What God had in mind.

I spent 16 hours in Philly and I didn’t hate it.

Of course, I only saw three streets and what I saw wasn’t too terribly wretched, but I was sure to give the stink eye to the Flyers arena like a good Burgher should. I hope it worked*.

The reason I was IN Philly instead of SKIRTING AROUND Philly, as I normally do, is because the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust flew me and David and Burgh Baby and Absolute Ballroom there to see Burn the Floor and perhaps write about it.

What’s Burn the Floor you ask?

I’m going to tell you and I’m going to gush.

First, we need to talk about bodies. Human bodies. I have long held the personal belief that soccer players have the best bodies for men and that figure skaters have the best bodies for women. I’ve studied this. It was, in my book, a scientific fact.

I would hereby like to change my opinion based on new input. Ballroom dancers have the best bodies in the whole universe.

Burn the Floor has a tagline of “Ballroom. Reinvented.” and they mean that. This is not your grandma’s ballroom.

There are way too many visible abdominal muscles for this to be your grandma’s ballroom.  This ballroom would make your grandma blush.

Now, I don’t know what you believe, but you know what I believe and I’m going to say this because it is the only way I can say it and feel like I adequately described their bodies to you:

THIS is what God had in mind when he created man. Woman too. This is the perfection of creation. The beauty of the human body in its most perfect form. You could easily hold an anatomy lesson with the body of a ballroom dancer because every muscle is defined in perfect symmetry. It was breathtaking.  It was intimidating.

The show is a mix of live percussion, two live vocalists (one of whom is Vonzell Solomon. LOVE HER.), and dozens of dancers.

The show is fire. It is human emotion expressed through human motion. Passion. Love. Lust. Fear. Unrequited love. Joy. Love. Joy. Anger. Rage. Hate. Love. Jealousy. Longing. Desire.

Did I mention desire? Lots of desire. On my part, at least.

We began backstage where we met the producer Harley Medcalf. He’s from Australia and I could listen to him talk all day. Harley, tell me about grass and how it grows. Harley, tell me about paint and how it dries. Harley, tell me about ecru and how it differs from beige. That’s how beautiful his accent is.

Harley showed us the stage, where I was momentarily deered-in-headlights from the stage lighting. He showed us where the dancers change costumes. He introduced us to some of the dancers. He instructed me to stop trying to touch the dancers.

Kidding. I restrained myself, but I was THINKING about it. In my defense, the male dancers weren’t wearing shirts and their pecs and abs and stuff were all up in my reach. I am only human.

The show itself is an immediate heart-pounding rush. Many types of ballroom dance are portrayed, not that I can tell the difference. I mean, I know a waltz from a tango, but a jive from a cha cha or a cha cha from a rhumba? Not a chance.

But you don’t need to know ballroom dance to appreciate what this show is. It makes you feel things. It makes you want to go home and do a million stomach crunches and squats in a row, because NOTHING jiggles on these dancers. Even when they do the butt-jiggle shakey dance, their butt is all, “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME,” whereas if I did that dance, my butt would be all, “EARTHQUAKE. EARTHQUAKE. GOD ALMIGHTY, SAVE US!”

Self-awareness. I have it.

The women are divine and the men ooze so much machismo that their chismo has chismo … or something.

One particular dancer I couldn’t tear my eyes off of was Pasha, who many of you may know from So You Think You Can Dance.

Pasha Kovalev was the north pole magnet to my south, writes the girl who just Googled, “The basics of magnetism.”  Where he was, that’s where my eyeballs rested also. I’m no expert in ballroom, so I can’t really put my finger on what made him stand out so much. His hips slitherier? His footwork faster? His face more expressive? I don’t know.

And if he’s that good, I can’t imagine what it will be like to see Mark Ballas on stage when Burn the Floor comes to Pittsburgh.

The next morning, we had an early flight home to Pittsburgh and when we entered the hotel elevators at 6:30 a.m., who was standing inside all by his lonesome but Pasha Kovalev. I swear I am not making this up.

He looked amazing and I stopped dead in my tracks and said, “[GASP!] [blink].”

