We interviewed Pavel Stepanchuk and Gabriella Sabler from USA, after they won the Amateur Rising Star Latin in Blackpool 2016. They live and dance in Brooklyn, New York.
You can teach certain things in dance but that [personality] comes from somewhere inside you. That individuality you cannot teach...
What a fantastic result for you, you must be very happy
[Pavel]: Yes, we are very happy and very surprised. Pleasantly surprised I must say.
[Gabriella]: Yes, it was not expected at all!
Come on, you must have been hoping for it
[Gabriella]: Of course, but ...
[Pavel]: It was a dream to win Blackpool but you never know. It is one of the hardest competitions, I believe, to win. But definitely, the most enjoyable to win.
OK, tell me about yourselves, how did you start dancing?
[Pavel]: Well, I started at the age of 13, in New York City. I was originally born in Russia, in Kamchatka, but I lived in Ukraine. When I was 9 years old, my family immigrated to Brooklyn, New York and I went to a dance studio together with my brother and my cousin. We were relatively the same age so we did everything together. We even did kickboxing for some time along with dancing!
OK, so why did he started to dance?
[Pavel]: Why? Because his Mum sent him there (laughing).
[Gabriella]: A lot of kids of that wave of immigrants were sent to dance classes... Most kids that either moved here with their families at an early age, like Pasha, and many that were born in the U.S like me... It was a very popular thing to do in the Russian speaking community actually...
Did you dance both Ballroom and Latin?
[Gabriella]: When I first started dancing, I only did Latin, but then I had to partner up with a boy and he insisted on me trying 10 dance, because he was a 10 dance boy. I never thought it would be possible to start from scratch at the age of 14 and compete with open routines against kids that were so good and have been doing it their whole life... but it was an amazing learning experience and quite successful too! Actually, after him I could not find another good 10 dance partner, so I continued with only Latin, it was a difficult decision because I really found a love for Ballroom dancing as well.
[Pavel]: When I started, I did both, but it was short lived and I finished with Ballroom after only a couple of years, never danced open level Ballroom... so almost all of my partnerships, I danced only Latin. I had a couple of partners before Gaby and...
More than a couple, if I remember well (laughing)
[Pavel]: Yeah! But finally found the perfect one.
So why the previous ones were not perfect?
[Pavel]: OK, nobody is perfect, but you just have to find a person with whom it clicks. Actually, you need to understand that nobody is perfect and accept it and learn from that. I felt like I was able to connect with Gaby and accept her imperfections. I think it is very important to be on the same page, only then you can make room to grow together and individually.
[Gabriella]: Yeah... someone who you share the same priorities with... someone that strives for the same goals and dreams as you...
[Pavel]: Yes, exactly!
[Gabriella]: Well I didn’t have so many changes of partners... But, I did go through different studios before I started to dance competitively. I was lucky enough that my parents would listen to me when I told them that I no longer felt I could improve in that studio.I remember always wanting to be better and my parents saw this determination in me at such a young age. I guess that is what drove them to always help me find the right studio.
So I moved to Brooklyn Dancesport club with my second partner, that is when I seriously started to compete, competing at the nationals and eventually the worlds… This was actually, when I first started working with my current coaches Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova.
[Pavel]: This is when I first saw Gaby actually, at that studio. I remember the day she came in for a try-out with this boy that she is talking about. He was already a student of Eugene and Maria.
[Gabriella]: I remember you too!! Actually I used to buy dresses from the partner of Pasha’s brother... funny... so I knew of him, but not directly. We had a big age difference.
[Pavel]: It is not that big (laughing)
[Gabriella]: Now it isn’t... 7 years felt like a big difference back then. He was 18 and I was still very young. I came to Eugene's and Maria's studio when I was 11. He was already a "cool" eighteen year old so he did not even look my way (laughing). Now when we are partnering and dating, it is funny to look back at those times because we never thought of each other like that.
