Interview with Nadezda Vlasova and Nikita Malakhov on Dancing, Life and Fashion

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Nadezda and Nikita photographed in 2016. Photo by sayno2selfie. 
How did you start dancing?
Nadya: My parents were dancing for fun, that’s how they met. In elementary school, I started dancing as an after school activity, twice a week in St. Petersburg, Russia. After awhile it became more serious for me, I started taking private lessons. I was an extremely active kid, I liked anything to do with moving!
Nikita: I was six, my mom brought me to my firsrt dance class in Latvia where I was born. All I could remember for once it wasn’t something I couldn’t grasp right away, but it still intrigued me. Piano and Karate didn’t hold my attention, but dancing kind of stuck. Nobody danced in my family, but my mom had a passion for it, so she decided I was going to be the one that danced in the family. Ever since then, I never looked back. I continued dancing in Canada, then moved to the US. alone, where my career really kicked off.

How much do you practice?
Nadya: Depends how lazy we are! (laughs)
Nikita: Can’t give you an exact amount, but we definitely try to go for a few hours a day. One day off a week. That’s a safe bet.

How long have you been dancing together?
Nikita: 6 years.
Nadya: 5 and a half.
Nikita: This is one of those Mr. and Mrs. Smith moments…5 and a half, six years.

What has been your favorite competition or performance moment to date?
Nikita: That’s tough. It started at UK this past winter. It was our first UK as professionals and we worked our butts off and didn’t expect anything, and came out third in Rising Star. Was a super thrilling day overall, whenever we have a tough day or struggling at a practice, we always go back to that day. It was a real surprise and completely unexpected, but we just kept going and going. After they called our names for third we were both shaking during our bow!
Nadya: That was definitely a highlight of our career. There are also other competitions that we really like. Our first international competition together was Blackpool. That is the one competition we always try to attend. Among all of our struggles, changing apartments, travel restrictions, visas, we always try to go to Blackpool. Assen, the Dutch Open is also one we loved to attend. That competition has an amazing camp and atmosphere.

Whats your favorite dance?
Nadya: Rumba. I am more about drama, maybe not in life, but on the dance floor definitely (laughs).
Nikita: Nadya got it right, I am a pretty moody person, so I love Rumba as well. I like all of the dances, but for me it always come down to Samba. I like the rhythm, I like the different aspects of the dance. That’s my favorite. Depending on the day you like working on different things, but I always enjoy working on samba.

Whats your least favorite dance?
Nadya: I like all 5. No problems with any of the Latin dances, but I don’t really like merengue.
Nikita: I hate merengue! Its not dancing, its walking around. The music is very stagnant, and I cant handle it. Again, refer back to moody. I don’t have a problem with any of our dances, we are past that point. I believe any couple or dancer maybe hates one dance, and its most likely the ones they are worst at. However you learn to work on each dance and learn about each dance and your craft, and that hate sort of fades away and its about maintaining a balance out of all your dances which is hard. Jive can be hated because its last and by the time you get to it, your tired, everybody hates stamina practice. I don’t know any dancer that likes to practice their stamina.

What is your favorite thing to wear to practice?
Nadya: I have a ton of practicewear, all black (laughs). I have a problem wearing things that aren’t black… leggings, dresses, definitely a dress more than a skirt. It Makes me feel more dressed up....and of course my Miari practicewear! But definitely always black.
Nikita: They are always black! When you open the drawer, I don’t know how you find anything in there! For myself, its whatever it is that I feel comfortable in at the moment. Linen pants during summer time, competition pants, competition shoes, and very comfortable long sleeved cotton shirt. Otherwise there are days when I practice in my snapback and jeans! (laughs). On the days we are really going hard, I try to wear something similar to what I will be competing in.

What do you love to see a woman wear when she is dancing or practicing?
Nikita: For me, simplicity beats everything. When she is comfortable and wearing a long simple black dress, that’s always nice. When she is comfortable it makes me comfortable.

Do you think your clothing affects your practicing or competing?
Nadya: 100%. Sometimes I end up bringing 2-3 dresses with me, especially if it’s a long run through. It has to do with the shape of the skirt, shape of the for me. Some days I feel comfortable to wear something that shows more, and some days I want to cover all the way down.
Nikita: I preplan what I wear for the next day, sometimes if I want to work on something, I like to tie a shirt around my waist to have it fly around for the fun of it. I have a lot of long sweaters, everyone calls me grandpa because I have a million sweaters. (laughs).

Does Miari stand out to you from other brands you have worn before?
Nadya: I was very happy that I found something long. Most of the brands present short full skirts, or skirts with fringe. I was very happy to find that there were longer skirts, which is my style. For me, its all about the shape of the skirt. 

What clothing is missing in the industry for men?
Nikita: I almost have never bought anything off the rack, just because its so hard to find something that fits you just right. For me, pants are everything. The pants that I like are a bit old fashion, slightly tighter toward the bottom, have pleats, have pockets. Hard to find something like that in the store. Simplicity beats everything, and often times, there is is too much design going on.

If you could pick an item or color for the next Miari collection, what would it be?
Nadya: Something black
Nikita: Can you find a color darker than black? (laughs)
Nadya: A long open tunic with a tie belt that you can wear over anything…something to give extra movement. Possibly something black and white. I’m obsessed with these two colors right now.
Nikita: Simplicity always. 
 
Nadezda and Nikita in full competition mode!
Nadezda and friend and professional Latin dancer,
Anastasiya Danilova, both wearing Miari.

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