cool Japan Park Osaka WW Hall  Image
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Jemma Armstrong has been Three-time Australian Champion, National Champion and has won the right to represent Australia at the World Championships. She has been a dancer of  "Burn The Floor" since 2009.

How do you feel about coming back to Japan after 5 years?

It's been so anticipated. I've been waiting and waiting because this is actually my 5th or 6th visit. So it was really hard because Japan is my favorite place to come and to perform and I do have a lot of friends here, too. So I missed seeing them in those five years. So for me to dance here again and to see my friends and family that I've made along the way. It feels so wonderful, grateful and humbling to come back and be able to do that after too long.

Did you miss anything about Japan?

Oh I missed everything. The people, the food, the cultured and beauty. Japan is wonderful. Every time someone asked me, “where is your favorite place in the world?”, my first instinct answer is Japan. I’m not just saying it’s because I’m here right now, I truly mean it. You all are so wonderful, so kind, giving and humble. And your country has much history and culture and I love your food. I even tried to cook it. I was making Ramen. I get all the recipes from here and I tried it at home.

How did you feel when you were chosen as a member of this tour?

Oh, so excited. This is the one I wanted the most. That was really nice feeling that they  wants me back to Japan.

What was the hardest part during the rehearsal process? And how did you manage it?

It was someone that I haven't been partnered before. So coming into rehearsals all the others dance partnerships have already been together for years and years. For myself and Lyu, we just got put together through the rehearsal. So we had to learn it together and expected to perform it and catch up to everyone so we felt kind of behind but it was because of circumstances that we weren't able to be together to practice. So that was really hard. If we haven't been together, we can’t feel each others body and its connection, like that takes a while to form. But we did manage it and work together hard. Learning each other's bodies and how we move. He's really tall, I’m really short. So the poor boy, he has to bend down to get my level. It was different and I love that because you grow as a dancer. But it was tough for us and rehearsals were only for a week. So I feel Lyu and I have worked really hard to get to where we are and try and catch up with everybody. He's wonderful. And I'm so glad to be partner with him.

What do you think is your strength in general?

I think my strength are I am very resilient, passionated, motivated. I never settle for complacency. I like to keep pushing myself to see how much I can grow. I'm very strong with my family and friendship. I’m very loyal, trying to be positive with everything.

Which is your favorite part of this show and why?

I really enjoy Smooth Criminal for me. I can really being myself and it's strong but then I love dancing “Human”. For the number that I'm not in, I love watching “Un giorno per noi”, “Hallelujah” and “It’s a man’s man’s man’s world”. And I do enjoy finale numbers. They are fun because we can get really monster crowd enjoying that.

What do you keep in your mind when dancing?

When I'm dancing, I’m really dancing from my heart and in the moment. So I’m trying to be present with my partner, the music. I feel the energy from the audience too. So I feel a lot of passion and love. I just get lost in the moment. I shut off anything bad happening outside of the world. I go into my little happy bubble and I see everyone on stage. I want to give them my energy. Each song and each number, you can be something different so I adapt each song.

What do you think is the best thing about being part of Burn the floor?

There are a lot of things that is wonderful. We become very close and so you form beautiful friendships. They bring all people from all over the world and you just become these little tight family and it's such a special bond. We go through so much together and then we share what we are passionate about on stage together. But not just on the stage together and do things with each other outside of the theater as well. It's a really special thing that Burn the floor creates, being a family. Not just come to work and go. But also burn the floor allows us to travel around the world and experience all those beautiful places, and you meet beautiful people like the crew members like, I'm meeting you today. So I'm very grateful for the all the opportunities they expose to me.

Do you have any message to those who haven't watch it yet but interested in? 

They just need to come see it because we're always trying to evolve and push the boundaries. We also have a super Star with us from Japan. So He's a huge highlight, wonderful, such a rock star. So you need to see him and us in action. We have a lot of new faces so they bring new energy and diversity. It’s still high energy and we taking it to a different level. 

Photo Credit: [BURN THE FLOOR]


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