We’re going to start it off with asking you each a few things about Season 16. There were so many great performances. What was your favorite dance by any of the Season 16 teams and why?
Sasha: My favorite was Derek and Kellie’s Freestyle. It was just amazing to watch and the emotion and feeling they had in each movement was very challenging. Great job for both of them.
Emma: I adored Kellie Pickler’s freestyle with Derek Hough! That may have led her to win the mirror ball; it was so touching. Earlier on in the season I also loved Zendaya’s Argentine Tango with Val, the sultry Sherlock Holmes style one with the diamonds. They performed that dance along with Val’s brother Maks and my beautiful friend Anna Trebunskaya who is the perfect dancer. Jacoby did a wicked Jive too with Karina, where he first jumped over her head (there were quite a few in the end!) I loved that one too. Too many dances to even mention, it was a good season for inventive dances.
What (or who) do you think was the biggest surprise of Season 16 overall?
Sasha: I think the biggest surprise was Andy Dick. He really gave it his all, and he was a great character for the show.
Emma: Andy Dick really did start off the season kind of self-conscious and nervous of performing every week a new, difficult dance style, but like a light switch he did a total 180 and couldn’t get enough of performing! He would be bouncing around backstage with this massive huge smile on his face, chatting to everyone, practicing , taking photos. Everyone backstage was like, “boy, he’s really loving it here!” I think DWTS got it totally right having Andy Dick on the show; he couldn’t have been more entertaining. But he took a few weeks for it all to sink in for him. He should be proud. J I love Andy!
Both of you were involved in so many dances this season, and it was wonderful seeing you so frequently. Which was your favorite?
Sasha: My favorite was the Monday opening number on the final episode - the one Emma and I choreographed. It was so much fun. It was only three couples, and we were on the dance floor for two minutes with no artist - just us dancing was great.
Emma: Well the opening of the Finale was pretty special for us as we got to choreograph it, so it wasbrilliant to see it all come together in the camera blocking, and actually see it on the screen. Sasha and Jonathon Platero got to fly up out of these toasters so naturally they loved it! I think it was a competition as to who could go higher! I loved performing in all the ‘Len’s Side-By-Side Challenge’ dances. I got to dance for three couples who remained in the competition as part of their number. I danced with Tony Dovolani for Kym and Ingo’s Cha Cha, Sasha for Andy & Sharna’s Paso and I danced a Viennese Waltz in Victor and Lindsay’s number with our very own Tristan MacManus ;) I gotta say, I’ve danced the Viennese Waltz with Tristan a few times now, and it’s a favourite of mine. I was really happy with all three of those dances, it was a good week for me.
We were happy to see that you choreographed quite a bit this season. Which numbers did you choreograph either individually or together?
Sasha: We did do a lot. We did all the bumpers that we danced in. Separately I did the Stevie Wonder opening and together we did prom week to Huey Lewis and the News, and the opening for “Ready To Go”. Emma choreographed to Olly Murs and Icona Pop, so together we did a lot of numbers this season.
Emma: I was happy too!! The first week we danced, I was asked to choreograph for Icona Pop, that ultra funky new Swedish pop group that took over with their song “I Don’t Care.” We did an all girls neon slightly futuristic look. I had such good memories of it and the performance actually made quite a few headlines the next day for being their breakthrough performance in the U.S., and I was told that after that they went on to be in the iTunes top ten downloaded song in the U.S.! I was very pleased for them. Huey Lewis and the News was Week 3, and Sasha and I choreographed together for this one. We had a few more outside dancers to build the number up and it was prom theme so we based it on a very American High School dance feel. Love being a part of all the costume designs too. Olly Murs was my next one - we opened the Tuesday results show with his performance of “Troublemaker.” He’s an ace guy - I loved him to bits! I was very pleased with that one, and his team was so complimentary to me. It’s wonderful to hear that an artist likes your work! Then Sash and I had the Finale opening number. We used dancers from the show who were also a part of the upcoming DWTS At Sea official cruise (that Sash and I are also a part of!) It was so much fun, I loved the music we got, and I was so pleased with the finished product.
Tell us about the commercial bumpers. Those were great fun for the viewers, and we imagine you had a great time doing them! What kind of preparation is involved, and are the bumpers as much fun as they look?
