Let’s Dance the Night Away with Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis


source: www.pashakovavlev.co.uk used with permission from Pasha Kovalev [Image description: Promotional poster for Pasha Kovalev’s show “Let’s Dance the Night Away.” Pasha Kovalev wearing a tuxedo standing with one arm up and one leg extended to the side whilst holding Anya Garnis who’s resting back in Pasha’s arm and one leg up in the air. She’s wearing a white ballroom gown.]

As most people that know me will know I am a massive fan of Strictly Come Dancing, it really does light up my winters. And I’ve had a soft spot for Pasha ever since his first series on the show when he dressed up as Shrek for movie week. Something inside me thought “now that man is pretty awesome” although I’m not too sure what that says about me. And ever since I’ve enjoyed seeing his creative choreography, his pure joy at doing what he loves and the integrity with which he treats all his dance partners light up my tv screen every Saturday and Sunday night whilst Strictly is on.

This is my 5th year now seeing Pasha’s tour and year after year the shows just keep on getting better, which is a great feat in itself. For the past 3 years now Pasha has been touring with his long term dance partner Anya Garnis, who you might also recall from Strictly. And who is also such a genuinely lovely woman, with an incredible talent.

Let’s Dance the Night Away is a beautiful depiction of not only Pasha and Anya’s dance career and where it has taken them but also a celebration of a partnership and friendship that has spanned almost twenty years. And that is what I believe makes this couple so special and so captivating to watch. They are just so in tune with one another and dance so instinctively. It’s truly breathtaking.

Strictly fans will appreciate the inclusion of all their favourite ballroom and latin dances, brought to life by Pasha and Anya’s innovative choreography and storytelling skills. Supported by 4 other ballroom dancers and a great vocalist in Lisa Marie Holmes, who really help bring the story to life. And fans of Pasha himself will appreciate his humour, wit and the way his face lights up when he dances. As Marian Keyes would say “I love his little Pasha face.” As well as getting the opportunity to know a little bit more about him throughout the show and getting the chance to ask him your own questions in a question and answer session before the show. And if you’re really lucky you might even get the chance to get up on stage to dance with him and ahem really get up close and personal.

I loved that there were some dances in the show that you can interpret more if you have read Pasha’s autobiography but that still make sense if you haven’t. To be honest, knowing some of the meaning behind Stand by me and watching them dance with such beauty and tenderness made me well up. I think it was my favourite dance, although it’s hard to have a favourite when all of them evoke something, from being moved to tears to crying with belly clutching laughter.

Another personal favourite moment came in one of the vt’s where Anya explains what her advice to anyone wanting to make a career from dance is “to always believe that you are enough. Because you are and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Advice that I think is pertinent to every single person in the audience, whether they’re a budding dancer or not and advice that we all need to remind ourselves of from time to time. And strangely enough, I think it’s something that I really needed to hear that day. So thank you, Anya, for your sage advice.

After the show finished we were talking to the theatre manager who was singing Pasha’s praises saying how unaffected and down to earth he is and he’s absolutely right. Can you believe that Pasha even drives the whole cast to each venue? Knowing their story it’s so easy to think that both Pasha and Anya could have let it all go to their heads and yet they are still so humble and simply overjoyed that they have got to make a lasting career doing what they love and that by doing so they get to evoke emotion and memories in their audiences. Watching them dance is a real privilege and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I hope they continue to dance and create for many more years to come.

I would thoroughly recommend going to see the show to anyone that is a fan of Pasha, Strictly or a fan of dance. Even if you just want a genuinely good night out and a good giggle.

Good luck Pasha, Anya, Lisa Marie, Lisa, Florence, Gary, Aaron, Mike (and your teddy bear) and the rest of the crew (sorry I don’t know your names but as a former stage manager I appreciate you immensely) for the rest of the tour.

For more details of where Pasha and Anya are touring and to book tickets for the show visit www.pashakovalev.co.uk.

Or if you’ve seen the show let me know what you thought.


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