EXCLUSIVE: Liz Lira Teaches Gerry to Dance
Category: The Ugly Truth News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 10, 2008 | Publication: GerardButlerGlobalFans.com | Author: lafemmefantome
Not to be reposted without permission from lafemmefantome at GBGF.com.
Recently, I was fortunate to do an interview with Liz Lira, a World Champion Salsa Dancer. Now you may wonder, what's so special about her? Well she did come to Bakersfield, my stomping grounds to teach a style technique class (for those that don't know I've been ballroom dancing off and on for over 8 years. I've been Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Montreal for various competitions), and oh yeah...
She taught Gerry and Katherine Heigl a bit of salsa for the upcoming film The Ugly Truth. How's that for six degrees of Gerry? Anyways, Liz had some time to answer the following questions. I hope you appreciate the small glimpse she has afforded us into Gerry's next film sometime after RockNRolla...The Ugly Truth.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a World Champion Salsa dancer? Did anyone inspire you?
Answer: As a premiere Latin dancer, I can say that I have conquered the Salsa World with Four World Championships and I am currently taking the Argentine Tango & International Latin worlds by storm with, what people have referred to as, my signature moves and jaw dropping performances. Some have considered me one of the most influential artists world wide! One person who influenced me was Beth Burns, the Artistic Director & Founder of Saint Joseph Ballet in Orange County. I joined that school at the age of eight.
How did you come to be working with the film The Ugly Truth, specifically Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl? That is, how did you come to be hired to teach them the dance routine?
Answer: Through an audition by my partner's agent.
Could you describe the dance routine you taught Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl? Could you also describe the scene (if possible) in which they danced? What was happening in that scene?
Answer: It was a club scene. I taught them a little bit of salsa, some dips and poses and basically kept them to practicing and focusing on the steps.
How quickly did Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl pick up the dance steps? I've seen men before when they first learn salsa and they often look like they're killing cockroaches with their feet. Did Gerard Butler pick up the "Cuban motion" in the hips pretty quickly? (I'm guessing the routine was some type of salsa routine)
Answer: My partner and I both worked with them on the routine. They were great to work with, learned quickly and had fun!
Are there any other stories you would like to share about your time and experience teaching Gerard Butler the dance routine in the film? What was it like working with two celebrities that are thought of as being part of the "A List" in Hollywood?
Answer: I never kiss and tell. That's all I have to say "wink" wink.gif . Gerard is a down to earth kind of guy and Katherine the girl next door beauty smile.gif . Well, since I am so busy in my own world. I didn't know what list they were on. Hehehe... And even when I knew, it didn't matter. I was there to do a job and be professional. So, the scene looked amazing. And they are great actors that can handle pretty much anything. I appreciated their focus and the execution was fab!
Below is a more detailed biography from Liz's site www.lizlira.com. Being someone who really loves dance, I can't wait to see what she did to help out Gerry in the film.
Liz Lira, the "Rose of Salsa," was born in La Paz, Bolivia, and immigrated to the United States at the early age of eight. Making Southern California her new home, she embraced the art of dance and excelled in both ballet and jazz.
For more than a dozen years, she trained at the most respected dance studios with top ballet coaches and traveled with her dance company, Salsa Soleil, performing in front of thousands and on TV. Seen as one of the more talented young ballerinas, she encountered numerous opportunities, including the possibility to move to New York and join one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world -- The New York City Ballet.
However, personal strife and limitations hindered her dreams of pursuing a life on state performing ballet and nearly caused her to quit dancing forever. But with the support of family and a strong determination, she regained her commitment to dance and transitioned into new avenues.
Although professionally trained for many years in various forms of dance, including modern, lyrical and hip hop, it was not until 2001, at the age of 21, that she emerged onto the LA salsa scene. Her style quickly gained her recognition as one of the top female dancers in Southern California. Although she desires to present an elegant style of salsa as her trademark, her dancing has been referred to as a fusion of graceful motion and explosive energy.
Admired by many for her warm personality and exceptional dancing skills, she quickly became one of the more recognizable personalities on the club circuit. Her outstanding teaching skills also made her a favorite among salsa students at establishments such as the Mayan and Conga Room. Coveted by many of the salsa scene's best male dancers to train as dance partners, she chose to dance with salsa veteran.
She went on to capture her first major salsa dance championship at the Mayan Club in the summer of 2002. Along with competitions, her itinerary also included performances on the international stage, performing in her beloved Bolivia, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. The momentum of her early success lead to commercials and music video appearances.
As a much sought after instructor for classes and private lessons, Liz dedicates much of her time to teaching salsa at various locations in the Los Angeles area. Her projects continue to include overseas travel, shows, performances and choreography. All the while, she has not neglected to continue her college studies. Her distinctive style of dance has opened many doors and is likely to ensure that she continues to be one of the rising stars in LA's crowded salsa scene.
Liz Lira went onto winning more than a dozen competitions with partner Salomon Rivera. Making them current Four Time World Salsa Champion. They travel around the world teaching, performing and sharing the passion of dance.
Revolutionizing her image and different genres of dance Liz Lira is currently working with elite Argentine Tango Dancers and most recently appeared in the show "Passion de Espana" at the historic Alex Theatre where she brought her signature moves and jaw dropping choreography. She now tours the world both in Salsa and Argentine Tango. Featured Perfomer for at "The Holiday Dance Classic" in Las Vegas, by Wendy Johnson. Continues to share her passion of dance, acting and singing world wide.