Orlando’s Magic Mike warm up the stages

Costumes ranging from firefighters to police officers and very little clothing, accompanied by a lot, but a lot, of body oil is what can be found in the backpack of Luis Burgos and Holland González, two Puerto Ricans who have made their body their main source Of income.

This usually accompanied by sensual dances, disco lights and the desperate screams of the public give him the energy to travel to various corners of Florida.

The days are long. In the mornings they dedicate themselves to training people who seek to shape their figure and stay in shape, either for their health or to improve their physical appearance. At night, they are part of a group of dancers who have become known as the Orlando Magic Mikes.

As the name of the group suggests Rock Hard Revue: A Magic Mike Experience is a show that features a sensual cast of men who will tempt you with synchronized choreography, themed costumes, and even audience participation. And they promise “a night they will never forget.”

From left, Luis Burgos assists Holland González — Members of 'Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience in Orlando' demonstrate their routines at The Dreams Lounge & Bar in Fern Park, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (Ricardo Ramírez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel).

Similar to the famous 2012 movie, in which a group of friends take a road trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to perform at a stripper convention, Burgos and González travel the highways of Florida to visit clubs, restaurants that They become nightclubs and private residences to offer, together with their team, “one of the hottest shows that exists”, according to the page of Rock Hard Revue.

With choreographies by the former director of Chippendales, this show has been highly coveted to spend a night with friends —or friends—, to celebrate birthdays, especially the famous DirtyThirty (ages 30), bachelorette parties, or even divorces.

The pact is only one, almost like in Las Vegas, “what happens in this show, stays in this show,” they said.

Currently its members, a group of 10 dancers between the ages of early 20s and 40s, consider themselves “a big family.” “I’ve been here for 10 years,” Burgos said. “It was one of my first jobs since I moved to Florida from Puerto Rico,” she explained.

For him physical health comes first. That’s why keeping fit and eating a balanced diet was never a problem. His passion for physical care has led him to stay in top physical condition and, therefore, to stand out among the group of dancers of Rock Hard Revue.

“It has been a long road, but full of many successes,” Burgos said, even remembering how they once managed to audition for season 9 of America’s Got Talent. “Dancing is one of my passions, and definitely the reaction of our audience makes us enjoy what we do even more,” explained the Puerto Rican who is known as el Latin Lover.

From left to right, JMac, Antonio Padilla, Holland Gonzalez, Luis Burgos and Prince: Members of 'Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience in Orlando' pose for a photo at The Dreams Lounge & Bar in Fern Park, Thursday, 25 August 2022. (Ricardo Ramírez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel).

“This is the best job,” he said without hesitation. “This job gives us the opportunity to earn what you can earn in a regular job (9-5) but it gives us the time to continue to grow as a person. Some of us have families, others have jobs and it allows each of us to do our part. I love it because it gives me the time to study what I want and continue to grow my future, enjoying it. We do the best show for the girls so why not,” she said.

The opportunity was the solution to their economic problems. Burgos came to Florida at the age of 20 and confessed that he thought it was easy to be independent. “You realize that you have to look for more work to pay the bills. bills (the invoices)”, he said between laughs. At the time she didn’t know English, but between his physique and his ability to dance, she was able to join the group almost immediately. Since then, he has developed leadership skills and self-confidence, as well as being able to learn English.

For González, making a living dancing was not something he imagined. As a veteran of the Armed Forces he said that he had been offered the opportunity on multiple occasions, but I said “nah, I’m never going to be doing that”. It was a client he trained who told him he should make money off of his body. “He gave my number to the owner and finally I tried it and from the first day I was juquiao” (connected), he said with a laugh.

The most he likes is dancing and doing the show because it is quite a challenge, said González. “Standing on that stage, doing the presentation well and people loving it…seeing the smile on people’s faces,” she said.

And it is that the effect of the lights, being able to follow the steps of a choreography that excites the public and the emotion of the adrenaline is something that the magic mikes of Orlando enjoy.

Luis Burgos and Antonio Padilla, members of 'Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience in Orlando,' demonstrate their routines at The Dreams Lounge & Bar in Fern Park, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (Ricardo Ramírez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel) .

Antonio Padilla, who is half Puerto Rican, is in charge of the choreography and confessed that the biggest challenge is being able to teach the steps even from a distance, since some have different schedules and only coincide when they are on stage.

“Especially in the pandemic, I set up the dances, we recorded them and it was expected that each one would practice on their own. Good thing they’re all professionals,” he said with a laugh. Padilla, with the help of Burgos, maintains order in the group and makes sure that all the necessary details to perform each dance piece are ready.

JMac, who started with the group from the beginning, said that it was his girlfriend at the time who motivated him to join. “It is a show that everyone enjoys. Of course we are doing sensual dances and sometimes there are very few clothes, but it is something that is well cared for and does not fall into the vulgar”, he explained.

Being surrounded by girls and generating a good income is definitely another attraction for him. “I have managed to achieve a balance in everything. Before, I had multiple jobs. I love the stage and I have learned to diversify my income by making investments, online sales, etc. ”, he maintained.

The youngest of the group has only been with them for 5 months and is nicknamed the Prince. “He is the prince, the chocolatito of the group,” Burgos said when introducing him. Prince had worked at theme parks in Central Florida, especially walking on stilts. He even became a manager and held important positions at a young age. At just 22 years old, he assures that he is where he needs to be right now.

“I had my 9-5 job as they say, I was a manager, I worked in entertainment. Since I was very young I have had several jobs. Now I am able to generate more income surrounded by this amazing group of talent and have the time and financial freedom that everyone wants.”

He remembers his first song and the choreography that he had to learn to the beat. “One was a cowboy, the other a firefighter. She had no experience dancing as such, but Antonio is a tremendous coach and the boys help a lot. Little by little one takes the floor and the more they yell at you, the more you cheer up, ”she said smiling.

From left to right, JMac, Holland Gonzalez, Prince and Antonio Padilla walk through their choreography as members of 'Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience in Orlando' demonstrate their routines at The Dreams Lounge & Bar in Fern Park on Thursday, August 25, 2022. (Ricardo Ramírez Buxeda/ Orlando Sentinel)

For Padilla to be part of Rock Hard Revue it’s everything. “It’s freedom of expression, it’s a passion that became my job and now my life.” If she couldn’t dance again, she told her, “I’m retiring. I don’t want to do anything other than this.”

The dynamic group performs at multiple locations in Central Florida including Mango’s Tropical Cafe-Orlando on International Drive, and The Dreams Lounge & Bar in Maitland. Jonathan Zachary, the owner of dreams, He said that since they started dancing at his venue, “this has changed. The public is clearly more feminine, but there is everything and this turns on in an incredible way, ”she said.

Chloe Carpenter, manager of dreamsHe said that at first he did not know or understand what they were going for. “You think, men who dance and take off their clothes. But it really is a fun and worth watching show.”

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