[Pavel]: When I saw Gaby for the first time, she made an impression on me. She came for a try-out with this boy and she had so much fire.
[Gabriella]: He still reminds me of that try out (laughing)… that I had so much personality.
[Pavel]: Yes, she already had that personality and I guess, you can teach certain things in dance but that comes from somewhere inside you- that individuality and musical expression. Gaby had that from the beginning.
So did you get together, how it started between the two of you?
[Pavel]: First we were dating for two years ...
So you started with dating first?
[Pavel]: Yes, we had separate dance partners.
[Gabriella]: We competed against each other.
I guess she was older than eleven (laughing)
[Gabriella]: (laughing) Yes! I was 18 when we started dating...
[Pavel]: Basically, after Gaby split with this boy, she had to leave to a different studio for various reasons...
[Gabriella]: Yes, my new partner at that time was Austin. Actually, him and his partner Nino, our good friends, were interviewed last year as well! Anyway, I changed to his teachers, a different school but after we split, I felt it was an opportunity to come back to the people I felt really inspired by. It was almost like fate. I came back to what is now Brooklyn Dancesport Club and that's when Pasha and I met. Then, I found a new partner and I continued my training with Eugene and Maria because I knew those were people that I felt a strong connection with.
[Pavel]: And then we started talking more to each other from then on and we just clicked. We began to date shortly after that... at the same time still being in competition with each other.
[Gabriella]: I think this was the most challenging thing for us. It was interesting.
So is it easier to dance with each other than against each other?
[Pavel]: Yes, of course (laughing).
[Gabriella]: We feel like we are now one team. For us it is very important. In our personal life, we always believe in the idea of a team, that we are in it together so before when we danced with other partners, it definitely felt like there was a separation of our team. It was challenging because we wanted each other to succeed yet competed against one another. So when we had an opportunity to dance together it just felt that our team was now complete.
I hope you don't mind me saying that you don't look like dancers. Do you have friends outside dance community?
[Pavel]: Most of my friends don't dance. Honestly, the friends I hang out with on a regular basis, they don't dance. But I have a bunch of friends, who're actually supporting us. We owe a big thank you to people who were cheering and were there for us, even though they are our competitors. So I am going to say, thank you for that! I met most of my friends through dance but they don't dance anymore while I still continue to dance. But they are doing something else.
What I was saying that you look a bit like somebody from a gang ... You know, Brooklyn, gangs of New York ...
[Gabriella]: Why does everyone keep saying that (laughing)!
[Pavel]: We would like to think that we have some Brooklyn in us when we dance... it is a big part of who we are, where we come from... you can say Brooklyn style!
OK, OK, you will see on the photos (laughing). But is it accepted amongst your friends, especially for you Pavel, that you are a dancer as there are stereotypes about male dancers like it is not very manly to dance.
[Pavel]: Well, I started with kickboxing and then I got into dance. I love being active and dancing is something I’d rather be doing, I found it more enjoyable than getting kicked in the head! I like that dancing is physically demanding and intense as any other sport, and of course the art component makes it more special. My non-dancers friends always try to come to competitions to support me, if we dance a competition close to home. They get that what we do is serious and respect our commitment to dancing, so yes for sure they more then accept it!
What do you like in dancing the most? Competitiveness, music, ways to express yourself, pretty girls and handsome boys ...
[Pavel]: All those are great aspects (laughing). But, I think, what I like about dancing the most is the nonstop learning process. We never stop learning, you can really become better and better if you have a clear direction and a good team . It is like wine, the older it gets, the better it! I also love music and to be able to express myself, together with my partner, is pretty special.
[Gabriella]: Music (laughing). Like Pasha said, music is a big part of it. It is something intangible, I can’t put my finger on it. But the music, it makes me feel and I am definitely a feeler. Also, I like the competitive environment because it gives me a rush: the movement, music, and adrenaline together is a combination like no other. Actually, when we started our partnership, we found out we have something in common. We both like competing, we feel like we strive in that environment. It really drives us to become better. And in our industry, Pasha and I believe in the idea that you cannot only be the best dancers to be successful, but you have to the best competitors.
