As a dance mom and former dancer, I've spent a silly amount of hours in dance studios. For the second time now, I've visited Gleb Savchenko and Elena Samodanova's Pro Dance LA studio in Los Angeles as part of press trips.
This time around, we spent time with the pros of “Dancing with the Stars” and mentors “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” The “Dancing with the Stars” pros are entertaining and while this was the first time meeting Gleb Savchencko, it was the second time working with Alan Bersten and Brandon Armstrong.
So what do Gleb Savchencko, Alan Bersten, and Brandon Armstrong have to say about dancing? We have the scoop right here for you in our exclusive interview with the “Dancing with the Stars” pros.
Alan Bersten told us how he used to watch the show with his grandpa and wanted to be on the DWTS show one day. “And then one day I got here, and it’s honestly a dream come true. So, every moment on the show is my favorite moment as cliché as that sounds,” Bersten said.
He and Gleb Savchenko also divulged who their dream dance partner would be: Arianna Grande. “Yeah, because she’s, hot. She’s good,” Bersten said.
On mentoring kids vs. adults
“It was an experience that really enlightened all of us. When we’re on the show with adults, there’s a lot of pressure because we’re in it. We’re going on this journey with them. With the kids, we’re able to kind of stand back and let the kids go on a journey and really help as much as we can without actually being in it,” Bersten said.
“I do have to admit, I think it was more rewarding for me to watch my kids do well than it would be for myself to do well,” Armstrong said. So, I think for me, it was more rewarding. I think, most of us would agree, that to be able to sit back and watch your kids and finally execute it, that is a million times more rewarding.”
“Seriously, these are my kids going out and you’re like, ‘I hope they help you enough but now we can’t really do anything but watch',” Bersten said. “It was so nice to see these kids. “Every time they would go out there with a smile on their face.”
On when Gleb knew he would want to dance professionally
“I grew up in Moscow, and the mentality of everyone, if your kid did something, right, the parents go 100% in it. So, by the age of 9, I was traveling across Russia doing all these different competitions, and when I was 14, I started winning them,” Savchenko said. “I started really enjoying it. And then I was like, ‘That’s going to be my career. I’m going to be a dancer.' And here I am.”
On inspirations and ideas
Savchenko told us YouTube is where he goes for new ideas and material.
“I feel like we’re fairly newer on the show. This is my third season. But I feel like the songs kind of inspire us. And our partners inspire us. So, every season is a different season because what I’m doing with Alexis, I couldn’t do with Mariah or Debbie. So, every season you get an inspiration from your partner,” Bersten said.
On what to tell young dancers about following their dreams
Both Armstrong and Savchenko said “Never give up,” when we talked about this when we talked about this with them.
“Never give up. Just push forward and you know, anything is possible,” Savchenkco said.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it,” Bersten said.
Savchencko talked to us a bit about his background. “I grew up in Moscow with no money in, literally, a one-bedroom apartment with my parents. I do the most amazing show in the whole world, you know, where everyone’s watching. So, just dream and work really hard. Never give up. Don’t let anybody push you down. Stand your ground and just pour your soul and heart into what you do.”
“I think that’s beautiful. I think if you’re passionate about it, no one can stop you,” Bersten said. “If anyone is passionate about anything, no matter what, they’re going to be stubborn about it. And I think that’s actually one of the best qualities you can have them, especially in a dancer because there’s a lot of nos before you get a yes.”
“There’s a million kids that look just like me, that dance just like me, that talk just like me. That it is so important to be unique,” Armstrong said.
“Be unique. Don’t look at somebody else and say, ‘I want to be Gleb.' Take all the things that you think are great about him and develop yourself, but still be yourself. Be unique,” Bersten advised.
One of the best take-aways on talking to these three is that they are always learning. From each other, from other dancers. They never stop learning. That's how you get great, stay great. You're always learning.
Did you know that DWTS Tour is coming to a city near you? Visit dwtstour.com for more information!#DWTSTour
Watch DWTS Mondays 8/7c on ABC
Watch DWTS: Juniors Sundays 8/7c on ABC
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Los Angeles on an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.