Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview

Pasha Kovalev

Shimmy: What did you do once you were eliminated from SYTYCD?

Pasha Kovalev: Well, once I was eliminated from SYTYCD I had mixed feelings about it.
First: I really wanted to have one more week of it. Not only because it was a final week but because I really was hooked on the whole process of training and getting ready to perform. Nothing else did exist at that point. The whole world just stopped and we were only about dancing, nothing else. No other concerns, worries, schedules, bills, etc. It all just moved away for a short period during the show. That is what the art is all about, being able to teleport to a different world and just create.
Second: I was tired. It was a long run for me. Weeks and weeks of practicing non stop. I probably got in the best shape of my life. But a lot of pressure, stress and no time to recuperate from it (we didn't have any days off) did take a toll on the body. We all were very very tired. So I was kinda relieved and ready to rest. We still had to practice and get ready for the final show because we had to perform old numbers. We tried to work on them to make it look better then the first time.

So right after the final show was over I took little break for a few days and then we started to get ready for the tour. It wasn't as stressful as the show but it still was physically demanding. Long hours of practice, running through the show over and over again. But it was so much fun, for us just to be all together and enjoy it.

Shimmy: What are you currently doing?

Pasha Kovalev: Now that the show and the tour is far behind I have moved to Los Angeles but am almost never there. I'm Traveling a lot, doing shows and teaching. Busy, busy bee! I guess I needed some changes in my life and the whole show was a turning point.

Shimmy: Tell us about your ballroom background (Where you've trained etc.)

Pasha Kovalev: I was a ballroom dancer since the age of 8. I started back in Russia, in far east region of Siberia. In my home town. My mom once took me to the ballroom dance competition. It was very popular. We had so many dance studios in our town and a few huge dance events every year. So I saw everything what was going on on stage and was mesmerized by it. After the competition I told my mom that I wanted to start dancing and she took me to the biggest dance studio in town. Since then I have followed my dance career first in Russia and now here in US. I've trained with a lot of very well known coaches in the ballroom world. There are not that many books about ballroom technique, mostly you get information from people who have already been on the same road you are traveling. They have learned a lot and now can help you to improve your dancing using their experience and knowledge. I think its a very great way of doing it because you can take the technique, learn and master it and then you can interpret it the way you feel it. Everybody is different and finding your own style is very important, so you have to have a great coach who you trust that can help you to go the right direction.

Shimmy: What do you love and miss most about Russia?

Pasha Kovalev: Most of all I miss all of my friends who are back in Russia and family of course. Otherwise I like everything over here. Lifestyle, community, people, opportunities. So I don't really miss the Russian way of life. The United States is my home now.

Shimmy: What is your favorite ballroom rhythm and why?

Pasha Kovalev: I love Latin part of Ballroom. That includes Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive. Those dances are the ones I professionally competed at. I cant really single one of them out. After 20 years of studying them I learned to love each and every one in a different way. You have playful Samba, flirty Cha-Cha, romantic Rumba, powerful Paso Doble and really fast and energetic Jive. So you find something special in every dance and try to show it to the audience. I think sometimes some of the ballroom dancers make all the dances look very similar and it takes a lot of skill to really make each dance to stand out and look special.

Shimmy: Tell us about your partnership with Anya Garnis.

Pasha Kovalev: I have been dancing with Anya for almost 10 years now. I think its very important to stick with the same partner and make it work. Throughout the training process confrontations may arise and I have seen a lot of ballroom dancers switch partners many times. I guess they try to find somebody better if something is not going the way they want. Sometimes it works but mostly it goes back to the same exact place and they start all over again. I think that Anya is the ultimate partner for me. I think she is the best! We know each other very well. We are a good friends and we have very good professional relationship too.

Shimmy: What other genre did you enjoy dancing most on SYTYCD?

Pasha Kovalev: I really enjoyed the challenge we all faced on SYTYCD. Jazz, Hip hop and Lyrical are foreign to me so it was so much fun to learn it. Especially I enjoyed dancing West Coast Swing and Hip Hop.

Shimmy: What dance from the show (danced by someone else) was your favorite?

Pasha Kovalev: I loved Hok's and Jaymie's "Flower and the Humming Bird", Danny's and Neil's "Two Princes" and Neil's and Sabra's "Sweet Dreams"

Shimmy: If I put your ipod on shuffle who would I be listening to?

Pasha Kovalev: The mix is really crazy. I have so many different things on my iPod. You would find a lot of Brazilian music, Queen, Feist, Damien Rice, Aerosmith.

Shimmy: What are three things you cannot exist without?

Pasha Kovalev: Good books, good food and good company.

Shimmy: If in ten years you aren't dancing, what might you be doing instead?

Pasha Kovalev: You never really know what is going to happen in the future. I see myself staying connected to dancing but I'm open to a lot of new and different things. I'm thinking of maybe going to business school and getting some skills in that area.

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Anonymous lissa said...

yay. i love the sytycd interviews. i can't wait for the new season. have you interviewed danny tidwell. i couldn't find if you did. sorry.

<3 lissa (aka turtlefly)

April 27, 2008 at 10:24 PM  

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