Madonna’s dancers speak: “Nobody can touch her work ethic. A powerful example of willpower.”


With more than 30 years of experience in pop stardom, Madonna‘s earned a reputation as one of the hardest-working people in the biz – but what was she actually like to work for?

PEOPLE caught up with the backup dancers from her legendary 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour, who are the focus of the new documentary Strike a Pose (premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday), and they dished on collaborating with the queen of pop.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Was she bitchy?’ No!” says Oliver Crumes, who adds “there’s nobody who can touch’ Madonna’s work ethic. “She was a great person to work for … I guess they think she’s a diva, and ‘diva’ is a nicer word for ‘bitchy.'”

“She was tough!” says Luis Camacho. “When she needed to be Madonna, she was. But we also knew that she had a lot at stake, and we never took any of that for granted or to heart because she had to get her job done. And we were about that as well: getting the job done for her and with her.”

“My life was given an unprecedented amount of freedom from the moment that I met her. That is not only in the space that she provided for me to be myself and to express myself creatively but also in her example,” says Kevin Stea. “I look at her as a really powerful example of willpower, strength and someone who can be incredibly outspoken in the face of a lot of criticism and No’s.”

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