ONE of Strictly Come Dancing’s favourite professionals will dance the night away when he brings his solo tour to the Black Country.
Pasha Kovalev – who has got more 10s from the Strictly judges than any other dancer in the show’s history – will return to Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre with his latest tour on Sunday April 9.
Speaking to the News, the Russian said he cannot wait to perform his ‘Let’s Dance The Night Away’ 2017 outing in front of the “perfect” Midlands audience.
He said: “I can’t wait to get started. We begin in March and go through till the end of May – that’s 58 dates which is going to be long, but should be a lot of fun.
“I’ve been to Wolverhampton before on my previous tours and I absolutely loved it. It is a wonderful theatre and the audiences in the Midlands are incredible.
“They are the type of audience who aren’t afraid to show how they feel. It is the perfect audience for performers like me because they cheer, clap and laugh along and it always gives us the extra boost to perform at our best.
“This show is a completely new brilliant production and the story follows my life and my dance career.
“It goes from me learning to dance back in Russia as a young boy and how my career has taken me around the world, travelling to different countries and ending up in the UK. It has been quite a journey for me, but a wonderful one.
“The show will be packed full of dancing, as well as the beautiful costumes, lighting, and music; there will be something for all of the family to enjoy.
“We will have dedicated professional singers and all the dances people love from Strictly, a mix of ballroom and Latin, including fabulous foxtrots, sexy salsas, and fun jives and Charleston’s.
“I will also be inviting a member of the audience out to dance up on stage with me and I’ll also be joined by young dancers from local dance schools, so I can’t wait to perform with them.”
Once his tour is complete, Pasha is hoping to be back on our Saturday night screens with a return to Strictly Come Dancing, but the popular BBC show will this year be missing head judge Len Goodman who left at the end of the last series.
Pasha said: “I’m hoping I’ll be back on Strictly as it’s such a great thing to be part of but they haven’t decided if they want me back yet.
“I’ve not been told [who will replace Goodman] and I know a couple of my fellow professionals haven’t either as it’s all being done secretly, but I’m sure some people know something, but they don’t tell me!
“Whoever it will be has such a big role to fill, as we all love Len. They will have to be loveable, funny and knowledgeable.
“That is why I personally would like it to be Anton (du Beke). He’s a brilliant person to have around the show and we get on really well.”
If Pasha does indeed return for his seventh Strictly run, the 2014 winner hopes his 2017 partner is willing to learn and work hard so he can get the chance to lift the glitter ball trophy once again.
He added: “We never have a say who we would want to dance with, but my main criteria for a partner is that they are willing to work, put the hours into it, that they love dancing and really want to learn how to dance.
“One of the main difficulties with Strictly is that many of the celebrities have to do their regular jobs at the same time. I have known some people that only have two or three hours a week which they can spare to learn the routine, which is impossible.
“So hopefully I’ll be back this year and have a partner who really wants to learn.”
Pasha will also be reuniting with former Strictly dance partner and current girlfriend Rachel Riley as he appears on five episodes of her Channel 4 show Countdown between March 7 and 13.
“It’s such an iconic show in the UK, and was something that I couldn’t say no to,” he said. “But I was definitely out of my comfort zone.
“I think it was a bit like how the celebrities feel when they come onto Strictly, having to do something that is not normal to them.
“Numbers and letters aren’t my strong point and even though I was in Dictionary Corner and not a contestant, I still had to have a go at it, but it was good fun.”
Tickets to see Pasha at the Grand Theatre cost between £21.50 and £34.50 and are available from the box office by calling 01902 429212 or visiting www.grandtheatre.co.uk