Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Anyone Can Dance Nyone Can Dance ... You Just Need a Good Teacher! ; Strictly Come Dancing Favourite Pasha Kovalev Knows How to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet. MARION MCMULLEN Catches Up with the Siberian- Born Performer Who Found Romance Partnering Countdown's Rachel Riley and Won the BBC Contest Last Year with Caroline Flack

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Anyone Can Dance Nyone Can Dance ... You Just Need a Good Teacher! ; Strictly Come Dancing Favourite Pasha Kovalev Knows How to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet. MARION MCMULLEN Catches Up with the Siberian- Born Performer Who Found Romance Partnering Countdown's Rachel Riley and Won the BBC Contest Last Year with Caroline Flack

Article excerpt

You've come close to winning Strictly Come Dancing in the past. How did it feel to finally lift the mirrorball trophy? I KNEW I had a great partner with Caroline (Flack), but every year I have had a great partner.

I've made it to the finals before, but Strictly is so unpredictable. You never know who is going to lift the mirrorball at the end of the day. You can only do your best.

How did you celebrate after winning? WINNING was incredible. We W couldn't believe that we had done it. There was a big party afterwards, but that was more about the end of the series.

I went to Miami afterwards and just lay on a beach. Topping up my tan. It was the best way to celebrate.

How did you first become interested in dancing? I STARST TED dancing when I was eight and I've never stopped since.

My mum took me to a dance competition and I saw all this dancing and I remember growing up in Siberia watching Latin dancing on television with lots of light and it really excited me. I've been dancing through my life ever since.

Was it daunting to leave home and go to America? I FIRST moved to Moscow and then to New York. There was a lot of opportunities for dance teachers in New York at the time - more than in Russia.

How did you learn English? I COULD understand some English when I first arrived in New York, but I learned as I went along as I was working in the dance studio and teaching.

Trying to teach people to dance you learn the language.

Where do you feel most at home? I'VE been a gypsy all my life. I'm comfortable moving about. I knew the moment I landed in New York that it was my kind of vibe, my energy. I love Russia, but I don't need to go back there to work.

and Latin dancing starts next month and takes you all over the country. How are preparations going? IT'S called Life Through Dance and I've been working on it for a long time and I'm now busy with little things.

I've taken care of the main preparations like costumes and I'm putting a few details together at the moment.

There are three dance couples, but (laughs) I think I am in every dance on the show.

It's OK. You become conditioned to the work over the years. …

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