Did you know Dancing With the Stars troupe member Sasha Farber was once a pro on the Australian version of DWTS? Because he was (and if you watch his DWTS performances, it's not hard to see why — he's a great dancer!).
He also hopes to one day be a pro on the American version of the show. Wetpaint Entertainment recently chatted with Sasha about what he'd bring to the show, and what he, as a DWTS insider, thinks makes a good pro. Plus, he weighs in on what the vibe is like backstage during Season 14.
Wetpaint Entertainment: So, your goal is to be a pro on DWTS. What would you bring to the show?
I was a pro on the Australian DWTS, and I really really enjoyed that. I love to teach. I think it's every dancer's dream to be a pro on this show, and having the experience behind me is also really good. The way I like to teach is I just love to have fun. It's really hard to see celebrities stressed out. When you see them stressed out it's just like — oh no. You just need to have fun with them, and be smart, not to over rehearse. Sometimes you just have to leave the room. Go for a coffee, go for lunch, go to a theme park — I mean, I did that when I was in the Australian DWTS. Just so they can forget everything and just have fun, and go into the studio with a clean, fresh start.
What vibe do you think you'd bring as a pro? Maks is the "bad boy," Tristan's the sweet one — who would you be?
I think we would be the fun and cheeky couple that could pretty much get away with murder. It's just about having fun and not stressing so much — obviously stress is important, but so is fun. But let's see, which would I be? I can't be the sexy one because Maks is there! I think an all-rounder that can pretty much do anything.
And what's your choreography style like?
I would definitely try to push the limits. Is is a dance competition, but it's also television. You want to make it as right and as entertaining as you possibly can. That's my forte. I've been on stage for the past eleven years and competed in all the main world championships. I have a lot of entertainment behind me. It's pretty much what I live to do.
From your experience in Australia, what do you think the hardest part of being a pro?
The hardest part — and the best part — is they don't tell you who you're going to be paired with. So you're like — okay. You try to think about everyone it could possibly be, and then you want to start choreographing before you know who you get. But then you're like — what if it's someone older? What if it's someone younger? What if this person can't do certain steps? So it's funny — the hardest part is just meeting your celebrity. You go whoa, okay, that's awesome.
And then I think just being relaxed, and knowing exactly what you want to do, and choreographing before, and choreographing it for the right reasons, and telling a story. It's very important to tell a story during a dance, and at the same time trying to bring out a story that the celeb has had in the past, or has done emotionally, or what the person is going through in the moment.
From your experience as a pro and watching so many others do it, what do you think are the biggest mistakes that pros can make when it comes to working with the celebs?
I think everyone is doing a great job and the pros on at the moment are awesome. They've all done this for so long and know exactly what is going on. But I think you should always make your celebrity feel comfortable. You should never scream at them. It's our job to make sure [the celebrity] feels 100 percent safe and happy in what she's doing. The second the celebrity loses trust in you, I think that's where things can muck up. Not saying that that's happened on any previous season, but I think it's very important.
What would you do if you ended up with a celeb you don't click with, or even actively clash with?
I think that's the best part: you learn about yourself. If there's something they don't like, that's something you have to work on in yourself.
Do you know how people are selected to be pros?
I'm not too sure, but there's a big process. There's photos, and they match up the faces and the hair and the height and the personality. Everything's kinda gotta match. This one works better with someone younger, etc. For me, I'm lucky — I can work either way. My celebrity [on DWTS Australia] was a young pop singer, but it doesn't bother me if I get someone older, because there's a mature aspect of it which you can work with, which would be awesome.
However, I would love to dance with someone like the Olsen twins. That would be awesome. We could do the switch — one week could be Ashley, the next could be Mary Kate. No one would even know!
What do you think of the new Dance Duel they've instituted this season?
I think that was a great idea. It keeps everything on the edge and keeps everyone on their toes. Obviously everyone has to prepare the dance, and they don't know if they'll actually have to use it. It gives the show a competition vibe. In the ballroom dancing competition there are five or six couples on the floor, while [DWTS] is normally more of a performance style. Now outsiders can see more of what a ballroom competition is really like.
How is the vibe backstage this season?
The vibe's awesome. There's injuries left, right, and center, but that's all part of dancing. There'd be something wrong if there wasn't an injury. Everyone's in their dance studios working their butts off. It's a competition vibe. Everyone's friends, which is great, but when that music starts, it's game on.
For more from Sasha, you can follow him on Twitter at @SashaFarber. And, of course, remember to tune in to DWTS Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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