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DWTS28 Cast on GMA

The Dancing with the Stars cast announcement was on GMA. As everyone saw, we did a pro number and a few bumpers and of course the cast was introduced. But the difference between every other season and this season was that we haven’t been paired with our partners yet. So, none of us pros or celebs know who they will be dancing with. This was the first time, on GMA that we met all of the celebrities. So it was very interesting to see everyone; who is going to be on the show this season because we the pros had no idea.

The process for the show performance on GMA works like this. We the pros got together the Sunday before GMA for the first time to work on the choreography that we’d perform that morning. Some of the choreography was changed and a few of the pros couldn’t make the Sunday rehearsal so when we got to New York we had another rehearsal on Tuesday night before the show Wednesday. That way we were all together to rehearse the number again. We made it happen and it was awesome.

 

We will meet our celebrities before the premiere show on September 16…which is actually my birthday. Somehow on that show, either before or after the opening number they will reveal who is going to be dancing together. It’s going to be brand new and exciting. Just completely different for people to get used to. So it will be very fun to watch. We don’t even know ourselves how it’s going to work. I’m pretty sure it will be very cool. We will know our partners for a short time before so we can create a dance and do it on the show. But the audience reveal will be on the premiere show.

This is a little similar to how it is one on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK but it’s also very different. On Strictly they have a little more time to rehearse and they have this big premiere where they just do an opening number and the whole pairing process with the pros and celebs. It’s like the opening of the season then they have three weeks before the first live show. We are going to do it all on the live premiere show. I’m so excited about what we will be doing. It’s something we have never done before; no one has done before. We will defiantly have fun.

I think the line-up this year is incredible. The celebs we have are so different. They all have the big personalities. Most all of them haven’t danced before. But it’s going to be so fun because everyone is so different. It’s a good mix. I already feel like at GMA we formed a little bond with some of them. Everybody was really happy, wanted to dance and have a good time.

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New York Adventure

I was invited and had the honor to be part of the 15th Anniversary Party of Time Out Weekly at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City on June 20th as I was the first host of this program. Although this party is an annual event organized by Oleg Frish, this particular one was extra special since it was the 15th anniversary of this program. Time Out Weekly is an entertainment program for the Russian community. It is the longest running TV project on any ethnic television network showcasing American legends of song, movies and media.

The best way to understand the importance and longevity of this show is to realize that a lot of people who move to the United States, especially a couple decades ago would just go to an area of the city, say Brooklyn and stay in their own community. I’m not saying everyone does this but many Russians based on my experience and understanding tend to stay in their own neighborhoods, listen to their music, go to the Russian stores, talk to their families in Russian and some don’t even know English. So, this program that was created 15 years ago by Oleg as an entertainment program to help educate the Russian viewers about American culture by featuring legendary musicians and entertainers as well as giving the latest news. For example, the program might highlight what musicals are on Broadway right now.

The event was organized and took place at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation which is unheard of. I had never been inside before. It was amazing to be in the heart of NYC at the Russian Consulate. There were a lot of guests like the Russian General Consulate, celebrities who have been part of Time Out Weekly as well as other guests and sponsors of the party. I was invited there as I was the first host of that program that started everything for me and my career.

I had the opportunity to do an introduction and give a speech during the party. I talked about how I came to America and started hosting the show Time Out Weekly 15 years ago. That was my first job. Oleg had this idea for a show but wanted a younger host to bring in the audience and have an entertaining/educational vibe. So at 21 years old, just having moved to the country, I became the host and had amazing opportunities like going to meet Connie Francis in her house, hanging out with Whoopi Goldberg and talking to Oprah Winfrey. It was a great experience doing it and working with Oleg was very educational. I feel that whole experience served me so well as the past decade much of my life has been with American television. It was almost like going to school learning a lot and then taking all this knowledge and applying it to what I do now.

After talking about my experiences with the show, I spoke about my wife, Elena Samodanova, who many know was a judge on the Russian version of Dancing with the Stars and is a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. Then I talked about our dance school, ProDance LA, that we run. There we train and raise our young talented kids who may one day become pros on Dancing with the Stars or world champion dancers. We do take training of these kids very seriously. It’s not just social dancing, we try to push kids to become better dancers.

At the end of my speech, I had the pleasure to introduce the kids from our dance studio who did a couple dances for everyone at the party. We had three couples performing; my daughter Olivia and her dance partner, another younger kid dance couple and and an older girl with her pro dance teacher for a ProAm performance. It was an amazing opportunity for the kids to not only be part of this special show but get to experience NYC. All of the kids had never been there before; some had never even traveled. Besides performing at this amazing event, they got to sightseeing and walk around the city. The kids never took a subway, so I took them from Brooklyn to the city on the subway. They were so excited. What we did was walked from one subway car to the other one while it was moving as you can open the doors and go in between parts of the train. It was like Pro Dance LA went out on a NYC adventure.

