LOWELL -- ABC's Dancing with the Stars has nothing on Aljaz Skorjanec, his partner Faye Huddleston or the nine other couples heating up the dance floor in Burn the Floor.
In fact, the critically acclaimed, live ballroom dance show, which plays Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday night, has more chills, thrills -- and occasionally spills -- than the hit TV series.
"Dancing with the Stars has helped ballroom dancing in general and helps our show indirectly. But here it is live and on stage for the audience," said Skorjanec by phone from Tampa last weekend.
The show is packed with those "how did they do that?" moments as the world-class dancers perform lifts, intricate footwork and a variety of group dances, all choreographed by former world champ Jason Gilikson.
The action never lags during Burn the Floor's 25 numbers, many of which are accompanied by a pair of singers and a lively onstage quartet, as well as recorded music.
The 10 couples perform every dance included in the international ballroom competition -- waltz, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, tango, quickstep, cha cha, samba, paso doble, rumba and jive -- plus variations including swing dancing and the lindy.
Skorjanec, 22 and a native of Slovenia, has danced since he was 5 and began competing at 13.
He joined Burn the Floor three years ago and hasn't looked back.
He and Huddleston were paired based on their abilities and talents, he said.
Their specialties are the waltz, foxtrot, Viennese waltz and paso doble.
"Our favorite is the foxtrot," he said.
Touring is a great gig, he noted.
"It's a different way of life -- long flights, hotel rooms -- but it's a wonderful way to see the world and we all get along in the cast," he said.
His future may include other performing, but for now burning up the floor in Burn the Floor is the life he wants to lead.
"I love dancing and want to keep at it, improving and getting better every day," he said.
Burn the Floor on Tuesday, May 8, at 8 p.m. at Lowell Memorial Auditorium is part of the Lowell Five Performing Arts Series. Tickets $30.50, $46.50, and $56.50 at box office, call 978-454-299 or www.lowellauditorium.com.
On the marquee
STUDENT STARS: Music students at Middlesex Community College showcase their talents in a number of recitals this month. It's a program entitled From Beethoven to Afro-Cuban Rhythms on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall at MCC's Bedford campus on Springs Road. Featured are student instrumentalists, vocalists and the MCC Percussion Ensemble. On Thursday, May 10, at 9:30 a.m. in the Federal Building Assembly Room, Kearney Square, Lowell, voice students of MCC faculty member Johannah Segarich will perform Art Songs and Musicals. Both programs are free and open to the public.
GERSHWIN LIVES: ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents Hershey Felder's George Gershwin Alone May 30-June 10 at the Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston. Felder, who is premiering his Maestro: Leonard Bernstein through May 20 in the same venue, has done his Gershwin show on Broadway, London's West End and at various regional theaters, including the American Repertory Theatre. Tickets $25-$89 at www.artsemerson.org or call 617-824-8400.
OH, MAMMA: Mamma Mia!, the smash hit musical featuring the music of ABBA, returns to Boston for a one week engagement at the Opera House June 19-24. Tickets, starting at $33, are on sale at the box office, call Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or www.BroadwayInBoston.com.
Email Nancye Tuttle at email@example.com.