Pasha Ko­valev, 38

eighth year on Strictly, run­ner-up in 2011 and 2012, and cham­pion with Caro­line Flack in 2014

TV Times - - Interview - Vic­to­ria Wil­son

what’s the best thing about work­ing with ash­ley?

It makes a big dif­fer­ence, when you’re work­ing with some­one, if you like them on a per­sonal level. We joke around and never fight, so it’s re­ally good.

any pre-show rit­u­als?

On the dance floor, in that 10-20 sec­onds be­fore the mu­sic starts, I tell Ash­ley that we’re get­ting into our ‘Pash­ley’ bub­ble and that it’s just her, me and the mu­sic, and that noth­ing else ex­ists for the next 90 sec­onds.

You won the 2014 se­ries with Tv pre­sen­ter Caro­line Flack. How would it feel to lift the glit­ter­ball tro­phy again?

All the pro­fes­sion­als on Strictly grew up com­pet­ing so to get some­thing to show for it at the end of the se­ries is amaz­ing. All Ash­ley and I can do is do one dance at a time and try to do it the best we can. But I wouldn’t say no to an­other tro­phy!

what’s been your favourite dance so far this se­ries?

If the rou­tine comes out bet­ter than it did in re­hearsals, that’s the best feel­ing. The Dirty Danc­ing lift in Movie Week worked ev­ery time in train­ing but, in a dress re­hearsal, Ash­ley’s dress was so slip­pery, I couldn’t re­tain my grip on her hips. We had to mod­ify her dress so that there was some­thing to hold on to. We were hop­ing it would work when we per­formed it live and luck­ily it did! it’s al­most Christ­mas – what gift would you buy for ash­ley? I’d buy Ash­ley some­thing nice, soft and com­fort­able to wear, maybe a cud­dly jumper be­cause it’s get­ting cold now. Ash­ley’s from sunny Ari­zona in Amer­ica, so we have to keep her warm!

do the pro dancers ar­range a Christ­mas get-to­gether?

All the pro­fes­sion­als do Se­cret Santa. It’s in­ter­est­ing find­ing out what peo­ple think you’d like. Some­times you’re like, ‘Erm, that’s great, thank you.’ Other times it’s some­thing you’ll keep. I’ve had my share of

good and… not so good!

Strictly sen­sa­tional: Pasha and Caro­line Flack won in 2014

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