Sasha: A lot is involved and Emma and I choreographed all the ones we were in. It’s a lot of fun and great exposure for us.
Emma: Yes bumpers are much fun! We can really be cheeky! We had about 3 each every week and it’s sometimes hard getting together with the other dancers to block it all! There’s so many! It’s so much fun though and they really add something to the show. It does mean we have to choreograph every week and arrange a time when we can all rehearse together. We get very little time before the show to camera block them as there is not an awful lot of time but because of the nature of them, its best to just run with it and react off the camera whenever you see it!
Your involvement in Len’s side-by-side challenges was delightful to see, and we heard many positive comments from our site members. Please share with us that experience, the rehearsals, and how the dances came together. You were both amazing!
Sasha: Thank you very much. We had so much fun, I was in two of them - with D.L. and Cheryl and Andy and Sharna. That’s also a great idea for the show and gives us a great input into the dance.
I had a lot of comments about it, and all positive. J I love working as a team and that’s what it is all about.
Emma: Thank you very much. I’m glad it came across positive. I was especially very happy with being involved so much that week as I’ve never really had a spotlight like that on the show. I kind of wanted just to say hi and let people know there was a British girl called Emma on the show (you can easily get lost on the show if you have blonde hair! Haha). Tony and I were the first people to rehearse our bits and it went by in about 10 minutes - it just happened naturally together. We loved it. Tony’s a great guy. Tristan and I also choreographed the Viennese Waltz with ease too if I remember correctly - the music was a favorite of his, and it seemed to piece together very naturally. The Viennese Waltz can be a very emotional dance if you want it to be. And then Sasha and I were in the studio for hours and hours trying to perfect our little Paso Doble piece!! Haha! It took forever for us to be happy with it. But that tends to be the way with Sash and I. We were both very happy with it in the end.
We didn’t get to see you in the Trio Dances this season, but we are curious about something. If you could have danced in a Trio Dance with any of the couples this season, which one would you choose and what style dance would you like to see performed?
Sasha: I would have to say Derek and Kellie’s Trio. I thought Tristan did a great job with them and the number looked amazing. But to me that was my favorite TRIO.
***Now to make it interesting – assuming Dorothy and Tristan had been able to continue in the competition until Trio Dance Week, and you were the pro they selected, which dance would you have liked to dance with them?
Sasha: I would have loved to dance a Foxtrot with them. I think Dorothy is such an elegant lady and that is what Foxtrot is all about - gliding along that floor with style .
Emma: I would say Tango actually. Tristan can be a man ‘belonging’ to Dorothy. I would be watching them dance. Then I would be the bad one and try to seduce him but Dorothy would have none of it, and it would turn into a three person tango! Dorothy would obviously end up with Tristan!
***Same with the Side By Side Challenge – If Dorothy and Tristan were still in the competition and you, Sasha and Emma, were dancing alongside them, which style dance would you have liked to do?
Sasha: Would have to say the Rumba.
Emma: If it were Sasha and I dancing with Tristan and Dorothy, I think then maybe a Jive. It could be really playful, that’s very Dorothy. And Tristan and Sasha together are just hilarious - they are non-stop with the jokes, so I just see something fun if we would have done the Side-By-Side Challenge with them.
Sasha, seeing you step onto the dance floor with Kristi Yamaguchi brought tears to our eyes. What was that like?
Sasha: That was an amazing feeling. Kristie is so much fun, and such a great dancer, and being a part of that was great. And I know how important it was to Dorothy to dance alongside her. I just wished Tristan could have danced that. I know how much it meant to him.
We are looking forward to your appearances in Pensacola and then on the DWTS Cruises for Holland America Line. What is the preparation like for these appearances? Emma, you were on one of the DWTS cruises a few months ago. Is there a substantial amount of rehearsal time involved?
Sasha: A lot of time and practice goes into all the shows as you want to look and dance your best.
Emma: Actually the cruise is a condensed version of our Las Vegas DWTS show. All the group numbers and special solos are still in the cruise - it just has less talking so all the dancing is packed together and after an hour you’re pretty out of breath! So all the dancers on the cruise have already been involved in the Las Vegas show so we knew all the dances already. We did however need 3 days of rehearsal prior to the cruise last January just because it had been 6/7 months since Vegas and we had to run the new ship schedule so that we could make sure we made all the dress changes in time and it ran smoothly! On the ship though we had lots of free time, it was magnificent!