[Pavel]: Yes, I think thats why we were able to do well right away... we are both very competitive.
[Gabriella]: And not in a negative way of course, we still respect all of our competitors , many of whom are our friends.
[Pavel]: We enjoy those special moments on the floor together.
[Gabriella]: We get very excited about that.
But now, after winning, there will be more pressure and expectations.
[Pavel]: Pressure is good, we like pressure.
[Gabriella]: It's tough to admit, but in reality I think we work a little bit better under pressure, so we need it...
[Pavel]: You've got nowhere to go but straight on, try to do your best, to your best ability.
[Gabriella]: Sometimes you don't know how good you can be.
[Pavel]: Unless you are put under that stress situation.
[Gabriella]: So we accept it, we don't try to resist it. Yes, there are a lot of expectations but we need to focus and keep doing our job. Actually, we are excited to see how we will be able to handle it.
[Pavel]: It is like a new journey, a new chapter.
Do you live together?
[Gabriella]: I guess you can call that, I have some of my things at his place, but most of my belongings are still at home with my parents (laughing).
[Pavel]: Her parents don’t live far so we often drive over there to get her things and pay a visit to her family.
[Gabriella]: Pasha is lucky enough to have his own place but it still next door to his family, so he sees them every day.
I was asking if you live together, because I wanted to ask who is cooking.
[Gabriella]: The guy at the Chinese take-out (laughing). We are in the studio all day, so during the day we have no choice but to order some sort of food thats around.
[Pavel]: But after a long day, I must say we are very lucky to come home to nice meal, my Grandma, Gaby's Mum, my Mum... they try their best to feed us.
[Gabriella]: Of course, they help out.
[Pavel]: We come from a Jewish family and Jewish Mums love to feed their kids. So we still have a chance to get some nice healthy home food. We get treated by our Mums!
[Gabriella]: Sometimes we come past 11, tired after rounds and my Mum stays up to make us a meal. It is awesome. We have really great parents that support us a lot.
[Pavel]: It wouldn't be possible without them. They continue to give us the opportunity to follow our dream. A lot of dancers don’t have their parents so close and we are really grateful for our situation... A lot of parents would also say no, and tell you to become a doctor or go to law school.
[Gabriella]: Especially in our case, where our parents who immigrated to America for a better life. To tell a Russian parent that you want to have a career in dancing is not so easy... (laughing). But Pasha actually has a 4 year college degree which is rare to come across... its difficult to be a serious competitor, work and go to school.
What did you study?
[Pavel]: Child Psychology.
Because of the age difference (laughing)?
[Gabriella]: Now everything makes sense!!! (laughing)
[Pavel]: I always liked teaching and seeing how kids develop. When I was going to school ,I was always thinking what I can do that would benefit my teaching and dancing. I always liked psychology, so I went into that field.
Do you work in this area at all?
[Pavel]: Sort of... I teach mostly kids in Eugene and Maria’s studio, so it helps a lot.
Gaby, what are you doing?
[Gabriella]: Actually, after high school I went to college for a year. I was a very good student.
[Pavel]: She got scholarships to really good universities...
I can hear a "but"...
[Gabriella]: Throughout my years in school I was always very committed. When I started dancing with him, everything went very serious and we needed to travel a lot and really focus on ourselves... and I felt almost bad that I couldn't devote myself 100% to school so I put a stop at my record which means, basically, I accumulated all my credits and now they are frozen...
So you can come back?
[Gabriella]: Yes. And I do want to come back as I love learning and school. I miss that environment actually. I wish I had a little piece of that educational feeling from dancing but...
What are you interested in?
[Gabriella]: Psychology as well. Its really a part of everything! This is also what we have in common.
What don't you like in dancing?
[Pavel]: Honestly, I don't like putting on make-up.
