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PureDWTS Exclusive: Elena Grinenko Interviewed About Her New Dance Studio And Dancing With The Stars

We recently sent former Dancing With The Stars pro Elena Grinenko a few questions!! We wanted to check in with her to get some updates on her new baby and how she’s doing. Recently, she also opened up a new dance studio in Los Angeles with her husband Rib Hillis called La Ballroom. We also asked her what she thinks of the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Here she is below to tell us about everything. Thank you Elena!!

1. Hi Elena!! First of all, congratulations on your new little one.
Thank you :-)
How is motherhood treating you? Tell us about you and Rib’s new little bundle of joy and what you’ve been doing since we last saw you on Dancing With The Stars!! A lot has happened since then, hasn’t it?
Motherhood is great. I always wanted to experience what people are talking about when they speak of unconditional love and now I can say I totally joined the club. You can not describe it you can only feel it. Our baby boy was born August 19th, he is almost 6 month old and I love him every day more and more. It is amazing to see how fast they grow and react to everything around them, to be part of his experience in this life and help him learn all the new things that he sees and touches it absolutely thrilling.

2. So, we hear you are opening a new ballroom studio in Los Angeles. Tell us all about it and how you were inspired to open it?
Yes, Rib and I opened a studio in Sherman Oaks CA, we actually bought an existing studio with full staff that we kept and students body. It’s like jumping on the train that is already going 60 miles an hour :-) but it’s very exiting. We hope that changes that we making to the studio right now, will bring event more students to the studio and keep the ones that we have there very happy. The inspiration was our baby boy Magnus. When I learned that I’m pregnant, we started talking about opening the studio, because my life consist on traveling suitcases and hotels, which is not good combination for raising a child. I for sure can’t be the seat at home mom, lol. I’m so used to doing million projects and that is why studio sounded like the best solution for us. I can still work and create and at the same time be with my baby boy and my husband, be more of normal family ;-) We also bring him to the studio, Rib jokingly calls Magnus mascot of the studio. It’s actually very exiting to open business with Rib, he is not a dancer, but he brings such ease to the studio, by making it more fun and relaxed atmosphere for students to be in and he has awesome social skills, that I sometimes need to learn, to make it more fun for people to be there, I get to focused on things and to concentrated. So that combination makes us perfect studio owners.

3. Who will be the teachers at the studio? Will you have any dancers from Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can dance who will be helping to teach at your new Studio?
We have 7 teachers on staff, they are all very experience teachers and competitive dancers. As far as DWTS or SYTYCD dancers of cause :-) I think that what will make our studio special, we will always have guest coaches from the shows, it’s like a special tread to the students, to be able to learn from people they see on TV. We already had Louis Van Amstel, Gleb Savchenko and Snow Urbin at the studio coaching.

4. We’ve also heard you’ve had a couple of events at the studio. Can you tell us about them and when is the Grand Opening?
Yes, we run Social parties every first Thursday on the month and of cause our Grand Opening is on March 31st, which we trying to coordinate with DWTS, to make sure all my fellow Pro dances can attend our even after the taping is over. We gonna have full on red carpet event, Pro and students show numbers and of cause a lot of dancing.

5. Will you continue doing the videos after DWTS episodes?
We hope so :-) Now that we have our own location, we probably gonna get back to it this season.

6. What do you think of the new DWTS format and all the changes that are happening with DWTS (ie. new non-ballroom styles, no more live band, etc)?
In the beginning I was not sure, but I actually think it makes the show more interesting, I can’t imagine that audience can watch cha cha over and over again. It’s just brings something fresh and exiting, on the end of the days it called Dancing with the Stars not Ballroom Dancing with the Stars, they can use any style they like. As far as band goes, those guys are great and I don’t want to take away anything from them, they are amazing, but from the dancer perspective, you doing choreography to the record that DWTS producers give you and suddenly on Monday it’s the first time you get to do it with band on the rehearsal and it’s not always sounds the same. AS far as views concern, I think that they wont even notice :-) So I think it’s be ok with no band. But I’m sure everyone is gonna miss them, cause they wore there for so many seasons and they wore fabulous.

You can follow LA Ballroom at La Ballroom Studio at Facebook. Be sure you are following @LABallroom at twitter too for all of the latest news and updates.