DWTS has announced the elimination of the Tuesday Results Show for Season 17. In what way do you think that will help (or hurt) the show?
Sasha: I think it will be really good for the show; it’s the best all in one.
Emma: I feel it was a good decision made for the benefit of the audience who now no longer has to spread their DWTS hours over two days and three hours. So I think condensing it into one night, two hours will pick up the energy and be more engaging for the viewers. It will really pack a punch and people won’t have to wait a day to get the results. It also gives the dancers one more day of rehearsals with the celebs. Although there will be ultimately less hours a week of the show, the idea is to mix the Tuesday show in with the Monday show, so there will still be massive explosive numbers on the Monday show and artists performances, amazing dance pieces and other interesting packages as well as the celebrity competition. So our job as dancers doesn’t really become too impacted. So all in all I think it will probably boost the ratings as all the DWTS viewers will be tuning in to a very action packed two hour Monday show.
If you could make one change on DWTS, what would it be? (It could be anything – celebrities, format, dance styles, etc.)
Sasha: I would change nothing. It is a great show, and I think keep doing what you have been doing.
One change would be to make me and Emma pros. lol
Emma: That’s such an interesting question. I think one change for me might be to include a guest judge every week on the show. This could be former celebrity, dance critic, dance icon, choreographer or even just a big personality who is a dance fanatic! Maybe also I would look into changing the venue for the finale to an arena type location where we could make the set huge and wildly decorated. I would also do a DWTS tour after the show is done, I don’t know why they don’t do that anymore!
This season we saw some special dances in Week 9 – Afro-Jazz, Flamenco, Charleston, Lindy Hop, and Hip Hop (with Disco as the dance Sean and Peta would have done had they not been eliminated). If you could choose to do any one of these with a celebrity partner on DWTS, which would it be?
Sasha: I would choose Lindy Hop. I love it and have had a lot of experience with it.
Emma: I think Charleston. It’s so stylized. I like that era, and it’s very very cheeky, The duet Charlestons are great and really make an impact just because there’s heaps of fun chemistry between the two dancers. I think Kym and Ingo did a brilliant job with their Charleston. Great ending too with the big champagne bottle.
We are all looking forward to your website launch which will be coming soon. Do you have any particular goals or expectations for it?
Sasha: Not really. I can’t wait for everyone to see it!
Emma: Actually Sasha showed me the preview of it today and I’m pretty gob smacked! It’s so detailed and absolutely perfect! Just beautiful. I got very excited looking at it. I’m pretty happy to have a place I can blog to and tell people to look at - I’m so grateful and proud of it already! To everyone who was involved in making it for us, thank you so much. It means so much to us. We are excited to be some of the only dancers in the show with a stunning professional website made by the wonderful people who support us. So thank you.
Finally, in our most recent interview with Tristan, we asked him who is the biggest prankster on DWTS. His answer? “Farbs.” Is it true? :)
Sasha: Tristan and I have a lot of fun and we have known each other for more than 12 years. He is also a prankster.
Emma: YES. Can’t really add to that. You can’t stop being the person you’ve been all your life, and Sasha Farber is a prankster! This house is mad when the two of them are together.
Thanks, Emma and Sasha. As always, this was a real treat for us.
Thank you lovelies. Have a wonderful summer. It’s nice to have a break after the show and just relax. t=This season has been a lot more pressure and man hours than the other seasons we have done but we think it was fully worth it and now we going to relax for a week before we start work again. We have a show in Pensacola, Florida on June 15th at the Saenger Theatre at 7 pm. Also performing at this show are Tristan, Karina Smirnoff, Val Chmerkovskiy & Tony Dovolani. Tickets can be bought at ticketmaster.com.
Also we will both be on the Holland-America Cruises Dancing with the Stars: At Sea along with Tristan, Kym Johnson, Mark Ballas and Chelsie Hightower. You can see all the details on the Holland-America website. :) [http://www.hollandamerica.com/pageByName/Simple.action?requestPage=DWTS]
Thanks for your questions, come visit us on www.sasha-emma.com soon!!! [site will be launched in a few days]