TGt Meets ... Pasha Kovalev
We caught up with Pasha Kovalev, 2014 Strictly Come Dancing winner, to talk about his latest show at the Wyvern Theatre, and all things dancing.
You were the 2014 winner of Strictly Come dancing, is dancing something you’d always been interested in?
Dancing is something I’ve been doing all my life, since age 8, and I’ve been interested in it I guess since I started. When you’re a little kid you are just having fun, and then the hard work you put in directs you a certain way. One day I realised I couldn’t imagine myself not dancing. I completely fell in love with dance.
You’ve done several tours now, what’s your favourite part about touring?
My favourite part of touring is coming face to face with the audiences. Whether it’s people who watch strictly at home, or just enjoy dancing and entertainment shows, facing them and sharing the energy we create during our performances is the most interesting part for me.
Do you have a particular ‘dance idol’?
There are so many great dancers out there. You see many different dancers, every year there are young new dancers brought to light, and they inspire you in new ways. I try to take inspiration from anywhere it comes from, not just from old idols, but new aspiring dancers.
What is your favourite style of dance to perform?
Well I’m calling myself a ‘Latin Boy’ because I prefer Latin dancing. It’s quick and shaky and a little bit more flexible. I was born and grew up in Siberia and I don’t know how Latin blood ended up in my veins, but it’s certainly what I prefer and what I love doing.
What can audiences expect from ‘It’s All About you’?
‘It’s All about You’ is on its fifth tour around the UK, and each and every time it’s a completely different show. We come into the theatres with new designs, and new choreography and music. We’re bringing a singer with us this time round, which makes it a little bit different. If people have been before, they’ll see a whole new show this year. I’m aiming to create a show that caters to an entire family. We’ve really tailored the music to include all styles, and to relate to all ages. At the end of the show my goal is to make everybody smile, make everybody feel good and walk out the theatre recharged and reenergised. There will be all the glamour and sparkles that people are used to seeing on Strictly, and a feel good show.
Would you like to do more musical theatre in the future?
I’m trained in ballroom and Latin and would like to incorporate that a lot more, not necessarily in musical theatre. I would like to make the dances and shows more complicated. Dance is a language and you can use it however you like to create an act that will pull in not only people who love dancing, but those who love singing and acting as well. I would like to incorporate a little more of what I know and love doing into the shows.
Aside from theatre, are there any other projects you’d like to take on?
Producing and creating shows is interesting for me at the moment, and I only have time to do a few things a year. Half a year is taken by Strictly, and the other part is taken by the tour, so really there isn’t much time left over at the moment. Eventually I will probably move onto something else. Life brings you different things every day, and you never know where it’s going to take you the next day. Five years ago I never expected to be touring, but here I am. Something comes along and you don’t expect it, and suddenly you find yourself moving in that direction … it’s unpredictable. Bring it on.
What would be your advice to any aspiring dancers?
The first and most important thing is hard work. It’s like any sport, you have to practice several hours a day. If you decide to dedicate yourself to dancing, I’d say to try different styles of dancing, and find out which you like better. Work hard, and find a teacher who you trust and who’s style you enjoy. Once you’ve decided it’s what you want to do, it’s all about fine tuning your instrument, which is your body. In dancing your body is what you express every move with, and the better your skills, the better dancer you’ll be. Being a dancer is not an easy thing, it’s easy to love dance, but it’s harder to push yourself and be dedicated. There’s not really days off, it takes time and practice. There was never any doubt in my head, I was always just in the ballroom, dancing, learning and teaching myself.