Interview with Dmytro Lishchuk and Alina Kusner

Interview with Dmytro Lishchuk and Alina Kusner

Публикувана в четвъртък, 19 май 2022, 23:02 от admin
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We spoke to Dmytro Lishchuk and Alina Kusner during the UK Open, that took place in January 2022 in Bournemouth, UK. They won both Under21 Ballroom and Amateur Rising Star Ballroom. Alina and Dmytro represent Ukraine.

Congratulations on winning both titles this year

[Alina] Thank you very much

Are you dancing tomorrow as well? Hoping for the 3rd title?

[Alina] (laughing) I do not think so

[Dmytro] No chance in the Amateur Open this year!

Tell us how you started dancing and when was it

[Dmytro] As a couple, we are only one year together...

[Alina] I am 17 years old now, and I started dancing when I was about 6 years old. It was my Mum who took me dancing... She did not dance herself but liked it very much so just simply wanted me to try. I come from Kharkiv and that's where I started, in a little dance club.

Do you remember your first competition?

[Alina] No, I don't (laughing). I was really just a little girl. The first big competition I remember was Zerkalnaya Struya in 2012, one of the biggest Ukrainian event. My first win was a Juvenile Latin event in Kyiv. At the time, my Latin was much better than Ballroom (laughing)

What about you, Dmytro?

[Dmytro] I started dancing when I was five years old. My mother was a dancer and because of various reasons, financial reasons, she had to stop but her dream was her son to become one (laughing). In Ukraine, when you are that age you are still in pre-school, in kindergarten, and kids are told to lie down after lunch. When all the other kids were asleep I had my dancing classes (laughing)

What did you like about dancing?

[Dmytro] I like to do what I am good at. At the group lessons teachers sometimes would say: oh Dima, you've done it best. And I would be so proud. That would make me do it even better. I love winning.

[Alina] For me it is about emotions

[Dmytro] Difference between boys and girls! (laughing)

How did you meet and started dancing together?

[Dmytro] We danced in the same club in Kharkiv. Our partners were a couple, and they also wanted to be a dance couple. So I went to our teachers to explain this situation and they suggested we try out together with Alina. After the first dance we felt really good. We had group classes before, we knew each other but it was the first time we did it together.

What was your first competition together?

[Dmytro] We danced the Amateur Standard in Crystal Cup a year ago. It was very good.

How did Covid pandemics affected your dancing?

[Dmytro] We stopped just for one month because my parents were very worried and did not want me to go out to practice. During that one month I gained 4 kilos (laughing) so I was determined to go back to the studio! Honestly, it was the most terrible one month in my life. It was very boring with my dancing, I did not enjoy life at all. I struggled mentally, and everywhere in Facebook or Instagram people were writing about how good that time is to grow, improve, to re-think your life, but I do not agree. Without dancing I cannot improve!

[Alina] I did not stop. I danced with another partner at the time.

[Dmytro] Yes, because in Ukraine, the lockdowns were only imposed in the very beggining of the pandemics, in the early 2020.

Now, you have a very difficult situation in Ukraine, not very safe.

[Dmytro] We feel safe in Kharkiv at the moment, we do not think about it. But I have a sister in Crimea, we met several times and it is a problem.

What do you like to do when you are not dancing?

[Alina] Relax (laughing)

[Dmytro] I meet friends, watch films or serials. Sometimes with a drink (laughing)

What kind of films do you like?

[Dmytro] Dramas

[Alina] I like horrors!

What do you like about each other?

[Alina] I like that he is very kind and positive person. He believes in what he does. We are really good friends together, he looks after me like a brother looks after his sister (laughing). Always ready to help, whenever I ask.

[Dmytro] I like that she is very determined and hard working. She tries and tries again, until it works. She understands that to achieve our goals, we need to work hard. We argue sometimes during practice but it is all forgotten the next day. She is good at preparing food for us too (laughing), even when we are in the foreigh country she takes care of this.

What kind of food?

[Dmytro] Pasta!

[Alina] He likes pasta the most. It is his favourite. He can eat just pasta day after day (laughing)

What kind?

[Dmytro] Any kind, carbonara, bolognese... ravioli. In Russian a kind of ravioli are called pielmieni. This is the best for me!

