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See our lovely Pasha & Anya choreograph a stunning and fun Happy Jive for the happy couple on SYTYCD :D

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Dazzling dance duo Pasha Kovalev and Katya Virshilas are touring the UK with a new Strictly-style show. Rosanna Rothery grabbed a few words with Pasha ahead of their Exeter date.

I’M discussing the latest Strictly gossip with Pasha Kovalev. The Russian professional dancer is aware recent decisions about the hit TV dance show might prove a little controversial with the public.

Claudia Winkleman, it was announced recently, is to replace entertainment legend Sir Bruce Forsyth to co-host with Tess Daly in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

“Claudia is no stranger to Strictly and she has presented a few shows with Tess already. Some people like it, some people don’t,” he says.

In his current touring dance show, Stars From Strictly, in which he dances with sizzling beauty Katya Virshilas, they always have a Q&A session where people can fire off questions about dance and Strictly.

Audience members also like to give their forthright views about the TV show: “A lot of people like the idea of the two women presenting while some people want to see a gentleman co-hosting with Tess.”

He admits the name of fellow professional dancer, the cheeky chappie charmer Anton Du Beke, gets bandied about a lot.

“The audience would really like to see him in place of Brucie. We will see. The decision has been made. I know Tess and Claudia worked well together and I am sure it will be a great series but it will be interesting to see how it all works out.”

Pasha has twice made it to the Strictly final – with both Kimberley Walsh and Chelsee Healey – but he is yet to get his hands on the glitter ball.

“It is a competition, we are professionals and we want to hold on to that beautiful glitter ball but, at the end of the day, it’s also a TV show. You don’t know who you are going to get and you don’t have any control over the abilities of your celebrity.

“You can only do the best you can with that person.”

The show, he concedes, is really all about bonding with the celebrity. “It’s also all about them bonding with themselves and discovering their dance ability.

“I think that is the main focus of all the professional dancers rather than: ‘I want to win that glitter ball’.”

Pasha himself started dancing when he was 8, the first dancer in his family.

“It all started when my mum took me to a few dance competitions and I saw what was happening on stage and I was mesmerised by the pretty girls. I just said: ‘Mum take me to a dance studio. I want to dance, wink wink’. Meaning, I wanted to meet up with all those girls.”

While more boys these days are taking up dance, he still feels it’s not always viewed as the most manly of professions.

“But that’s just an outsider’s view. I think all women prefer for a man to know how to dance.

“Being able to lead the girl and make the girl look great and comfortable on the dance floor, I think is a very manly quality and skill.”

He also thinks dance is a fantastic hobby for boys.

“It’s quite physical. You are building your body, your posture, your communication, your dance ability and the ability to dance with a girl.

“There are so many aspects. You are learning about music, the history of dance, costume and art. A lot of people think that dancing isn’t that good for young boys and it’s for girls. Yet I totally disagree.

“Fortunately, programmes like Strictly are introducing dance into popular culture. It’s actually a sport not just an art form.”

Apparently, Pasha’s and Katya’s show has got all the elements of Strictly: great music, fantastic dancing, amazing costumes, although it’s a lot more intimate and interactive.

“We make our show a little bit more cosy and family orientated and we love to include our audience in what’s going on on-stage.

“We have a little Q&A session where people can ask anything they want to know about Strictly or about Katya and myself.”

There’s also a section where three women are invited on to the stage to experience a bit of Strictly for themselves.

“This usually goes very well and the audience really enjoy that part of the show,” he says.

So do they get to dance with him?

“I don’t want to reveal it but maybe! It’s always fun and everyone loves that kind of interaction on stage.”

The show, which also features four guest dancers, includes dances like the fiery cha cha, the romantic waltz, the passionate rumba and the dramatic pas0 doble, plus more.

“If people like dancing, like Strictly, this is an experience they won’t get anywhere else. Between music, dancing, interaction and comedy, it’s hard to find anyone who would say they didn’t like at least a part of the show. It’s for the whole family and it’s friendly, refreshing and energising.”