Being part of this event was a great honor and brought back memories. The Consulate is a little spot in America in NYC where I felt like I was actually in my country, Russia. Everything is done in a certain Russian way from the interior design with all the massive ceilings, gorgeous chandeliers and the walls covered in gold ornaments. Everyone is speaking Russian and eating Russian food.  And then getting to meet the Consulate General of Russia was amazing. So, being in NYC and Russia at the same time was surreal. This brought back a lot of different memories and emotions especially having my daughter with me. When I moved to New York. I would walk those streets from uptown to downtown and back. I didn’t even have enough money to take a train. I was going for a lot of auditions for modeling and I’d have to walk everywhere. So being able to visit NYC with my wife and my daughter who is eight years old, triggered those emotions and memories. And now my daughter is doing a performance in the Russian Consulate for all these very important people. It was insane but beautiful.

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A Day of Dancing with YOU!

First off, I want to thank everyone one who came out to A Day of Dancing. It was so much fun to dance with you all. Hope you enjoy this blog.

Last year we had Pro Dance Camp which was two full days in Palm Springs. It was very successful and the people who came had a blast. But the difference between A Day of Dancing and Pro Dance Camp is that we are bringing it to you. A lot of people are fans of the show and want to be part of something like this but some of them can’t travel. So we decided to do one day of dance and take it to the people in different cities. We researched and picked major cities where people would want to come. During Pro Dance Camp we had a gala dinner and pro dance show for people to see which was very exclusive.

But A Day of Dancing is just as exclusive and super high energy for everyone. We have one full day where you have three different master classes plus Q & A, meet and greet and the opportunity to take private lessons. The last city we were in we had so many requests for private lessons we took seven people instead of five and taught during our lunch break. When you do something like A Day of Dancing, you never know what the reaction will be or whether people will show up or not. With Pro Dance Camp, people came but it was more travel for them. Also, it’s hard for us to take a full weekend.

All of the Day of Dancing events were super successful but also very different. In order to make it work for all levels, I’d first come up with the choreography. For me it’s also a learning process. So, you try to cater what you do to the level of the people who are coming. A lot of the people who came had a lot of good dance experience but some of them never danced before. So you have to go from the very scratch/basics and then go to a certain level for those who have dance experience so they will be interested and don’t get bored. And then you stay in your lane and maybe do one turn or two turns and you have to figure out for yourself while there what is the level of this group of people. So that is why although I have my basic choreography, each city’s class would be a little different. For example, in our last stop at Charlotte, NC, there were a lot of people who were dancers; people from the surrounding studios. They came in and I did a very simple rumba/salsa routine but we got to a different level during the class. Most of them did it but some people who had never danced before also did it. It was very fun. Traveling from city to city, there are different people so you kind of learn with the process.

People in general love dancing. No matter what you teach they will try to learn and also improve their skills. It doesn’t really matter what city it is. I think they are super fans of the show, love dancing and/or come from local studios and they want to do it. You don’t look at it like you want to do a certain dance in a certain city. You look at it as a class. If I was doing a three day event where the same people come in every day, I’d do a little routine and then improve that routine and keep working on that dance. Where in each city, you come in and it’s a one time thing and you have to come up with a choreography for a routine that they would have to take with them.

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Pro Dance LA – A Dream Come True

As long as I can remember, a dream for every dancer including myself was to open a dance studio and now we have our own space. My wife, Elena Samodanova and I are so excited to announce the opening of our dance studio, Pro Dance LA where we can pass our knowledge of dance to kids and adults.  You can learn more about our studio and even try out your first group class for free. Just go to prodancela.com

After many months of searching for the perfect location, we then had to basically gut the inside of the building to make the dance studio that we wanted. We took great care to create a studio that brings the elegance of the ballroom with the practical space for teaching. We are located at 744 N. Fairfax in Los Angeles just up the street from where I do Dancing With the Stars.

Being a pro dancer for more than 25 years, it is very important to me to be able to teach and share knowledge with the younger generation. We were able to showcase some our amazing young dancers at a special recital we had in early June. It was sort of a soft opening to welcome our young students and their families to the studio. Kids of all ages from our Teddy Bear group (ages 3-6) to our kids ages 7-10 and our older kids ages 11 plus performed. There were also some dances with students and their teachers as well as special showcase dances of from our amazing professional teachers.

 

 

 

Our official grand opening/ribbon cutting was held on July 13, 2018 were we welcomed some my fellow DWTS pros along with the press. It was a lovely evening and I was honored to share my dream with everyone. Interviews from Entertainment Tonight and Dance Network are up on my press page. Click here

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Let’s Dance Together!

After receiving so many requests on social media from people asking for private dance lessons with me or to attend a dance class I am teaching, I came up with the idea for the Pro Dance Camp. This is something that will give an opportunity for fans of Dancing with the Stars to have a unique dance experience. I decided to find a location to bring everyone together in one place and put on this camp.

The camp has a variety of activities so people can enjoy themselves on this weekend away, in addition to having a group or private dance lesson. It’s also so everyone can hang out with us during the weekend.