[Gabriella]: Oh yes, he gets very irritated during that process. Are we done, are we done?
Why, does it irritate you skin, is it uncomfortable?
[Pavel]: No, it doesn't irritate my skin. I don't enjoy the process of having it put on. I understand you need to look a bit darker because of the lights but I don't like it.
I can sympathise when I look at all the girls and see how much time they sacrifice to put it on...
[Pavel]: Yes, and its not easy! Its an art skill.
[Gabriella]: Something that can be approved about the industry is a sense of community. I feel like there are not enough ways in which people can get together to express their concerns and opinions. A safe place where regardless of who you are, a competitor, judge, organizer etc, can discuss ideas and issues. It's important that we find ways to work together to create a better future for our industry... everyone would benefit.
Let's move to the difficult part of this interview. What don't you like about each other? Who is braver to start?
[Gabriella]: I am thinking... I don't know. Maybe what I don't like about him is a reflection of myself... He pushes me a lot, to do things I may not want to do. But at the end of the day I see why he does it. He is just stronger than me. I feel that, both mentally and emotionally, that makes me more mature. Maybe that's what I don't like about him is that he is stronger than me (laughing).
[Pavel]: She is stubborn, she can say no, just no. But I don’t accept that from her, you have to at least try. But she’s gotten better with that (laughing).
[Gabriella]: He wants everything on demand, now.
Who designs your clothes?
[Pavel]: Dancing costumes or street wear?
Not the one you are wearing now (laughing)!
[Pavel]: We have a sponsor.We wore their costumes for the first time, Flashdance. They are great because we give our idea to them and they execute is perfectly. Just like Gaby drew.
[Gabriella]: I love designing our costumes. It is fun. This is also what I love about dancing, getting to design the costumes and the look. And once again, this whole idea about the team, we always want to express ourselves together as a team in our costumes. So we gave Flashdance our idea and they worked with us on that.
[Pavel]: They did an amazing job
What about choreography? Teachers or you?
[Gabriella]: Definitely teachers
[Pavel]: Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova. They are our coaches.
[Gabriella]: We trust them, for sure.
[Pavel]: They have a lot of experience with that and Eugene is a genius in making routines.
Do you think it is better to have one teacher or a group of teacher for various ideas?
[Pavel]: I think you should have a small team that has the same focus as you. That's very important. If that small team believes in what they do, you can go very far.
[Gabriella]: The team needs to somehow work together. The information has to work with each other, it can’t contradict one another... and its important that you find people who each specialise in something clearly and then use each person’s information as tools to help your dancing. In our case, we have two main coaches that we trust we can come back to, and figure out what we keep and what we get rid off... they are good at helping us in that sense.
What would you do if you couldn't dance?
[Pavel]: I would try to do something athletic... sports.
[Gabriella]: I think I would like to learn how to draw. Maybe go to fashion school.
[Pavel]: I would like to play soccer or basketball. It was another dream.
[Gabriella]: Yes, he plays basketball all the time.
But you are not a typical basketball player?
[Pavel]: Not tall?
[Gabriella]: He is very good, he’s good at a lot of sports.
[Pavel]: Well, you asked what I would do if I couldn't dance. Basketball is my other dream. Soccer or basketball. I like all the physical activities, sports.
[Gabriella]: I would go to a fashion school.
Going back to cooking and food. Do you follow any diet, maybe before the competition?
[Pavel]: Not really.
[Gabriella]: We love going to the gym. We have stages when we eat very clean and stages when we kind of relax and eat what we want..Usually before the competition we try to be relatively healthy.We try not to eat too much fried food, drink a lot more water. We are actually very lucky with our bodies and metabolism.
[Pavel]: Yes, we have a fast metabolism.
[Gabriella]: So we eat quite a lot, we don't restrict our portions.
[Gabriella]: Not really, we both don’t enjoy drinking.
What about the after competition parties?