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IT TAKES TWO to Tango and Strictly Come Dancing’s Katya and Pasha have got all the moves.

An Evening With the Stars of Strictly Come Dancing will be waltzing its way to the Music Hall to perform on Sunday.

Bringing a night of moving and shaking with it, dancer Katya Virshilas is looking forward to performing in Aberdeen.

“I’m so excited about going up to Scotland. Northern audiences are great, the further North you go they’re louder and noisier and everyone has a good time,” she said.

“When the crowd responds like that it gives you real energy, I just love it.”

Katya, who captured British attention with her stunning performances on Strictly Come Dancing, will be joined on the tour by her companion from the show Pasha Kovalev.

Heading out on the road with Pasha for the third year in a row Katya insists that having a close working and personal relationship is essential to the pair.

“Pasha has been great, him and I have such a great friendship and bond. It’s the third time we’re working together,” said Katya.

“It’s a very close-knit relationship when you’re around someone so much. We have a yin-yang relationship, we are close and we rely on each other.”

With a variety of dance styles on display, as well as a question and answer session, the audience will get a chance to get up close and personal with the stars.

A few lucky audience members will also be invited to join in with the cast so it’s always best to bring your dancing shoes just in case.

“There’s great dance, great music and huge array of costumes and colours. The audience can expect to laugh, to cry and to let out a little dance as well,” Katya said.

“All the dances we do are amazing, there’s a great Argentine Tango that I dance with three boys, it’s a special number. Some audience members will get the chance to dance with Pasha too, It’s a going to be a great night, it’s the full entertainment package.”



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This just in, Pasha is back.


BREAKING NEWS: We have 2 new Pro Dancers in town. Please welcome Tristan MacManus and Joanne Clifton to the Strictly family.

Also coming back to the dance floor this year is Natalie Lowe.

Sadly, both Artem Chigvintsev and James Jordan will not be returning to the series, alongside Anya Garnis who will not partner a celebrity, but will remain part of the choreography team.

We wish them all the best of luck!

Now let the glitterball countdown begin!




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Pasha and Katya

By Andrew Youngson

Each autumn, when Strictly Come Dancing comes on to our screens, audiences at home settle into two camps: those who think the most technically skilled celebrity dancers should win, and those who believe the most-improved celebs should triumph.

Last year, when model and TV presenter Abbey Clancy took the trophy, many viewers grumbled that it should have gone to the technically superior Natalie Gumede, of Coronation Street fame. In previous years, the least-skilled dancers – Anne Widdecombe and John Sergeant, to name but two – were kept in the running for weeks by the audience vote alone. While the latter may have something to do with morbid curiosity for what wacky dance John or Anne might have done next, the argument comes up time and again: what matters more, the skill or the story?

For Pasha Kovalev, who has danced professionally on the show for the past three years, this dichotomy is by no means specific to Strictly.

“In competitive dancing, it’s not like in gymnastics or figure skating, where judges score just on how technically well someone moved. Here, it’s totally subjective,” said Pasha.

“People might like your look, the routine, the character of your dance, choreography or technique – there are so many aspects that create the final score. So you can’t just say ‘he or she is technically better than everyone else’.”

In fact, said the 34-year-old Siberian dancer, the equal weighting of skill and story is what makes Strictly so loved, even after 11 seasons. This innate feeling of positivity which runs throughout the feel-good show seems to make it different from the more competitively hard-nosed Saturday night televisual fare, such as X Factor, where every iota of personal anguish is eked out by TV producers for dramatic effect.

“You also see the process of the celebrities becoming better,” Pasha continued.

“Most of the time, they start from nothing and they improve their dance skills, which I think gives the audiences at home the feeling that they can get off their couches and do the same thing. So it’s this positivity and beauty which makes this a good show.”

Looking ahead to this autumn, plans for series 12 are still in the works: the only fact known for sure is that Sir Bruce Forsyth won’t be returning to present. Even Pasha, who has become a firm favourite on the professional line-up, doesn’t know if he’ll be back. Not that he’s had a moment to think about it: he and dance partner Katya Virshilas are too busy with their current live dance-show tour, the informatively titled An Evening With Stars From Strictly Come Dancing.