And Pasha said, “[blink].”

And I said, “I am not going to freak out.”

And Pasha said, “[blink?]”


No I didn’t. I THOUGHT that. I couldn’t SAY that. My husband was RIGHT THERE and my uterus is basically promised to him.

I told Pasha he was wonderful last night (That’s what she said.) and we chatted briefly about how he was taking a rest and not traveling with the show to Pittsburgh. It was all very calm and civil after my initial reaction of FIRE FIRE FIRE WOO-WEE WOO-WEE WOO-WEE.

So that is twice in three weeks I’ve found myself on an elevator with a famous person. I assume this is my new superpower. Knowing when famous people are going to be on elevators. I mean, 6:30 in the morning, six elevators, 18 floors, and Pasha’s elevator stops on my floor at the exact second I push the down button.

If you’d like to get up close and personal with the finest bodies in creation, you need to see Burn the Floor when it comes to Pittsburgh from December 28 to January 2, and because I love you and the Cultural Trust loves you, you can get $15 off your ticket by using the special coupon code for That’s Church readers: PASODOBLE.  Use that promo code for $15 off tickets to the Tuesday evening, Friday evening and Saturday matinee performances. This discount is valid until Nov. 26, 2010.

You can order your tickets here.

I might be there. Riding the elevators.

*You will know if it worked if all of the Flyers players grow smelly belly buttons on their foreheads.


I received airfare, hotel stay and tickets to the show from the Cultural Trust in order for me to review the show, but was not given any instructions on posting about it. This review is completely my opinion. They didn’t even ask me to put any fine print in. This fine print is completely my fine print.


  1. Kathy
    November 15, 2010 4:15 pm

    Pasha is hot. His partner, Anya (who I believe is wrapped around his leg in the pic above) is hotter than hot. I mean, her hips are a wonder. If I’d believe in God, I’d believe that was his idea of perfection. I think they are. Maybe I’m God. Probably not, don’t go all hatey in the comments people, I’m kidding. Sorry if my kidding = your blasphemy. Whoa, tangent.

    I wish I lived in Pittsburgh. In all the things that are stupidom, their closest stop to the Bay Area is Modesto. Modesto? Srsly? Tickets to this are so goin’ on my Christmas list. ((scurries off to update running christmas list email))

  2. Butcher's Dog
    November 15, 2010 4:33 pm

    Human bodies. OK, Ginny makes the hotness point quite well, not to mention repeatedly. But I’m going to throw out another category: greatest athletes in the world.

    And those, IMHO, belong to performers in Cirque du Soleil.

    Mrs. Dog, the Pup, and I saw them (for about the fourth or fifth time) in Youngstown over the weekend. For flexibility, strength, balance, body control, stamina, and just about any other physical characteristic you could name this side of humongeous jugs, they have it in spades. I’d give Jeff Reed, to pick just one so-called football player, about 15 seconds if he tried some of that stuff.

    I know many of them are impossibly skinny, but there are muscles there and they work quite well. If you’ve ever seen Cirque, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen them, do so at the earliest possible moment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  3. bluzdude
    November 15, 2010 4:56 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t add to your collection of self-united husbands. Or might that have been a problem with your formally-united husband being in close proximity?

  4. empirechick
    November 15, 2010 4:58 pm

    I was on the fence about seeing this, but your review has convinced me. Dress Circle Center tickets on Sat. aftrenoon – woo hoo!

    PS: Congrats on avoiding the “I carried a watermelon” syndrome on two straight encounters!

  5. BeauJacques
    November 15, 2010 5:28 pm

    If the girls looked like that, (or we even cared @ age 11,) we (buds & I decided it was gay before we even knew gay LOL,) we wouldn’t have quit Cotillion!

  6. Sooska
    November 15, 2010 6:07 pm

    WORD. and I have one additional word: Pilobolus. unreal bodies. unreal dance.

  7. pghjen
    November 15, 2010 9:50 pm

    Got my tickets! I would have preferred to see Pasha, but I’ll settle for a great show. Thanks for the promo code.

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