This year Pasha Stepanchuk and Anastasia Danilova captured the hearts of the audience and the title of USA Dance National Champions in the Adult Latin category. The July/August issue of “American Dancer” magazine has an interview with Pasha and Anastasia. To learn more about them read full interview at http://www.brooklyndancesportclub.com/press.html
Pavel Stepanchuk & Anastasiya Danilova
USA Dance Adult Latin National Champions 2014
CANDID CONVERSATION ON BECOMING A NATIONAL CHAMPION
Pavel Stepanchuk (age 26) from Brooklyn, NY and Anastasiya Danilova (age 22) from Springfield, NJ are the new 2014 USA Dance Adult Latin National Champions, a title that has come to their partnership in less than three years. Dancing is their life and now as champions, they see their roles much differently. Pavel and Anastasiya train and teach as amateurs at Brooklyn DanceSport Club, owned by Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova, who are 11-time USA Dance National Adult Latin Champions.
AMERICAN DANCER: What was your first reaction after winning the Adult Latin Championships Division at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships?
PAVEL & ANASTASIYA: We were very happy and relieved that all the hard work paid off.
AD: How did you prepare for Nationals differently from previous years?
P&A: This year we focused on preparing with more intense practices centered around strengthening our stamina. A main component of our practices were run-throughs. In addition, we added to our schedule of practices, sessions with personal trainer Muna Breitem, who is a WBFF pro.
AD: What are your thoughts about representing the USA at the WDSF Adult Latin World Championships in October?
P&A: We are planning on doing so with great pride and honor to represent the United States at such a high-caliber competition.
AD: What was the most important advice your coaches gave you going into Nationals?
P&A: They told us to enjoy every moment on the dance floor, because you never know how many more Nationals you have.
AD: How does being a National Champion change your life and perspective?
P: This is a title that I have always dreamed of having. I remember starting to dance and looking up to National Champions Eugene and Maria. Now that we hold this title, I feel like the responsibility is ours to influence the young generation of DanceSport. Everyday I go to work to teach the kids, I always want to make a positive impact. I know that they look up to my every move, the way I talk, the way I dress and down to what I eat.
A: I think when you become a National Champion everything changes in your life mentally. When you are a National Champion, people look up to you all the time. We teach kids, so I feel there is a big responsibility on our shoulders to look and act the best in what we do. The way I dress, teach and act should be impeccable. But I don’t think it’s a responsibility only for the National Champion. I think it’s a job of every human being to set an example for the young generation.
AD: What has influenced your life most as a DanceSport athlete?
P: I would say it has been a team collaboration of Eugene and Maria. The impact that they made on us shows on and off the floor. They are the most caring individuals that I have worked with. I feel like I was taken under their wing and guided in the right direction – that’s why I am where I am now. I really feel like I am the luckiest person with the best teachers in the world.
A: For me personally it’s the feeling and impact that you get when people move to music. The emotions are overwhelming.
AD: What has been the most important decision for you as a DanceSport athlete?
P: The most important decision was sticking to what I love which is dancing, because I can’t picture myself doing anything else that makes me this happy.
A: The most important decision for me was not to quit. It is a very hard sport, and you have to be really strong and not to give up if you fail or if things go the wrong way.
P&A: We had a couple of times when we wanted to give up dancing. Usually it’s happening when things don’t go the?right way, or you fail. In those moments you have to listen to your heart and think about what you love the most ?and why you started in the first place.
AD: How would you describe your partnership and what makes it really work?
P&A: What makes any partnership work is hard work, dedication, commitment, compromise, passion and a common goal. And this is exactly the partnership we have.
AD: How would you define a true champion in Amateur DanceSport?
P&A: A true champion in Amateur DanceSport is somebody who is truly passionate, hard working and true to his/her beliefs, somebody who is a great representative of their country.
AD: What is your most important philosophy saying as an athlete?
P&A: Never lose passion for what you do and don’t give up when obstacles come along.