Gleb Savchenko And Elena Samodanova and their little girl, Olivia, are in the current issue of MK Magazine in Russia. The interview includes beautiful photos and has been posted at Woman Hit. @NastineLi at twitter has also been so gracious to translate the interview for us to English which you can read below. Elena talks of what it’s like to judge Dancing With The Stars Russia. She also talks of Gleb, his Dancing With The Stars Russia partner Adelina Sotnikova, and their daughter Olivia. Read on….
The finalist of the world championships in ballroom dances Elena Samodanova is called the most strict judge of Dancing with the Stars Russia. No wonder, as she has worked on the similar shows in other countries and has dealt with such huge stars as Ricky Martin, Rihanna etc. So we decided to get all the comments from the first hands.
MK -Elena, now you are a judge of DWTS Russia,which is being produced in Moscow, but in general you live abroad…
E – Yes, now most of my time I spend abroad, in LA. Before that I lived in Hong Kong and Sydney. Also they invited me to dance for China and Australia to represent these countries at international competitions and to work on tv dancing projects. Also I did teaching there : I worked at dancing studios and taught both young kids and adults. Together with that I started working as a choreographer and created free programs for other projects.
MK – In your opinion, what is the difference between the Russian show and similar shows in other countries?
E – They are all very different even if the franchise is the same. Each country has its own cultural and national peculiarities. But in each country the show is very popular, as the audience enjoy following the celebrities’ development. In Australia I worked with Ricky Martin, Seal. At another Australian project I worked with Paula Abdul and Olivia Newton-John. In Hong Kong I worked with Rihanna, Ikon, Sheryl Crow. In the USA I was lucky to work with Elisabeth Berkly, the star from “Show girls”, and Jack Osborne. I met Bruce Willis and Jeniffer Lopez…
MK – How did you happen to become a judge of the Russian project?
E – It was very unexpected and a pleasant surprise. In November 2014, when I was working in Hong Kong, I received this offer. And when I learnt about the charity aim of this project, my last doubts vanished. Even now working abroad I remain Russian : I promote Russian culture, I love Russian food and literature, my daughter is brought up in our tradition.
MK – Do you sometimes have debates with other judges?
E – Yes, it happens, and I think it is good. If we all put the same marks, the show would be very boring. And it is also good that our judges pay attention to different advantages and drawbacks of the work of each pair. For me technical aspect is very important, because I judge professional competitions, and there technique plays a very important role. Very often Segey Filin and I share the same point of view. And during the last two shows we gave very similar marks. And his comments very often reflect not only his opinion but mine as well.
MK – They call you the most strict judge of the project. Is that true?
E – It was the least wanted role for me, I’d love to be a fair judge. When I became part of this show, I was not familiar with Russian show business, as I was away from the country for many years. Maybe that’s why my marks were unbiased. I just watched a dance, judged the technique and put marks. Besides the pair must be able to deal with their nerves. They should come out on the floor and show what they can do. Adrenalin must help them deliver a good performance,but it shouldn’t spoil their dance.
MK – As you are a finalist of the world champs, you must definitely have a strict daily schedule, right?
E – I grew up in the sports and dancing family, so we had a certain life style.In my family no one smokes, no one drinks alchohol. In Russia you should also keep an eye on how much pastry and desserts you eat, as there’re so many tasty things. I have just one rule – I don’t need any restrictions if I do physical exercise. If I have eaten a cake, I go to a sports centre. I squat even when I brush my teeth. And when I cook I push myself up from a table. I try to combine use and pleasure.
MK – What are your other interests apart from dancing?
E – I enjoy bikhram-yoga, which you do in a room with very high temperature. I also love surfing and horse riding. Among my hobbies I can name making videoclips. I create different montages as memorable videos from recordings we have in our home collection. And of course I love cooking. Mainly I cook for my daughter Olivia, and we often cook together.
MK – Your husband is a professional dancer Gleb Savchenko, who also participates in the show. Tell us how you two met
E – We met in a dance studio in Moscow. At that time we both had other partners, but we never competed against each other, we were just friends and communicated. It happened so that Gleb went to America and then called me and offered to take part in a show together. In New York we learnt more about each other, and the feelings appeared. We have been officially a couple since 2006. And we have a wonderful daughter Olivia, who was born in Hong Kong. But even after our girl was born we kept competing and became 3 times Australian champions. So our daughter helped us in our career and cretivity.
MK – The partner of your husband is Adelina Sotnikova. Aren’t you jealous?
E – No, absolutely not. I’m very glad that he has such a wonderful partner that any professional can only dream about. We trust each other, and besides many moments that can seem strange to ordinary people are absolutely normal for dancers and artists in general. I see that they work very very hard. And all the feelings and emotions that we see and that dancers show on the floor – love, agression, flirting – simply must be present in a well choreographed dance, like in a movie or a musical. As a professional I know and understand all that, so I can’t be jealous, but I approve of that.
MK – Is your daughter Olivia fond of dancing?
E – Yes, she likes dancing very much, she watches us dance, and travels everywhere with us. She does classical ballet, and in America she visited a dance school where she did step and jazz-dance. Now she also does gymnastics, to develop sports spirit and muscles, swimming and horse riding. I believe that you should develop a child in different areas. But I don’t want her to act under my compultion , I want Olivia to choose herself what she likes.