[Gabriella]: We would drink for occasions, some wine maybe.
[Pavel]: We have fun without alcohol.
Dancing is expensive, how do you find money for it?
[Pavel]: We work in the studio. All the money we make, we put towards our investments.
[Gabriella]: There is an envelope for the dancing (laughing).
What do you see as next steps in your career?
[Pavel]: To become better.
[Gabriella]: At the moment we are Amateurs, and we have a very strong Amateur final back home for the nationals.
[Pavel]: I don't know whether you have seen the results yesterday. Six of the finalists in America, from the nationals, made at least the quarter final in Amateur Latin here.
[Gabriella]: So we have a very strong competition at home. Definitely we want to be in that circle for a while and climb up the ladder.
[Pavel]: And win the Amateur Latin one day here.
[Gabriella]: Yes, that would be crazy. It's a dream. But at home it just as tough!
[Pavel]: One step at the time.
Any interesting places you visited while you've been travelling for competitions?
[Gabriella]: In the US we have a lot of competitions and we usually stay one day more, one extra day after or come one day earlier. We are really lucky to go to really amazing places. Miami, Florida is awesome. We try to stay after the competition there. We get to go to Montreal, there is a beautiful competition in the winter. We try to make the most of it.
[Pavel]: Around the world too, we've been to Germany, Paris, Amsterdam, Italy. All experiences were really fun and memorable.
What do you like to do during holidays?
[Gabriella]: Sleep (laughing). I love sleeping.
[Pavel]: Yes, she likes to sleep! I like to relax, maybe play some video games.
[Gabriella]: He likes to spend time with his family. I like to spend time with my family as well. We rarely get. chance to see them because our days follow different schedules. They like to get up early in the morning and by 10pm everybody is falling asleep.
[Pavel]: And we can be in the middle of practice.
[Gabriella]: Our days are shifted a little bit. And on the weekend we also work. Sundays we try to spend with our families.
[Pavel]: I have a dog so I like to spend some time with her. I like to go to the park with her, I train her. She is a good Frisbee catcher (laughing).
Any other hobbies?
[Pavel]: We went to probably every museum you can find in Amsterdam. Museums are interesting , we enjoy them...We like to read books. Gaby just finished a cool book and passed it over to me.
[Gabriella]: I like reading about things that you can mentally relate to dance, because I like to improve my mind, I feel like that helps me improve faster. This book that I just finished is one of many on spiritual
Enlightment... It was very interesting.
[Pavel]: No, not religious. More psychological I would say.
[Gabriella]: Speaking of books, Ruud Vermeij plays a big inspiration in our team and he has a great book that we just started reading, totally related to Latin dancing.
OK, but what about books outside of dancing?
[Gabriella]: I guess find a connection to dancing because it really plays a big role in our lives.
What about movies? Do you only watch movies about dancing?
[Pavel]: No, no. Of course, we have life outside of dancing. We have friends who don't dance, we go to parties with them.
[Gabriella]: My older sister is dating his best friend. So we have a nice group, there is the four of us. We like to watch different television series with them. We've just finished watching "OJ Simpson case". It is based on the real life case, we really got into that one. It was educational too, it touched upon a lot of problems that were occurring in the US during the trail.
What do you argue about?
[Pavel]: The timing (laughing).
Timing as in dancing, or as in being late?
[Gabriella]: Actually both (laughing)! Because he is always late. My father was in the army so he raised, I wanted to say me and my sister but also my Mum, to be very punctual. So there was a lot of stress in the house growing up if we left 5 minutes later (laughing). His family is quite the opposite, more laid back. So he is like that's OK, I will be fashionably late.
[Pavel]: Yes, you could say fashionably late
I noticed today!
[Gabriella]: No, this time it was my fault (laughing)! I think we have got smarter and understood that we like similar things but we voice it differently. We use different words to express it. So sometimes, because of the communication, we fight. But then, when we talk about it, and we realize that we are asking for the same thing. So we have to listen more to each other and have more patience.
