You have been part of the new Dancing With the Movies production. Tell us about that.
Oksana: I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the all new show Dancing With the Movies starring favorites from SYTYCD, DWTS, and American Idol. It’s a high energy and interactive concept show, which includes dancing of all styles to the most iconic movie soundtracks. I had a great time being involved with a lot of the creative process. My favorite part about Dancing With the Movies is I get to dance with some of the best professionals in the industry who just happen to be my best friends. My favorite partner is my husband Jonathan Platero (SYTYCD Season 5). Together we choreographed four numbers for the show (Dirty Dancing, The Matrix, Lion King and Ghost). We had a very successful first run, and we're getting ready to go on tour this summer!
We have seen you dance many times in shows like Ballroom With a Twist and the Holland America: DWTS At Sea Cruises. What are some of your favorite performances from those shows over the years? Were you a little sad to see DWTS At Sea come to an end?
Oksana: No matter what show I'm dancing in or what number I’m performing, my favorite time to be on stage is with my husband Jonathan. We've been very fortunate with opportunities to get to work together almost every time. DWTS at Sea is a dream job for us as partners. It always feels more like vacation than work. We get to travel to beautiful destinations, perform two shows a week, and also enjoy the perks of working on a cruise. Our latest contract with Holland American was bittersweet knowing it was coming to an end. We hope in the future Dancing With the Stars at Sea will be reborn with us being a part of it as well!
What about other projects? Have you been teaching, performing, training, working on new things, etc.?
Okasana: My friends and I are very proud and excited to announce the new project that we've been working on - "The Connection."
Seven dancers that are best friends, who have struggled to become the best in their respective industry, come together to bring joy, fulfillment and opportunity for the world to be a better place. They exude gratefulness, talent, persistence, love and devotion for movement, and have created a one of a kind, unique LIVE experience.
This dynamic team, is a thrilling combination of different styles, including Ballroom, Hip Hop, Salsa and partnering power tricks that will blow your mind. As a bonus, TV hit shows such as Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have had the opportunity for some of the members of The Connection to grace their stage as finalists and as choreographers.
Taking movement to the next level, each performance will leave you sitting at the edge of your seat and on your feet. Making an impact all over the world, The Connection is the hottest group to be taking audiences by storm, connecting visual, audio and stimulating the heart.
Tell us about how you ended up being a professional dancer. Perhaps share some of your background, training, how you became part of the troupe on DWTS beginning in Season 12, etc.
Oksana: My mom first took me to ballroom dance classes when I was six years old and from there I didn’t stop. I first fell in love with all the sparkles, costumes, makeup, and before I knew it, I couldn't imagine my life without dance. I’ve also had a very successful competitive career. Dancing is what first brought me to America. I was participating in different competitions around the world almost every weekend. Teaching and taking lessons, practicing every day with no vacation, and dedicating all my time was what I lived for.
The dance world is very small. My partner and I (were living in Boston at the time) got noticed quickly and were asked to come to LA and audition for DWTS. That audition led to one of the hardest decisions on my life. I was offered a spot on the show and my partner was not. I decided to take the job knowing that meant starting a new chapter in my life and leaving behind everything I ever knew. I believed that this would lead to opportunity and growth that was necessary to further my career. I found myself in a new city with a contract that only lasted 10 weeks. From there, I was left to figure out what was next. I have been very lucky to meet new people along the way whom now I can call my closest friends and business partners. The biggest blessing was meeting Jonathan. Together we found a new passion for choreographing and that is something that we really enjoy doing together. Our most recent choreography can be seen on shows such as SYTYCD, Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing With the Movies and also for the LA Clippers, just to name a few. We hope to continue doing what we love and inspire those around us. You never work a day in your life if you LOVE what you do!
As an artist, your passion is obviously dance. Are there any particular dancers who have inspired you over the years?
Oksana: Many people have inspired me on my journey. I feel like I can always learn something from everyone. Specifically I'm grateful to be able to learn from my two favorite coaches - Allan Tornsberg and Shirley Ballas.
What is the most challenging part of being a professional dancer?
Oksana: The challenge of being a professional dancer is that you don't always have a consistent job. Sometimes you're booked every single day and then you don't work for a while. Also you always have to take care of your body and be in top shape to be able to perform, because if you have injury you can't work and make money.
We have to ask this (since we’re a Tristan-based website, after all), but you’ve known Tristan a long time. Do you have any special memories of working with him?
Oksana: I have known Tristan for many years now. I first met him on DWTS, and we've worked together on BWAT as well. The thing I love about him the most is his humor. I've never seen the guy in the bad mood or being unhappy about something. He is one of the most positive people I know. And congratulations to him and his beautiful wife on their newborn baby.
What is on your schedule for the next few weeks or months?
Oksana: I'm very excited about the next couple of months because I love being busy. Jon and I are choreographing a few numbers for Cheryl Burkes' brand new show Love On the Floor. The show is going to Japan first, and I'm sure it's gonna be a great success, and hopefully she'll bring the show to the United States afterwards. Then our group, The Connection, is going to Canada to perform for Sidance Festival, and in the end of June Jon is starting to work on SYTYCD new generation as an All Star. I'm hoping to be able to choreograph on the show this season.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Oksana: To all the fans out there - thank you so much for being a part of my career. Everything I do is for you. Please vote for Jon this season on SYTYCD. It's gonna be a great season.
Social Media for Oksana
Social Media/Website for The Connection
The Connection Instagram https://www.instagram.com/theconnectionla