Sasha and Emma are two of the kindest, most fan-friendly people we could ever hope to meet, and they very kindly agreed to a special “he said, she said” interview with us. We asked both Sasha and Emma the same questions, and here you get to see another side to the extraordinary performers, choreographers, and artists that we see each week on Dancing With the Stars. Be sure to follow them both on Twitter: @SashaFarber @EmmaSlaterDance
***It is the DWTS off-season and we miss seeing you dance! Tell us a little of what you have planned for the next couple of months.
Sasha: Well, we are going to spend Christmas and New Year here in Los Angeles and relax and unwind. And in January, we start touring the USA doing demonstrations and shows.
Emma: It’s really panned out well over the next few months as Sasha and I have a solid few months of dancing. After the show finished it was kind of a mad rush to be honest! (We moved house 2 days after the season then flew to England to see my family which was fab.) We will spend the Christmas/New Year period here in LA where we start rehearsals for a show called Ballroom with a Twist which is touring the US constantly. We have dates with them all through January and February so I’m really excited about doing that because I adore performing onstage. Also in this break, we are also performing our own demonstrations in a series of shows involving some more of the DWTS pros over 4 weekends in Jan. It’s always fun working in a group of people from the show and I get to see a little more of the US. Also in February for me is the official ‘Dancing with the Stars Cruise’ in the Caribbean! I was over the moon when they told me! I’ve never been so I’m very happy about that one, plus I have a lot of good friends from DWTS Live in Las Vegas who are also doing the cruise.
***Season 15 was a season of All Stars, but it was also a season with a new judging system, new dances, and new themes. What are your favorite memories from the All-Stars?
Sasha: Season 15 was amazing. There were so many great memories; one of mine was doing the trio with Apolo and Karina. Working with those two was so much fun, and Karina is such an amazing dancer and character. It was a dream come true. And another memorable moment was choreographing with Emma Slater to Taylor Swift. Really had to pinch myself for that one. :)
Emma: The Allstars seemed to me like it had no limits in terms of production. I was pretty amazed at the effort involved in creating unique looks and concepts for every single dance. I think my favorite week in general was the week where the celebrities choose the theme, concepts and ideas for the dance. Gilles got to fly, Maks drove a Union Jack Mini Cooper into the studio (I was very jealous) and Emmitt and Cheryl had a donkey in their number! That was a super interesting week. So I have to congratulate DWTS for pushing the boat out even further than last season. There are often some good moments in the show that sadly you won’t see because they are in the dress rehearsals. One of the moments I remember was when 4 of the couples did a group dance to “Call Me Maybe” for the first time, in week 5. In the dress run when we first saw it, Sabrina got stuck in the prop locker towards the end of the dance and she didn’t come out at all until the whole thing finished. It was quite funny! I have to add though that Joey Fatone in general was one of the best things about the Allstars, he was priceless.
***Sasha, tell us about working with Tristan and Pamela in their finale dance. We hope you had as much fun dancing as we had watching!
It’s always a pleasure working with Tristan, he is such a talented dancers and his idea really came across on TV. He always does a great job and our rehearsals were fun. What can I say working in the same room as Pamela Anderson, can’t be all that bad can it! That number that Tristan did was a lot of fun, and everyone loved it, Pamela did an awesome job, and I would have loved to see them more in the competition.
Emma, tell us about the intro to Apolo and Karina’s Foxtrot - The makeup, the positioning, everything! How did it happen and how did the concept even originate?
I think it may have been Apolos’s idea! Karina was a Roman statue also, only she said there’s no way we’d get a paint brush near her so we gave up on that! Plus she would have got it all over his suit when they danced too. But Oksana and I were dressed in special roman toga costumes with thick rubber head caps made to look like statue hair. There was so much work involved in that it was the longest time I’ve ever been in the make-up trailer for sure. They coated Oksana and I once and it wasn’t white enough on camera. So someone had to go out of the studios and buy a thick white paint make-up. Then after another 2 coats it still wasn’t totally white so they got the spray gun out! … I was still finding it in my ears 2 days after! And it really sticks to your eyebrows and eye lashes. The next week I told them I wanted 4 coats of spray tan on! But I was so happy doing it because I love being a character and having a specific idea behind each performance, no matter what I’m portraying. I loved figuring out my statue poses, it’s the actress in me trying to get out!
***Here is our “I wish” question. If you had been partnered with a celebrity in Season 15, which of the celebrities would you have liked to have as your partner? Why? Looking ahead, who is your “dream celebrity partner”?