Through a combination of great choreography – some routines from the TV show, some brand new – music and audience participation, Pasha and Katya aim to take those same vibes of positivity and fun created by the small screen and transpose them directly on to the stage.

Like “a celebration of Strictly but more intimate”, as Pasha explained.

The touring production is now in its third year but, in a new twist, audience members are invited to text their questions to the dancers, who will answer them live on stage. As you would expect, the questions thrown out by more rowdy audiences can be both weird and wonderful.

“We get a real variety of questions, starting from ‘What kind of underwear are you wearing?’ to ‘Will you marry me?’” Pasha said, laughing.

“We don’t know what’s going to come up, but that’s why we are using texts this time, because people come up with more crazy stuff when they can be anonymous.”

Such wildcard elements of Pasha’s dance career have always been welcome, he said.
Since leaving his native Siberia, he has allowed himself to move wherever opportunity has come knocking. This approach has taken him all over, from Moscow to New York, LA and now the UK.

“If you asked me, 20 years ago, if I thought I would live in another country, or dance on Broadway, on TV or in my own show, I would have had no clue it was possible. So I really take life as it comes,” he said.

But what if he could take a bit more control of his fate, I asked? In terms of celeb partners on the TV show, he has been paired with Chelsee Healey, Kimberley Walsh and Rachel Riley, and has been runner-up twice.

But if he could choose, who would he like to be paired up with next?

“My ideal partner? That’s a good question. I don’t think such a thing exists,” he chuckled, noting that the most-skilled dancers don’t always win.

“For me, the ideal celebrity partner is someone who is ready to work, not afraid of the long hours of training, who has the enthusiasm for dancing. Those are the most important things.”

Sounds like the ideal combination: a bit of skill and a bit of story.



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STRICTLY Come Dancing stars Katya Virshilas and Pasha Kovalev will be waltzing into Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre tonight as part of their new dancing tour.

Professional dance partners Katya and Pasha will host an evening of dance routines tonight ahead of Strictly Come Dancing’s eagerly-awaited return to BBC One in September.

Tonight’s large production will feature them along with their four guest dancers, all beautifully costumed demonstrating a series of stunning dance routines.

Accompanied by a full audio-visual backdrop and light show, they will also take part in the ever-enjoyable question and answer section plus an appearance by youngsters from the Helen Laxton School of Dance.

The sell-out event will take place at the Octagon Theatre tonight from 7.30pm.

Katya first appeared on Strictly in 2009 when she partnered cricketer Phil Tufnell.

Since then she’s been paired with rugby player Gavin Henson in 2010 and Daybreak presenter Dan Lobb in the latest series.

Katya started dancing at age six, becoming professional aged only 13 and she was named the youngest ever British Columbian Latin Dance Champion at the age of 16. She has also appeared in TV shows, such as Supernatural, Smallville and The Guard.

Siberian-born Pasha Kovalev, 31, appeared in Strictly Come Dancing for the first time in the latest 2011 series and was an immediate hit.

Along with partner Chelsee Healey, from TV series Waterloo Road, he made it all the way to the finals, where the couple eventually finished as a runner-up to Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani.

Pasha was also a finalist on the American So You Think You Can Dance in 2003, as well as appearing on Burn The Floor on Broadway and in the West End.

He started dancing when he was just eight after his mum took him to one of the biggest ballroom dancing competitions in his area.

Together with exhilarating routines, audience participation, Katya and Pasha in conversation and video highlights, this promises to be a night of world-class dance to remember.


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Not news of our boy ;) but here is some strictly news from the BBC.


We are pleased to announce Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are the co-hosts of Strictly when it returns to BBC One in the autumn.

Following the news earlier this year that Sir Bruce Forsyth had stepped down, his fabulous co-host, Tess Daly will have the role of introducing the dances and probing the judges for their comments, whilst Claudia will host the post-dance interviews and reaction to judges’ scores.