It is incredible that every question about something negative you turn around into something good!
[Gabriella]: But it is true! I think it should be like that.
[Pavel]: We are just telling the truth!
There must be something you don't like and want to change in each other. Because no one is perfect!
[Pavel]: Like she said, it would be good for me to...
[Gabriella]: ... to listen more
[Pavel]: No, to be on time!
[Gabriella]: More organised...
[Pavel]: OK, more organised, and for you to listen more (laughing).
[Gabriella]: And relax! Sometimes I am too serious, but I am getting better now.
[Pavel]: Because I infected her with my laid back style.
[Gabriella]: Yes, I started to enjoy life more.
So you think you've changed? He changed you or dancing changed you?
[Gabriella]: Yes, a lot. Dancing with him changed me. At first we thought it was going to be so magical and it was, but through time and working, you know... nothing is perfect. Things get tough, somebody gets tired, somebody gets upset and it is not always a good day. So I think, he helped me to be able to accept that, to find something good in even in a bad day. That helped me grow in a healthy way because I am finding more things to be happy about myself, my dancing.
What kind of music do you like?
[Gabriella]: Yes, we love all music besides just Ballroom music (laughing).
[Pavel]: House, hip-hop, rap
[Gabriella]: Reggae music
[Pavel]: We like beats, as long as it is good music.
[Gabriella]: We like strong beats, percussion and rhythm. In New York, house clubs are very popular, they play house music. There are certain DJs, that when they come to New York, we always go to see them. We like to dress casual and just dance.
Proper dancing or club dancing?
[Gabriella]: No, just casual dancing. We try to stay away from Ballroom dancing when we are outside the studio, dance freely.
By Ballroom you mean Latin (laughing)?
[Pavel]: Sorry, yes.
It is interesting that lots of people coming from the Latin countries, or with African roots, have that natural rhythm and love dancing but not that many go into the proper Ballroom dancing. Do you know why?
[Pavel]: When I started dancing in New York I was 13 and all the kids in the club were Russian or Ukrainian in origin, many immigrants, I guess it is more seen in the European culture.
[Gabriella]: Others are not exposed to it. I got exposed to it because I went to a Russian private school. It was owned by a Russian owner and he was in charge of the extra activities he was putting out for the kids. Kids in public schools in America don't have opportunity to dance like that. So they are not exposed to it...
[Pavel]: And the dance world is still a very small world for other people to find out about it. For us we feel like it's a big industry, but I don't feel that everybody knows about it.
[Gabriella]: Only recently Ballroom and Latin dancing gained more popularity through shows like "Dancing with the Stars". So now it is a little bit more on the mainstream media. People are getting famous, becoming celebrities like Max Chmerkovsky. Previously he was just a Latin dancer like us but now he is a celebrity and people who don't dance know about him.
[Pavel]: As I said, we are really a small world, I think we need to spread more awareness about ballroom dancing . Now, the industry is split into different parts, so we are really not making it better and stronger.
How can we make it more popular? More interesting for the general public?
[Gabriella]: I think we already have the numbers but we need to work better together. Stop splitting things apart.
[Pavel]: Stop fighting for power. It doesn't make the industry stronger.
[Gabriella]: At the end of the day, nobody wins...
Have you noticed the styles of dancing between the two organisations started to differ?
[Pavel]: They are evolving in different directions.
Perhaps in a few years these styles may be so different from each other it will be impossible to join them together.
[Pavel]: Yes, maybe... but dancing is still moving to the music and ballroom and Latin dancing has always evolved, and whether you put emphasis on the sport aspect or the art to develop it, is OK, as long you stick to the fundamentals and good mechanics. What way your style develops should be up to the dancers. But I think that it is combination of the two which makes it perfect.
[Gabriella]: It must be a complete package. Athletic abilities for sure... you need to be able to do certain things and definitely you should look like an athlete... a dancers medium IS the body and then of course you must be able to create and perform, be an artist.
