IN THE dark days between series of Strictly Come Dancing, the show’s professional dancers often hit the road with solo shows, or in partnership with their friends and colleagues from the TV ballroom.

One such duo is Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez, who had a huge hit on their hands with their debut tour, Firedance.

Gorka MarquezGorka Marquez (Image: Speakeasy UK Tour)

Now, they are back, and heading for Glasgow with an all-new show set in the exciting worlds of clandestine New York speakeasies, sultry Havana dance floors and the burlesque cabaret clubs of the mid-1900s…..

Speakeasy, which comes to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in February 2025, promises a “delicious dance experience”, say the duo, who have been friends and colleagues for many years.

(Image: Speakeasy UK tour)

“It’s been nice going back to the drawing board after Firedance, which was very successful for us, and coming up with new ideas,” says Karen. “That’s been really refreshing.”

Gorka adds: “Whenever we do anything like this on Strictly - jazz, the Chicago numbers, the Cabaret-style dances, we love it, so we thought, why don’t we do a full show just on this?”

Karen agrees. “It’s nostalgic, there’s the Fred and Ginger era, Bonnie and Clyde, Prohibition, and the dances people are so in love with, like the Charleston, the Argentinian tango, they all came from these eras. It’s nice to be able to tell these stories.”

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As well as his role as part of the Strictly pro team, Gorka is also a judge on Spain's Dancing with the Stars, and has his own reality TV series, Life behind the Lens, with fiancée Gemma Atkinson and their children.

A former world mambo champion, Karen is Strictly’s longest-serving professional, having spent 12 series on the show. She is associate choreographer on Speakeasy.

“Both of us are involved in the choreography, though,” says Karen. “We don’t include anything that doesn’t feel right to one of us. We definitely have a vision and we’re on the same page.

“I think that’s why it really works.”

Choosing a highlight from the show is too difficult, says Karen.

“I like it when people clap,” she jokes.

Gorka adds: “I love the part when Karen dances on her own. Partly because I can have a rest, but also because I get to watch her dance, and she is amazing.”

(Image: Speakeasy UK tour)

Unlike some fellow Strictly pros who take to the road between series, there is no chitchat between dances with Karen and Gorka, no pulling back the curtain to reveal a little of themselves.

“If people want to know about us they can google us,” says Karen, laughing,

Gorka intervenes with a frown. “Although maybe not google us, because sometimes there are lies…”

Karen laughs. “Seriously, everybody knows us because of Strictly, and we don’t want to talk about ourselves, we just want to dance. We can tell our stories through the dance.

“And it’s not like we take any breaks in the show – there are no stops, just a LOT of dancing.”

Glasgow is the duo’s favourite stop on the tour, they claim.

“We are absolutely not just saying that – we LOVE Glasgow crowds,” insists Karen.

Gorka agrees. “Also, Glasgow has the best restaurant for Spanish food outside of Spain, I am not kidding. The Spanish Butcher has the best steaks and sangria. I cannot wait to go back.”

Speakeasy will be at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday, February 28.