March 15, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Elena Grinenko And Rib Hillis Open LA Ballroom Studio, Hold Celebrity Dance Off, DWTS Pros Attend

“We believe that dance is the universal language and therapy, through which people of all cultures, races, languages and back grounds, can express their joy of life and movement. We are all capable of dance and we strive to make everyone a capable dancer.” ~LA Ballroom Studio

“Dancers are the athletes of God.”
― Albert Einstein

Aren’t these some fabulous photos courtesy of LA Ballroom?!! The new studio making it’s mark currently in Los Angeles is owned by dance pro Elena Grinenko and her husband Rib Hillis. Last week, they held a “Be My Valentine” Social Party where they held a celebrity “Battle of the Soaps” dance challenge between Martha Madison & Jim Clark vs Lilly Melgar & Pasha Balykin (see video below!). What’s more, Dancing With The Stars Sharna Burgess made a showing as well as former pro Louis Van Amstel (pictured above in the first line along with Elena and Rib). To see more fabulous photos, visit La Ballroom Studio at Facebook. Be sure you are following @LABallroom at twitter too for all of the latest news and updates. Also, stay tuned! We have an exclusive interview coming up with Elena for which she plans to tell us more about she and Rib’s new dance studio as well as catching us up on everything she’s been doing since being on Dancing With The Stars!! Fun…I am loving this video….

February 14, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Lance Bass, Audrina Patridge, Bruno Tonioli, Elena Grinenko Help To Preview The DWTS Finale, Couples Interviewed

The day we’ve all been waiting for!! Good luck too all who make this show happen. And to help us get excited even more is ABC’s Dancing With The Stars Season 16 Finale Pre-party!! Former contestants Lance Bass and Audrina Patridge stop by (it’s fun to see these two again). Bruno Tonioli is unplugged. He mentions all the dances he’s loved so far and gives some advise and predictions for what might happen tonight (you’ll love this part too). Also, former pro Elena Grinenko joins the panel to help preview tonight’s finale (it’s fun getting her take too. I always love her accent.). Also, there is some interview footage with the couples from the 300th episode party at the end. They talk about some of their dances tonight. This is a really good one! Also, don’t miss some backstage coverage from yesterday (Sunday) on GOOD MORNING AMERICA HERE.

May 20, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS Henry Byalikov’s Advice For Ice Dancers Meryl Davis And Charlie White, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev

Several of you have expressed that you are interested and follow Figure Skating. We have another year to wait until the 2014 Winter Olympics, but, in order to qualify, one requirement is that the skaters have to place in the World Figure Skating Championships that take place this year. Since the last Olympics, I’ve had a special eye on ice dancers and reigning five-time U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Being “ice dance has been described as an interpretation of ballroom dancing on ice“, The Ice Network has asked Dancing With The Stars pro Henry Byalikov to give his advise and thoughts on them and European champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia. Here are a couple of takes for what Henry has advised for each couple. Note too while reading that former Dancing With The Stars pro Elena Grinenko has been advising and helping to choreograph many routines for Meryl Davis and Charlie White these past few years. I saw a vast improvement in their dancing after she was brought into the picture. Read on for Henry’s thoughts….

For Meryl Davis and Charlie White:

This is one of the rare times that I have watched such an inspired, emotionally driven performance by a skating duo. In particular, I was drawn to the Baryshnikov-esque passion exhibited authentically, throughout the performance, in different shades and colors, by Charlie. He comes across seamless and incredibly fluid, and I’m extremely impressed with his performance.

In my opinion, passion is the most important element in any performance art, and it’s a very difficult tightrope walk to achieve that balance between technical and emotional prowess. Nevertheless, this couple certainly delivers in those aspects.

The connection between them is strong and expressive, while maintaining enough subtlety to perform the more sensitive moments of the routine. From the opening move to the closing, their portrayal of opposition, and yet desire for one another, was a highlight of this performance for me.

Looking into the future, from my perspective, I would be focusing on Meryl and Charlie’s extensions and posture.

For Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev:

An expressive image to start and end with, she breathes life into her creation only to have her life taken away by the very thing she conceived. This was a brilliant story and piece of choreography, both coming together seamlessly to deliver the perfect platform for art.

The first major lift was executed flawlessly, with a spectacular dismount emphasizing Ekaterina’s stunning flexibility. I feel this routine highlighted Ekaterina’s expressive ability, exceptional flexibility and charisma.

Dmitri demonstrates his partnering ability strongly and his expression, although at times his posture and arms may benefit from a balletic approach to convey more of a finished look to his lines and movements.

Since they perform pseudo pirouettes en retire or sur le cou de pied positions quite often, they should try to match each other, as well as improve the visual appeal of the turn, by choosing the same level at which to connect the free leg to the standing leg, i.e. at the knee or at the ankle, a similar position they utilize before the performance has even started.

You can read the full article and more of Henry’s thoughts and advice for them at The Ice Network. Fascinating!!

For those interested, be sure tune into the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario March 10th – March 17th to see how these couples fair out. It’s going to be an interesting year for sure!!

