He might not have made it to the Strictly Come Dancing final, but Gleb Savchenko is most certainly the biggest winner of this year’s series. Not only did he stun us with his sassy dance moves (that Blackpool Pasa Doble was simply beyond), his dashing good looks have left us swooning.
GusyLikeU caught up with the gorgeous dancer to chat about how he conquered the dance floor and whether or not he thinks Strictly should introduce same sex partners….
Thank you for saying. I’m proud to have come so far on my first series of UK strictly. My partner Anita Rani trained so hard each and everyday, I really don’t think by the end you could tell that she was a complete novice when we began. I loved working with her and can’t wait to do the tour with Anita and all the other friends I have made this series, celebs, pros and all the behind the scenes people too that work to put on such an amazing show each week.
You started dancing at eight, what got you into it?
Well, I started out because I liked a girl who went to a dance studio. So I asked my grandma to sign me up for classes so I could dance with her. I did, and I realised that I really enjoyed what I was doing so became more and more interested in dancing. What happened with the girl? She moved on but I carried on dancing. In fact, you could say that I have her to thank for getting me started on my career!
How did your school friends react to you dancing, were you bullied or teased about it? Did people think you were gay?
No, I was never bullied because I danced, though I have to have to admit some of my friends thought it was a bit weird that I was so interested in dancing. I guess, it wasn’t what most boys did at that age. They were too busy playing football or sport. It was only when our school teacher asked me to do a performance with my dance partner at a school Christmas party, that people stopped thinking that me dancing was weird. After that everyone was like ‘OMG! That was sick, how did you do that turn and that step?’ From that moment on, I earned massive respect from my school mates!
When did you realise dancing could become a career?
As time went on, I entered a lot of dance competitions and then when I won my first Russian Championship at the age of 14, I realised that perhaps dancing was more than just a hobby I knew that I was good at what I did and my teachers encouraged me to carry on and take it seriously. I thought to myself, if I could win this, perhaps I could win more. I really liked the fact that I could impress people with what I did,
How did you get your break?
I continued to dance and eventually represented Latvia in dance competitions. I did really well and won many titles and then that’s when my career took off. People could see that I was good at what I was doing. I was very proud.
Was it an easy ride?
I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well at dancing, It’s not an easy thing to do. There is a lot to learn, and the steps can be hard to master. But I practised nearly all of the time. I worked hard to be the best I could. I didn’t want to let my family or my teachers or myself down. I had to work with many partners before I hit upon the right partnership and then it was much easier to master routines.
What is about dance that you love so much?
I just enjoy it very much and when you love something it never feels hard. I love the process, from choreographing the routines, to dreaming up the way the performance will be presented, right through to pushing the boundaries by incorporating new moves. The joy I get from dance is knowing that sometimes I inspire people to like what I do or take up dance themselves.
When you were 16 ….. What kind of guy were you?
When I was school, I was pretty quiet, kept myself to myself and kept my head down. I practised all the time and tried my best to keep up with my school work. I was one of those kids who always wanted to learn and improve all the time. But because I was so into my dancing, I didn’t have much time to do my homework when I was at school, so got some bad exam results. I remember my mom was not happy and she would punish me for that.
Were you popular at school?
I don’t know if I’d say I was popular. Because I danced all the time and travelled a lot, I wasn’t always there. But I did make a lot of friends along the way and still stay in touch with some of them. I was lucky, I was never bullied at school.
You’ve flashed the flesh a lot on the show and in your new calendar. You’re clearly body confident.
When I’m not dancing, I work out in a gym, so am always keeping my body toned. It’s become a bit of a habit. In terms of my diet I eat lots of protein and good carbs and I don’t drink alcohol.
We know which part of your bod we like most, but which part of your body are you happiest with?
There have been rumours that Strictly could introduce a same sex dance partnership at some point in the future. What do you think about that?
I think this would be great idea! I believe the show should embrace diversity. Dance is for everyone. If it happened, I would look forward to do some very exciting and very different choreography!