GOING DEEPER presents Spanish dancer and choreographer, Gorka Marquez.
Having began dancing at the age of 12, it didn’t take long for Gorka to become one of the top dancers in Spain. He represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010, and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 World Dance Sport Federation World Cup.
In 2014, Gorka took a lead role in the sellout global dance phenomenon; Burn The Floor, which saw him tour the world, visiting Miami, New York, Bermuda and the Bahamas to name a few.
In this exclusive interview, we learnt what it really takes to be an international dancer and how he successfully balances a busy rehearsal schedule with being a hands on father.
Gorka, we know you’ve been dancing from the age of 12, but where did it all begin for you? How did you discover you had a talent for it?
My first competition in Ballroom was when I was 12, I started a bit earlier when I was 11. I’ve always loved everything to do with dance, whether that be Theatre or the Christmas dance at school. I used to always be involved. I think I got it from my mum, she always loved to dance.
A lot of people will know you best for your time on the World Famous TV show, Strictly Come Dancing, how did you come to be a part of the show?
That’s a very funny story. As you can imagine there are so many dancers who would love to be part of the show. Sometimes when they need new dancers they audition, but for me it was different. I was working on a cruise ship in Bermuda as one of the dancers for the famous ballroom show BURN THE FLOOR.
I remember I got a call from my dance captain asking me if I’d checked my email in the last few weeks as the producers of the show wanted to speak with me. Long story short, we organised a Skype call to go through everything, and a week later they confirmed me as part of the show. In less than a week, my life completely changed for the better and I moved to the UK.
You have to put in hours and hours of intense practice in each week. What keeps you motivated and focused during this time?
I practice 6 to 8 hours a day, sometimes even more, and 7 days a week. I think it’s easy when you do what you love. Obviously there are some days that are harder but you just remind yourself why you love it and how lucky you are to do what you love as a job.
...Do you have any routines or things you do to help you with this?
During the rest of the year, if I’m not doing the show or on tour, I try not to dance as much. The 6 months of being on the show or touring are very intense mentally and physically, so when day one arrives I’m so excited to dance. It also helps to keep my passion for it.
You’ve achieved so much in your professional life already - what’s been your career highlight to date and why?
There have been so many amazing moments, it is hard to choose one but now that we are talking about it - Strictly, it’s been one of the biggest and best moments of my life .
We have been loving your recent IGTV lessons “Bailando en Casa” with your family. Do you think it’s possible to teach anyone to dance professionally with enough practice or is it something you’re born with?
Oh thank you, really appreciate that! Of course, dancing is like walking. Everyone can do it, some will pick it up faster than others but everyone can dance.
Your career has taken you all over the world - which nationality do you think has the best dancers?
Hmmm Spain? Lol, no, I don’t know... there are so many good dancers everywhere. Dance is universal.
We also know you’re very much into health and fitness away from dancing and have personal training qualifications. Is this something you’re looking to get more involved with in the future?
Yeah, fitness and health is my other passion and I would love to do more. My goal/dream is to open my own fitness health studio.
You’re originally from Spain and have lived in the UK now for a number of years. What’s your favourite thing about living here and what do you miss the most from your homeland?
My favourite thing about living in the UK is the Sunday brunch in spring/summer outside, and then Sunday roasts in the winter. I miss the sunny days on the beach and the Spanish food the most.
We know you're a big family man and your Youtube vlogs with Gemma and baby Mia often show your milestones as a young family. Do you have any tips on how to balance family life and work?
Well that’s a good question. I see family first of course, but work is important and it’s hard sometimes to be away, but I know I am doing it to give the best to my family. Also, I make each moment special with them. I think it is very important to make each moment you spend with family and friends special, because you never know if it is the last one.
And finally...what’s your favourite music to dance to when you’re doing it just for fun?
My favourite music is reggaeton music. I play it everyday. I wake Gemma up sometimes, she says ‘can you turn that off’! Funny fact is, Mia loves it too! Every time I play she dances to it. There is a video on my Instagram… so cute.