Siberian-born Pasha is back to lift the Glitterball once again!
|Fact title||Fact data|
A member of the Strictly family since series nine, and one-time champion alongside Caroline Flack in 2014, Pasha will be hoping to lift the Glitterball trophy for a second time.
Being able to bring that beautiful form of art into everyone's home is a dream come true!Pasha Kovalev
Aside from his win, Pasha has made it to the final on two other occasions, taking the runner-up spot with both Kimberley Walsh and Chelsee Healey.
But Pasha’s not always ranked so highly. Back in 2013, he and his partner, Countdown maths whizz Rachel Riley, left during week six’s Halloween Special. Their American Smooth to ‘I Put A Spell On You’, failed to put a spell on the voting public.
Yet another American Smooth sent Pasha packing in 2015, when he and BBC weather reporter Carol Kirkwood made it to week seven, after their routine to ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’ brought their Strictly journey to an end. Fellow BBC journalist Naga Munchetty led him to his lowest ever position in 2016, seeing Pasha bow out in 12th place. But could 2017 be his year to rise to the top again?
Pasha describes his teaching style as "patience, patience, patience!" – something that has paid off in his scores. He lists his Fusion with Kimberley as once of his favourite ever Strictly dances, and it earned them the first 40 of the series.
Pasha started dancing when he was just eight years old, after his mum took him to one of the biggest ballroom dancing competitions in his part of Russia. Dancing wasn't a career choice for Pasha in the beginning, but that changed when he realised that it was something he "can't live without".
Until 2000, Pasha competed with Anya Garnis in the Amateur Latin Category in Russia, and in 2001, the couple moved to the US where Pasha clocked up the achievements, including becoming a US National Latin Finalist, and an Ohio Star Ball Finalist.
In 2007, Pasha was a finalist on the American version of So You Think You Can Dance and went on to choreograph dances in every season that has followed. He’s also appeared in Burn The Floor, both on Broadway and in the West End.
Apart from dancing, Pasha loves to read, watch films, travel and sample great food.
Pasha loves computer games and has even built his own computer!
His professional partner is former Strictly dancer, Katya Virshilas.