[Pavel]: It has to be both. You cannot just one or the other.
Changing subject completely, how do you use internet?
[Gabriella]: Facebook. I love it. I love getting touch with friends, we have a lot of friends around the world. So it is good to be updated with their daily lives without actually seeing each other . Because we only see them at competitions, when we are home it is good to have contact with them and see where they are, what they are up too... as if we never separate.
[Pavel]: I use internet to download music.
[Gabriella]: Yes, for dance practice. From iTunes. We are Apple fanatics (laughing). I have an IPhone, and even when it freezes or battery life runs out, I still go for the new IPhone (laughing).
What dancing websites do you visit?
[Pavel]: Dancesportinfo.net and also we have one in America called dancebeat.com.
[Gabriella]: YouTube (laughing). For dancing videos.
[Gabriella]: Yes, we like to watch different movies and series.
Which Netflix series?
[Pavel]: Gaby just finished watching "Orange is the New Black".
[Gabriella]: I watched all the seasons, starting from the first one.
What about "Breaking Bad"?
[Pavel]: I finished it, Gaby didn't get to watch the last few episodes.
[Gabriella]: We also like to watch all sorts of conspiracy theory series, about aliens and stuff. Just for fun, really! There is a lot of funny stuff on YouTube. Crazy stuff!
What would you like us to improve on our site?
[Gabriella]: I wish there were more videos.
[Pavel]: They have videos
[Gabriella]: Yes but not connected to the person or to the couple.
[Pavel]: Oh yeah. It would be great to be able to click on the couple and, as now you have pictures, have videos.
[Gabriella]: I like that you are able to see the person's history and see who they danced with.
[Pavel]: It would be great to be able to write about yourself and send it to dancesportinfo.
[Gabriella]: Like a biography.
We have this functionality, currently for members. You can publish you resume and list your achievements and so on. We were told information from our website is used when people apply for visa to US or green card actually, proving they have history in dancing.
[Gabriella]: Wow, that's amazing.
[Pavel]: Yes, it can help a lot of people. I think you are the only site that has all the recordings of past results and history.
We have a team of people working on results. We have a lot of information which no longer exist anywhere else because the original websites disappeared or organisations changed and removed archives.
[Gabriella]: That's cool!
What can we change to make the site easier to use?
[Gabriella]: We are so used to it. Don't change anything because I know exactly where everything is.
[Pavel]: It is user friendly already.
Size of the font? Is it good enough on the IPhone
[Pavel]: You have to zoom in.
[Gabriella]: Yes, but we are OK with that.
[Pavel]: It comes up small, but when you zoom in it is fine. Some websites have mobile friendly versions but not always the same functionality as the normal versions.
[Gabriella]: So far, with dancesportinfo, we don't have problems on our phones.
What are your short term plans?
[Gabriella]: We are going back home and will take few days off to recharge.
[Pavel]: We are looking forward to that.
[Gabriella]: Then we will go back to work. We will have a competition in Boston in June and right after that, a competition in Florida.
[Pavel]: We have shows with our studio too.
[Gabriella]: We dance the competition basically, and in the evening we perform. Eugene and Maria have a performance company and competition organisers invite us to do the show.
[Pavel]: We do the show with other members of the studio.
[Gabriella]: So we have three competitions coming up.
[Pavel]: In America summer is very busy with competitions.
[Gabriella]: In June and July.
When are you in England next?
[Pavel]: For the International.
Are you coming for all three big competitions in England usually?
[Gabriella]: We try our best but it is hard financially.
[Pavel]: It takes time to travel and it is not like a thirty minute flight. And it is not like a ninety dollar ticket either (laughing).
[Gabriella]: We usually arrive early to dance other, smaller competitions as well, so it means two weeks off work. It is hard.
Good luck with that. It was nice to talk to you and hope to see you in October.
All photos taken on the day by Tony Eng