My Favorite Pasha & Anya Pics!

I’m so excited. Look what the “Rhythm of Love” people sent me (Again, that performance is next Friday and Saturday nights in Stamford):

These are my favorite pictures of them. They were taken at Blackpool in 2005, the year they placed 2nd in the world in the Rising Star Latin division — their most prestigious placement ever! Look at how gorgeous she is. Look at that costume — oh how I wanted one just like it. She designs her own (remember Danny Tidwell saying how he was going to miss them when she was booted from SYTYCD?!) I always thought when she retired from competition she could become a professional designer. But now of course she is on to far bigger and better things! And how cute is Pasha?! 😀 I remember when I first saw these pictures I had just made my first appointment with him at Dance Times Square. I hadn’t yet met him and had only signed up on the advice of a fellow student at my former studio, DanceSport. I did a Google search before my lesson and found these pics and nearly died. My first thought: oh no, he’s gorgeous; I can’t take lessons from him! And her, hello! Of course I was only signing on for lessons, not to be his actual partner, or girlfriend for that matter, but still! Talk about nerves upon first meeting…

Oh, brings back memories. It all seems so far in the past now, although it really isn’t… Anyway, thanks “Rhythm of Love” people for sending them!

In other ballroom news:

it appears many in the Latin world are very hopeful that the new partnership of Yulia Zagoruychenko and Riccardo Cocchi could quite possibly bring America a first-place prize in the Worlds next year. Thank you to Dance Beat for sending this info my way. Apparently, the couple just finished their first competition, the medium-sized Holiday Classic in Las Vegas (which, because of its relatively small size, is an ideal comp for a new partnership to test its mettle). Spectators, including Dame of the Ballroom World, Shirley Ballas, were apparently blown away. (Ballas has formerly coached Yulia and her old partner Max, and I know she’s long been fond of Riccardo). Anyway, these videos are not the greatest quality, but here are some small clips of the two dancing in the finals in the Holiday Classic, and a short interview with Ballas.

I wasn’t in Vegas so haven’t yet seen them dance together, but I have long admired Yulia and have always thought her by far the most artistic Latin dancer in this country.

Here she is at Nationals last year with her former partner Max Kozhevnikov;

And here’s a picture I took of Riccardo and his old partner, Joanne Wilkinson, last year at Blackpool. He was a great showman, and wow could he move. The last American couple to place in the top three in Latin at Blackpool was in 2005 when Karina Smirnoff and Slavik Kryklyvyy took second. Last year we didn’t have a couple in the finals. This year, Max and Yulia snagged an emotional 7th place. Longtime first-place champs Bryan Watson and Carmen have retired, leaving the top position vacant. All I can say is, can’t wait till May!


  1. Love the Anya and Pasha pics. Please, Please give a detailed report after the show.

    FYI The latest gossip is that Anya and Sara, one of Pasha’s partners on SYTYCD, are apartment hunting together in CA.

  2. I definitely will, Laurel! Well, if that gossip is true, I can definitely see Anya living in CA, LA, Hollywood, etc. 🙂 It would suit her really well! I’m so happy for her!

  3. Ricardo and Yulia are doing a show at Starlight in NJ on Feb 2. Can’t wait !

  4. Oh, thanks for letting me know, Gary!

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