The workshops will be customized and accessible for all abilities and ages. If you have no dance experience at all or some previous dance training, you can join in, learn and have a good time. Myself, Artem and Alan will be teaching workshops covering different dance styles and techniques. Each workshop will start by us explaining the basics of dance and taking you through the moves step by step.

Attendees will get to know us during the weekend as there will be plenty of time to hang out. The first day will start with welcome drinks and a chance for everyone to socialize. This meet and greet will be a chance for us to introduce ourselves to everyone at the camp and there will be an opportunity to have professional photographs taken too. There will also be a Q & A session so people will get to know all the insider info from DWTS and more. Of course, as mentioned previously there are also the group workshops and private lesson opportunities.

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Snack of the Day

Looking after your body is important for anyone especially a dancer/athlete. Your body is your instrument for your profession and you have to know how to play it. You have to fuel your body with the right nutrition and the right nutrition is clean healthy food.

It is important in general to be healthy and active but especially for me as an active dancer I have to look after myself not just by exercising but by also by fueling myself with proper nutrition. So, it’s one of those things that, I don’t like to call it diet, but it’s more like a lifestyle. It’s an everyday thing that happens to me. I eat very very clean and I look after what I eat which gives me energy and makes me push through the day to work really hard.

When you exercising and are very active you have to eat a lot of calories but it has to be good calories not those bad calories from sugar and wheat and carbohydrates. But there are good and bad carbohydrates so you do need to eat good carbohydrates to get all that necessary energy but at the same time do not overload your body with bad stuff. So, that’s very important.

Some of my go to snack foods to keep my energy could be a banana or an apple. Apples are full of sugar but good sugar so it doesn’t bring you up then crash you. Obviously, drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. And I always have some nuts with me such as almonds. Something that is going to give me a little snack. Also, a protein shake after a workout or when you don’t have time during the day is good.

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DWTS Basics

I often get asked questions about Dancing with the Stars. This blog hopefully will answer some of your basic questions about the show.

What is the best part of being a pro on DWTS?

I’ve been dancing and competing for so many years. Pretty much my whole life is a dance. Being on the show and being able to create and show the world what I’ve been doing all my life it is a privilege. It’s always been my passion; something I’ve always loved doing and it’s just amazing. I’ve done so many different shows all over the world and one of them is Dancing with the Stars in America. The others I’ve done are Strictly Come Dancing in the UK as well as the Russian and Australian versions of Dancing with the Stars but being in America for the American show is amazing. It’s the number one show in the world. The stuff we do here has never been done before and it’s an opportunity for me as an artist and choreographer to express myself on the dance floor and do something I would not be able to do outside of the show.

How are the dance styles and songs chosen?

Music wise we do submit songs. Each celebrity before the season starts is given a list of questions…what do they like? What is there most memorable year? What is their guilty pleasure? What music do they like? What music would they like to dance to on the show? So, they do submit what they like and when we meet celebrities, I do submit songs that I like but the last say is always by the producers. They always choose the best songs. But when I hear the music I know what dance style so I can say we will be able to do a certain dance style to a song. Or they will send you the song and ask what can you do to this song. So, I may say for example we can do Cha Cha to that song. The input for the music with the style of dance is a mutual thing.

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DWTS Season 25: I’m Back!

 

 

 

 

Hey guys!

I’m so happy to be back as a pro on Dancing with the Stars Season 25.

It’s obvious why this show has been on for 25 season. It’s amazing! The biggest show in the world. I’m so honored to be part of it.

My celebrity partner Shasha Pieterse from Pretty Little Liars is such a hard worker. We do 4-6 hours of training each day plus have camera blocking on the weekends. It’s non-stop to train her but she takes it serious and we don’t mess around during training. She’s able to do what I tell her do and goes the full hours of me coaching her.

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Gleb Savchenko Pro for DWTS Season 24

 

And so it begins… another season of DWTS and Gleb is back!!!! This will be his third time as a pro on the US version of the show. Last year he made it all the way to the finals with Jana Kramer and they performed one of the sexiest dances ever to be seen on the show. What will this season bring with a new celebrity? Only time will tell. There are a lot of factors to look at when thinking about the new season and a celebrity partner, but Gleb’s impeccable teaching skills and exquisite choreography will help to make his new partner a true latin and ballroom performer… that’s why he’s a pro. 

Gleb’s partner for Season 24 is Erika Girardi who currently appears on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Erika has had a string of dance music hits performing as her alter ego Erika Jayne, so she does have some dance experience and can definitely turn on the sexy, but to see if she can pull off a waltz or a cha cha will have us tuning in each week to find out.

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Gleb Savchenko Back As Pro in Season 23!

Gleb Savchenko could be competing as a pro in the upcoming 23rd season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.

Savchenko confirmed his return for the next season of Dancing With the Stars in a new video chat on the official DWTS Facebook page. The pro said he will be “back” for season 23, telling his fans that he was going to try his best “not to disappoint you” and that he’s “going to work really, really hard” with his celebrity partner.