Tess and Claudia Tess and Claudia are no strangers to hosting together on Strictly, having formed a formidable partnership presenting the Sunday night results show for the last three series.

Tess Daly: “I’m so pleased that I’ll be working with Claudia – she’s long been part of the Strictly family and I’ve loved doing the Sunday show with her. It’s really exciting having two women host the show, and we are great mates so there’ll be lots of fun to be had on and off the dance floor, and of course I’ll look forward to being reunited with Brucie for the Children in Need and Christmas shows.”

Claudia Winkleman: “I have loved Strictly since the second it appeared on our screens and I am honoured and thrilled to now be part of the Saturday night team. Working alongside Tess is always fantastic and I can’t wait to spend the weekends with her, our amazing dancers and the greatest judging panel on the planet. Sir Bruce is a living legend and we’ll all miss him very much.”

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Pasha is going to be doing some book signing engagements for those of you able to go here are the dates and times!

Wednesday 28th May at 11.00am
37b The Cornmill Shopping Centre
Priest Gate
Contact- Oliver, 01325 360123

Monday 2nd June at 11.00am
Unit 5E
St Nicholas Centre
AB10 1HW
Contact- Craig, 01224 647301

Sunday 29th June at 11.00am
34/35 The Guildhall Shopping Centre
Contact- Brett, 01392 434677

Monday 30th June at 11.00am
9-13 Old Christchurch Road
Contact- Sally, 01202 555342

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Okay Pashanista’s we are still double checking everything and making sure that everything works. I know as of this posting some of the links are not fully working. BREATH they will I promise. But I could not stop myself from sharing the wonderfulness with you all! I mean come on look how awesome it is!


Do you love?



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I know this is very delayed, alas real life bit me your web mistress firmly in the rear end. Alas enough with putting off the review of the wonderful..fantastic Pasha & Katya on The West End one night only!

The energy of just walking in for the West end show was completely different. A Buzz, a pack and well it was a little bit cramped. I admit I oogled one Ian Waite a little bit, but I did refrain more then once from pestering him for a photo or autograph. He was out for a night and chatting with people so I just ogled from a short distance. Tall he is very tall! There were other celebs of course, Kimberley and Kara. Natalie! People everywhere!

When the show started I know everyone with me was so happy, electric. The whole company was on their mark and it was fantastic! Now, one thing I did notice and so did some of my other Pashanistas that the crowd was a little bit subdued. It is to be expected from a West end crowd. They were appreciative but more subdued then Hayes.

Never the less, the show itself was off to a kicking start. None of the small bobbles that I noticed at Hayes everything was sharp and just pure perfection. It was something else getting to see them on the West end stage.  The banter was cute between them as always.

The waltz oh if I thought I was emotional the first time I saw it the second time I was a train wreck. I knew it was coming, I knew how beautiful it was. Once again however I cried and I cried pretty darn good. There are witnesses to my waterworks. I don’t feel bad about it though. This is what true dance can do, it evokes such emotion that even if you see it coming, know the steps you get emotional. I was moved to tears both times I saw this dance, more so the second time. Artistry at its finest.

The QA was a little more subdued then the first night, the group that was there was good. In fact technically flawless from what I could tell, but for me they just did not sing as much energy as I felt with the group in Hayes. They were fantastic they truly were, maybe I just preferred the diversity of the first group. That is just me though. I still loved them and talk about some gutsy kids! You go!

The second half of the show really seemed to reel the crowd in, they were warming up and when we hit second half they were less subdued. Alright! Once again Tango Roxanne made me gasp, that dance is something else. A four way tango with three men..and in the end the Lady is left standing! Just amazing!

The Pasha molestation was on a fairly cool West end style level, ha ha but there was still some teasing and of course the ladies danced. Bless I love watching the gentlemanly way he handles everything. Always helping the ladies up and down. Perfect escort.

By the time the Party number at the end came well I know I went to my feet and so did others. It was a fantastic show. Truly beautifully done on every level. I always wanted to see a West end show, I can’t imagine any better!


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