Star Interview: Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev

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When it comes to frustrating Strictly Come Dancing moments, Pasha Kovalev must have had some of the most gut-wrenching.

The Siberian-born dance-floor hunk has twice reached the finals of the popular BBC show – with celebrity partners Kimberley Walsh, of Girls Aloud, and actress, Chelsee Healey – but so far failed to clinch the coveted trophy.

Strictly duo.

Strictly duo.

But the 33-year-old, who is currently touring the UK with his Strictly co-star, Katya Virshilas, remains philosophical.

He said: “I don’t think I have any control over it. Of course I would like to win, but the main goal is to help make the celebrity look the best and make sure the audiences enjoy the show, then they are free to choose who they like better.

“I think it is about who people like better on the screen. Character and personality is important as well as dance. I’m doing my part of the job and hope the audience likes what I’m doing.”

One good thing to have come from Strictly is that Pasha met Katya, found that he worked well with her and is now enjoying his second dance tour with her. The pair are set to perform An Evening With The Stars Of Strictly Come Dancing at The Core at Corby Cube tonight at 7.30pm.

He said: “I only got to know her through Strictly. I watched the movie, Take The Lead, where she danced with Antonio Banderas and remember saying to my friends ‘who is that blonde dancing with Antonio?’ and they said ‘some Canadian’. That was my introduction to Katya.

“I was put together with Katya on Strictly and we actually found out we worked well together and have similar ideas, so we decided to do a tour.

“This time around we decided to go with a Hollywood theme so we are using all the songs from Hollywood movies, things that people will recognise; songs from films like Dirty Dancing or Grease. We are trying to make our show more intimate, so people feel they are part of it. We have a question and answer session so people can ask anything they want. We also bring a few couples, a few lucky ones, up to experience Strictly themselves.”

It was in 2001 that Pasha made the move from Moscow to America, to be nearer the best dance teachers.

And he certainly made his mark in the USA, earning a place on the hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance.

Dance has been an ambition for Pasha ever since he was a child: “My mum took me to a dance competition and when I saw what was going on on stage, I saw these girls in skimpy costumes and I was thinking about meeting these girls. But then I fell in love with dancing itself.”

Pasha has to wait until the end of this month to hear whether he will be used in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing series. But he is confident he can teach any contestant.

“I don’t think, I know I can teach anyone to dance. I’m not cocky, it is just experience.

“You would be surprised at how many people I teach who come to me saying ‘I have two left feet’. I just say ‘bring two left shoes and you will be fine’.