Sasha: I would of loved to dance with Shawn. She is a great character and such a nice person. That girl has so much heart and determination it really is great to watch her dance. I guess my dream partner would be someone who wants to learn. That's all I need. :)
Emma: I’m going to say Apolo. Karina got into some really advanced technique with him, and you could see him constantly processing the information. And if not for the fact that he tried his absolute best all the time then probably because I would be hanging around backstage with Karina and him a lot and we would always end up having a laugh. They had a good relationship with each together and I adore people who can have fun and look on the bright side of things.
My dream celebrity partner?? RYAN GOSLING!!!! :P I would love to become a professional on the show, it’s a goal of mine. I would like to add an English injection in there! I will have to keep pestering DWTS, and I’ll put in my request for Ryan Gosling!!
***Of all the themes you’ve seen on DWTS during your seasons on the show, which would you most like to choreograph and use in a performance?
Sasha: My favorite so far was the Michael Jackson theme I have always looked up to him and he is a dance Icon.
Emma: Well I loved the screen idea that Ricki Lake & Derek used in their Tango for Season 14. I’ve wanted to use that one since! But I love pretty much most of his stuff, he’s super at choreography. There are a couple of ideas I’ve thought up recently but I if could recycle other ideas used in previous seasons one of them would probably be when Maks and Kirstie Alley did a Charleston and Kirstie came out of a big cake! I think Maks was a chef! I loved that idea and it really suited the Charleston. I also really liked Cheryl’s trio dance from season 14 when she danced with William Levy. She had Paso Doble. Tony Dovolani and William played bad guy and good guy trying to win the girl and it came off really well. The music was perfect.
***You were in many dances in Season 15. What is your favorite? Thinking back further, what is your favorite performance overall since you’ve been on DWTS?
Sasha: My favorites were the Sugarland performance in season 14, where I danced with all the girls :) and the trio with Apolo and Karina.
Emma: I really adored being Little Red Riding Hood in Episode 2 of the Allstars season. It was a fairy tale classy rumba piece, with lots of red fabric! Rumba is one of my favorites. I think that would have to be my favourite. Another number I really enjoyed was the one in fusion week. The number was to the song We Run the Night and it totally appealed to me because it had a crazy fierce energy to it and I like dancing powerful, dynamic type dances. Kind of sexy!
***Speaking as a choreographer, what is the most difficult number you’ve ever created? Similarly, as a dancer, what is the most difficult number you’ve ever performed? (either on DWTS or elsewhere)
Sasha: I can’t say that there was a difficult number yet , because it is what I love to do and there have been so many. Finding a story of something that can’t be done in real life, something that is a fantasy, being someone or something and portraying it through the art of dance, telling a story through dance - dance is the worldwide language that is spoken around the world. So it’s about making the story clear for the viewers and taking them on a ride they will never forget, making sure that everytime the viewers hear the same song all they can think of is my choreography.
Emma: I assisted in the choreography for Usher’s performance of Scream at the American Billboard Awards this year and although that wasn’t too difficult, we had to choreograph it without either Usher or his female partner being there. Plus he had to sing live so the duet couldn’t hinder his singing either. But I was very glad to do it. The most difficult number I’ve performed was actually a number on Burn the Floor, a Ballroom and Latin show previously on Broadway. There’s a number in the show where a girl gets blindfolded and dances rumba with 6 men. It’s very real though, and you honestly can’t see a thing. I had to rely solely on the men leading me and taking me carefully. It’s sometimes very scary as the connections differ from boy to boy. You have to adjust super fast.
***Both of you have built up quite the fan base and an amazing support system since you’ve been on Dancing With the Stars and you both have many ardent supporters even within our website. Here’s your chance to say a little something to your fans!
Sasha: I am just so happy and over whelmed with all the support I have been getting, and I will continue to make all my fans proud and never ever stop learning. Thank you so much for all the support and comments I read and appreciate every single one of them. And if there are any question you want me to answer please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org [we will forward your questions to Sasha], and I will answer them for you. I hope all my fans have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope I can make you all proud next season, if DWTS WILL HAVE ME BACK! :)
Happy holidays everyone
Follow me on twitter @sashafarber
Emma: I want to thank everyone who has ever supported me and my career, it makes a huge difference to me. I appreciate it so much. I enjoy going on Twitter because of you! I feel very lucky; without the following and support of you lovely people, there would be no way for performers like myself to progress in an industry that relies so much on fanbase. So thank you sooooooooo much! And I would just like to add that I was lucky enough to do an interview for Macmaniacs.org during the last season of DWTS and I was overwhelmed with the amount of lovely responses I received. So particularly to Macmaniacs.org, thank you!
Hope you all enjoy the Holidays and a Happy New Year! xxxxx
Thanks to Sasha and Emma for taking time during their holidays to answer these questions. They are truly lovely, generous people, and DWTS is fortunate to have them!