They are the golden couple whose showdance performance at the World Dancesport Championships in Vienna on June 8 was so daringly complex—a miracle of explosive split-second timing and unfeasibly difficult lifts—that it felt otherworldly. Certainly, the audience had never seen anything like it, and neither had the judges, who promptly crowned Austrian Kathrin Menzinger and Ukrainian-born Vadim Garbuzov the winners of the ‘2015 World DanceSport Championship Showdance Latin’. Since then, they’ve taken on ambassadorial roles as the faces of Swarovski's dancesport campaign, #AllEyesOnYou—whatever you do, don’t miss the mesmerizing video.
We wanted to know what it takes to get to the top of the tree in the dance world, so we tracked down Kathrin and Vadim to find out. From what we heard, we don’t think we’ll be trying it any day soon…
Could you describe for our readers your typical training schedule?
We travel for two weeks each month, but no matter where we are, we train for four hours daily, with another hour of stretching or practicing another dance style. We also work with our personal trainer twice a week, focusing on muscle power and core stability. We’ve never had any gymnastics training, but over our years of experience on TV’s Dancing Stars and Let's Dance we’ve taught ourselves all kinds of tricks and lifts.
Do you stick to a typical athlete’s diet?
No, we don't follow a special diet, but we do know exactly what our bodies need: lots of low-fat proteins, good carbs and, of course, fruit and vegetables.
How about coming up with your own choreography—is this a future direction?
So far, we’ve created all our showdances ourselves—it's our big passion. Besides teaching, the dream for the future is to work as choreographers in stage and television, as well as dancesport.
Do you design your own costumes?
Yes, we do. What’s more, we’re very lucky, because Kathrin's mother has an atelier that makes dancesport costumes!
What do Swarovski crystals add to dance costumes: is positioning them on the fabric a science or an art?
Both. We believe that the crystals on our costumes must be placed strategically—this makes a huge difference by reflecting and throwing off the light in such a way that it maximizes the fluidity of our movements. We use Swarovski crystals to emphasize the parts of the body that we want to draw attention to—the arms, hips and even the back.
Do you plan your outfits for big competitions only when the choreography is finalized, or do they evolve over time?
For a new showdance we start with the theme and the music, then we think about the type of costume that will best suit the concept. It’s really important to only start on the detailed design once the choreography is pinned down, because a dress can complicate special tricks or lifts.
Do you ever take a break and just chill out and eat chocolate?
Yes, two weeks of complete relaxation every year—which includes doing nothing at all and eating whatever we want!