February 15, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Dance Junkies TV Dancing With The Stars 15 Week 5 Pre-Party With Anya Garnis

Hey Dancettes! Elena Grinenko and Stuart Brazell of Dance Junkies TV are back with another Dancing With The Stars Pre-Party. This time dance pro Anya Garnis joins them in discussion as they critique the dances from last week. It’s fun because they feel much like we do on most of the dances. I had to giggle on the part about Louis and Sabrina.

That’s not all! Dance Junkies TV will be featuring a more in depth interview with Anya soon where they ask her questions from the fans..including those from PureDWTS.com. So, stay tuned!

October 21, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Attention DWTS Fans: Need Questions ASAP For New Dance Junkies Interview With Anya Garnis

Hey All!! The Dance Junkies gang will be interviewing pro dancer Anya Garnis tonight and they’d love to have you send them questions for what you’d like to ask her.

As you might know, Anya was on the Dancing With The Stars After Party this past week. She has performed in some of the results shows on Dancing With The Stars. Anya is also a dancer on So You Think You Can Dance. You can leave your questions for Anya in the comments section and we’ll be sure Stuart gets them later before the interview. I’ll leave my questions in the coments section as well. Such a beautiful dancer!

October 18, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Stuart Brazell, Elena Grinenko, and Rib Hilis Discuss The DWTS All Star Season

Dance Junkies TV has released a new Pre-Party video. Stuart Brazell, Elena Grinenko, and Rib Hilis discuss and critique the couples and the Dancing With The Stars All Stars season. Fun as always! I’m glad they are back with their Pre-parties. I miss these!

October 7, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Attention DWTS Fans: Need Questions ASAP For New Dance Junkies Interview With Nick Kosovich

Hey All!! Stuart Brazell has written to us asking for questions for what you’d like to know on former Dancing With The Stars pro Nick Kosovich. Dance Junkies plans to film a new interview with Nick TODAY. So, get your questions in as soon as you can and we’ll be sure they receive them.

The Dance Junkies interviews are always special since many of them ask questions directly from the fans. If you’ve never seen a Dance Junkies interview, you can do so here and also get caught up with their latest interviews one of which includes Dancing With The Stars Emma Slater and more.

Ok, see you all in the comments section where I’ll leave my questions!! Also, enjoy these “blast from the past” performances which might even inspire a question or two?

October 3, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Nick Kosovich To Guest On Week 2′s Dancing With The Stars After Party

Just a little heads up on Week 2′s Dancing With The Stars After Party!! According to Elena Grinenko of Grinya Talent, one of this week’s guests is award winning, ballroom expert Nick Kosovich who will help critique the dances. Below is more information on Nick at Wikipedia. As you might remember, Nick was partnered with Tatum O’Neal in Season 2 and Vivica A. Fox in Season 3 of Dancing With The Stars. I didn’t realize Nick was also in one of my favorite dance movies “Shall We Dance” starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.

Nick Kosovich is a professional ballroom dancer specializing in American Smooth and International Ten Dance. Kosovich resides in Los Angeles. He is currently appearing in the “Second Dance World Championship” (Dance for a Dream)in Mexico City for the “Televisa” Company. He is the representing Judge for team USA. He retired from competition dancing in 2005, however he has achieved many awards in his career. An internationally respected figure in the Ballroom world, Kosovich competed for 36 years. He competed in seven Professional World Championship events, won the United States American Smooth Championships and finished second in the 2004/2005 World Classic Showdance Championships.

Kosovich has appeared in movies, includingShall We Danc and also inEveryone Says I Love Yo, Blue in the Face’ and ‘Only with You, Mango Tango’. He has also appeared on numerous TV network shows. Kosovich partnered with actress Tatum O’Neal in Season 2 of Dancing with the Stars. They were the second couple voted off, coming in 9th place. In Season 3, he was partnered with actress Vivica A. Fox until their elimination in the 4th week. He is an Emmy nominated choreographer, for his work on DWTS, recently choreographing for Dance Your Ass Off season 1 and 2.

This should be a fun After Party after the show Monday night. Be sure you are following @GrinyaTalent at twitter for continual notices and updates. You can follow Nick at @smoothchamp.

September 29, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Get To Know DWTS Sasha Farber In New Dance Junkies TV Interview

Finally, the interview many of us have been waiting for…Elena Grinenko and Rib Hillis of Dance Junkies TV interviews Sasha Farber!! He answers a few of our questions too from Pure Dancing With The Stars. What a fun and fascinating guy!! I love the bit about his schooling and when he talks about Australia. LOL to him doing everything his Mom told him NOT to do. Thanks Rib and Elena!!! Stuart too. I know you are out there too on this somehow. ;)

If you’ve missed any of the earlier Dance Junkies TV interviews, be sure you see them all HERE.

June 9, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.