[Alina] I like all. But my favourite foods are sweets (laughing). If I do not have anything sweet during the day I will be grumpy in the evening! I just need a little candy and then I am good again.

How do you practice and where?

[Dmytro] Our teachers are Professional dancers Marko Ilich and Yuliya Sadovskaya who also compete today. We are a part of a big team called Sparta Team. It is like a big family. We train in Kharkiv. We have many dancers, many couples, it is perfect. We all have good results.

You are both very young, are you still in school?

[Dmytro] We are both in the same university, in Kharkiv

[Alina] It is Kharkiv State Academy of Physical Culture and we both study choreography

[Dmytro] She is the first year, and I am fourth

[Alina] It is very hard to study full time and dance. We practise in the morning and in the evening and uni during the day.

How did you manage financially?

[Alina] My parents pay for everything. My Dad joked that he will pay until I get married (laughing)

[Dmytro] My parents also help a lot. Last year I started to teach small kids in our studio. Since last summer, I also dance in the Pro-Am partnership or rather a Teacher-Student which we call Pro-Am in Ukraine. We danced the first competition in Egypt.

What would you do if you could not dance?

[Dmytro] I like football, to watch and to play. But no chance to start now, I am too old! (laughing). During summer, the men from our club like to play football and it is so hard. You don't feel your legs after a game! I like sports. My father always dreamt I would be a hockey player.

[Alina] I always liked biology and when I was in school I wanted to be a pharmacist. But you have to learn Latin language and it wasn't for me (laughing). When Dima and I started dancing together I decided that I my career will be in dancing, maybe as a teacher.

Did you have any remote dance lessons or classes over the internet during Covid pandemics?

[Alina] Not really

[Dmytro] No, apart from that first month when I was not dancing, we had classes in the studio

How do you keep in touch with friends?

[Alina] Instagram, video chats...

[Dmytro] Yes, we like Instagram. Is more popular now than Facebook amongst the people our age. Frankly, I do not understand Facebook, I am lost there.

Imagine you have some sort of superpowers, and you can do anything you want. What would you like to do?

[Alina] I would like to read peoples minds!

Would you really want to know what people think of you?!

[Alina] Yes!

[Dmytro] Not for me. I would rather control time.

Travel in time?

[Dmytro] Yes, to the past. I would like to know how people lived in the past. I don't think we know that much about real life of people in the past centuries. It would be interesting for me.

What are you plans for the future? How are you planning to achieve?

[Alina] We want to stay in Ukraine.

[Dmytro] We have fantastic teachers. We believe in them a lot, and I believe we can achieve whatever we dream of.

So, say, next year... what would you like to achieve?

[Dmytro] Maybe a final of the Amateur Open.

You will not be able to dance the Under21 next year?

[Dmytro] No, it is our last year in this category. This year maybe we will compete in the European and the Blackpool.

[Alina] We hope it will happen!

No problem travelling to UK during Covid times?

[Dmytro] We were a bit unsure about the UK but we are vaccinated and it was possible

I heard not many people in the Ukraine wanted to get a jab?

[Alina] Yes, that's true. But if you want to dance and you want to travel you need.

How do you see yourselves in the future?

[Dmytro] I would like to be a dance champion but family is of course very important. Family comes first, but my dancing career is next.

[Alina] For me too. And I would love to be recognised, would love my name to be known (laughing)

[Dmytro] Just like everybody knows Arunas Bizokas! So I would like be such a champion that everybody knows and talks about.

What kind of dance music do you like?

[Alina] All music!

[Dmytro] We like live bands, like Ross Mitchell band, also the music played by the Russian orchestra at the Kremlin Cup

Looks like you prefer the classic dance music? Or do you like the modern music better?

[Alina] No, we like classic live music

[Dmytro] Last year we missed the International Championships because of problems with visa. We watched the DSI-TV and the final Tango was some recorded music. We did not like!

[Alina] No emotions. When you dance to orchestra it is another feeling.

Did you have a chance to dance in Blackpool?

[Dmytro] Not together. But I know Blackpool and the atmosphere at the festival is special.

Did you like the music there?

[Dmytro] Yes, especially with the vocal.

[Alina] I like both the Ross Mitchell and the Empress Orchestra. It is really amazing to dance to the live music. It brings back memories and evokes emotions. It was amazing to dance yesterday to such music.

Thank you very much for a nice chat. All the best for the future!