When I popped into the Dancing With The Stars studios of ABC’s mega 14-million-viewer show, now in its 20th season, I had the privilege of hanging out with and witnessing a practice session of an amazing pair of dancers. I garnered a sit-down interview, with what the vast majority of America knows as #TeamShway (aka dancer, Broadway star, and choreographer Sharna Burgess, and Noah Galloway, a Veteran war hero with two missing limbs, athlete, motivational speaker, and father to three).
If you comb through the Twitter feed on these two, “Emmy worthy choreography” “profound dancing” and “trust and courage” are commonly found to describe the Sharna/Noah dynamic dance duo. They convey not only the physical strength, but also the chemistry, as they truly tap into their emotive style of dance with a spectacular amount of heart and soul.
Q: Tell us a little about what goes on while training during “season filming” mode for Dancing With The Stars?
Sharna: I wake up early, stay hydrated with water, but also consume large amounts of “red eye” coffee (it’s basically coffee with a shot of espresso in it)… I review the prior day’s dancing (creatively decide what I need to do then for the rest of the day). Every 24 hours, honestly, is an unpredictable rollercoaster, and I must be prepared and train as strong as possible. On show days, I don’t end up eating very much. If I do eat a little something, I will usually grab a Quest nutrition bar. For me, my most important focus is to be there for Noah.
Noah: I emphasize and take pride on having a very strong work ethic. My background is of being disciplined both mentally and physically. I know how to compartmentalize strength, and envision my end goal, due to my experience and training in the army. I will stay until midnight practicing and rehearsing, even if I’ve been there since 8am … I’ve understood never giving up, endurance and just plain doing the hard work that is necessary to reach that end goal.
Q: You have a huge number of fans! How would you describe them?
Sharna: They are exceedingly sweet, and immensely loyal. They’ve watched and supported my growth, and gone out of their way in recruiting people into what they deem “Sharna’s Army.” I feel so grateful to both Noah and my fans, and all their incredible help for voting us to stay in the competition. I’m so thankful for all their wonderful love and support over the years. I hope to continue to make them proud!
Noah: I’m blessed with a wide variety of great fans! I’m honored with an expansive range… from veterans, to children, the elderly (both women, men and youth of disabled nature), to those who say they are looking up to me on how to tackle life with all you’ve got in general. I’m appreciative of all my fans, I’d like to think I’ve helped in some way, shape or form, to inspire people wanting to accomplish mind over matter circumstances, and give them the confidence to know that they can do it. People tell me I inspire them and give back to them so much, especially with regards to overcoming any of life’s obstacles (mental or physical).
Q: What’s your go to #TeamShway favorite motto or phrase?
Both: “No Excuses.”
Q: Who are your influences?
Sharna: Gene Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Chita Rivera, Cyd Charisse, Michael Jackson, Fred Astaire. I believe they set the bar extremely high, and were exceedingly advanced for their time with every aspect involved in dance. They were all such innovators, and continue to inspire and have such timeless qualities.
Noah: I think people in the military… They are so profound in everything they do, and are such critical thinkers. I’m also wholeheartedly inspired by children (especially those that were born with certain physical or mental ailments). I believe we as adults can learn so much from them.
Q: How do you feel now that you’ve made it to the semi-finals?
Sharna: We always keep our head in the game, and are hyper focused. This is the furthest I’ve been in the competition … Fans will write and say #TeamShway all the way, and that we’ll even win it, and that of course, is a fantastic desired end goal. What we do to keep razor-sharp focused as much as possible is to concentrate wholeheartedly on that week’s dance routine. It’s so wonderful going from Week One’s airing to now being happy to say we’re in Week 9!
Noah: Before we started, I thought perhaps I would make it to the third week. And now we’re going into week Nine (we are 74 days in)… I’ve experienced all sorts of pain (sometimes it’s just so tremendously hard, to not see your friends and family like you’d like to). There is joy too in being able to set a righteous example of showing people out there, if you put you’re mind to something enough, you can tackle pretty much almost anything!
Don’t forget to watch tonight’s semi-final of Dancing With The Stars on ABC!
And VOTE #TEAMSHWAY by calling 1.855.234.5605.
For all the latest happenings, follow them on Twitter: @SharnaBurgess @Noah_Galloway