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PER ASPERA AD ASTRA

The Champion and Multiple Winner of Ukrainian and International Championships on Sport Ballroom Dance. Certified Professional Dance Instructor and Adjudicator, Professional Dancer, International Judge of World Dance Council (WDC).

  • Oleksiy, tell, please, the size of your first dance shoes.

To be honest, I do not remember the size of my first dance shoes, but I know exactly that I started ballroom dancing at the age of 9. At this time, ballroom dancing has not been as popular as it is today, and, so, I replaced my first dance shoes with ordinary black shoes, which for a while were having the proud name of "dance shoes".

  • Please tell me the names of your partners, if possible, in the age sequence.

For me, it is a simple question, because for 17 years of active participation in the tournaments, from the “Juvenile” till “Adult” categories, I have had three partners - Oksana Povaliaeva, Victoria Ovchinnikova and Zoia Nosova. By the way, I noticed that today it is a rare case when the dance couple can maintain high performance together for many years. In this respect I was lucky, we found a common language very well, so we could train a lot with maximum efficiency.

  • PER ASPERA AD ASTRA (through hardships to the stars) What you think is the most important in reaching high performance and career growth in dance?

First of all, to achieve the result it is necessary to trust, respect and appreciate those people with whom you are walking to your goal: parents, coaches, partner, opponents and judges. You must work hard in the ballroom, and if you are goal-oriented, even the most difficult work in the ballroom will bring you satisfaction. At this point, despite the fatigue, you enjoy what you're doing. Nothing can be compared with the sense of ease and comfort when you find balance in your body and stand firmly on your feet. Then the dance is no longer mechanical work, you have the idea what you are expressing the music.

  • In which dance did you have the feeling that there was no judging, but plain freedom, harmony and love?

It is difficult to single out any one of the ten dances that make up the competition program. Usually, older couples choose one of the two programs, Latin or Standard, whichever they prefer, in which they feel more comfortable. I happened to stop dancing the European program only in the "adult" category, as my partner danced only Latina. However, for many years it was the European program that I taught and developed in our club. I think, I feel equally comfortable in both programs.

  • What did you feel when you saw posters with your picture in the metro, downtown, banners?

The Legend Dance Club, where I started to dance and had been teaching for more than 15 years, is one of the best schools in Kharkov and in Ukraine in general. My coach, Vladimir Karachentsev, repeatedly organized major international tournaments, attended by hundreds of couples from all over Ukraine and from abroad. So it is a tradition that the leading couple of the club represents and symbolizes the championship held by the club. Therefore, I treated the photos of our couples on the posters of tournaments with a high degree of responsibility. First of all, to the coach, partner, students and, of course, ourselves. However, I will not dissemble, it's nice when you're honored to represent the major championship from posters

  • Your first gold?

When I started dancing, Vladimir conducted classes in different schools of the city and selected future dancers to practice at the primary location of the club. It was a beautiful room with mirrors in one of the so-called Palace of Cultures. I got into the main junior team and won gold at the first intra-club tournament. I still remember every detail of a small, but very important tournament for me. Perhaps it was then when I set the bar which I was trying to hold for many years. By the way, the gold medal in this tournament was replaced with a traditional diploma and Ukrainian wooden pipe, as a prize.

  • If you had to characterize the dance in colors, how would you paint the competition program?

All the Latin American program would be clearly in rich, warm tones, perhaps Rumba in pale lilac. The European program, in spite of the traditional conservatism, in my opinion, is richer in color. Waltz and Foxtrot for me would be purple, pastel and deep, Tango would be bright red, Quickstep would be warm, sunny, bubbly, Viennese Waltz would be painted in king  purple  colors.

  • What do you tell your students on competitions before they enter the ballroom?

I have noticed how many coaches are trying to give an accelerated course in dance literacy five minutes before a competition. It is emotionally difficult not to do it, but in fact, the competition is only the result of many hours of work of the coach and student in the ballroom. So I ask to focus on the achievements and enjoy the dance.

  • Do you know how to do dance hairstyles?

Due to the tight schedule of tournaments, I was forced to learn to style hair for the dance. Now, it is not a problem for me to make a good men's hairstyle both themselves and the students before completions. It is more complicated to style women's hair, so far I have a limited experience with experimenting my eldest daughter’s hairstyles.

  • What is the age of your smallest and adult learner?

I began teaching at the age of 15 years, I have been entrusted with the youngest dancers. It was great to work with 4 and 5 year old kids, though not easy, I will remember this experience for my lifetime. Subsequently, I have mainly worked with older more experienced dancers. I trained the oldest couple in Israel, the guys were dancing in the senior category and were the real fans of ballroom dancing. Their passion for sport, motivation and purpose could charge the full dance club, where I have regularly held master classes for nearly 10 years in a row.

  • "What stands in the way of a dancer?" Laziness, dancewear, partner, judges?

In fact, modern ballroom dancing has become a full-fledged sport, where the success is originally formed in the mind of every dancer. All the difficulties faced by the dancers on the way to their goal can be overcome, if the dancers are properly motivated. I believe that a true champion is unlikely to be disrupted by something or someone.

  • What do you advise parents who decide to send their children to do ballroom dancing?

My advice cannot be objective; I have been working for too long in this field. I think, as in any sport, parents and future dancers should be prepared for difficulties, but ballroom dancing is unique in a way. No other couple sport can boast such successful combination of dance and sports, a variety of the competitive program popularity among dancers of different ages. I would rather advise parents to offer children to dance with them. It is no secret that dance groups for adults abroad is becoming increasingly popular, and ballroom dancing is prestigious leisure.

  • Oleksiy, what questions did you like most?

I have never thought about the "colors" of ballroom dancing before.


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