Luba Mushtuk is one of the popular new professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing that adorned our screens in 2018. Russian native Luba is the 4x winner of the Italian Dance Championships and Italian Open Latin Show Dance. She has travelled the world dancing on tour with the renowned theatre production Burn the Floor, and has performed with Giovanni Pernice and The Cliftons on stage across the UK. With so much to look forward to in 2019 here is a little insight into the Russian beauty...
When did you start dancing? What age did your start?
I started dancing when I was 4 years old. I was already doing competitions because my brother was a dancer and he would teach me at home.
Were you partners with your brother?
No no no my brother is 10 years older than me lol he would just teach me the moves. I was partners with another boy who was actually 7 years old. He was so embarrassed that I was 4 and he would say ‘just don’t tell anyone that you are 4 it's too young’ haha
Were you partners for a long time?
Ummm no not really I changed a lot of partners, especially when I became a bit older as I was quite tall for my age and I started growing taller than my partners!
Did you dance both Ballroom and Latin?
Yes I danced 10 dance for a long time, and then obviously when you become a serious professional in your dancing career you have to choose one or the other as financially it is very difficult to do the dresses, shoes and lessons for both. So I followed my heart and chose to focus on Latin.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in St Petersburg, Russia. But at the age of 12 I decided I really wanted to be trained by Caterina Arzenton who was the World Champion in Italy at that time, and I went to Italy to study with them. So I kind’ve grew up in Russia and Italy – both are my homes :)
Are you a dancing family?
No lol my mum was a doctor and my dad worked in technology so it was just my brother who got me into dancing :)
What is your favourite dance?
I usually always say it is the Rumba for the simple reason that it is such a womanly dance, because I am very long and very tall I have time to show all of my beauty haha ;) But I do absolutely love the Rumba as it is so passionate, so emotional and alot of drama, I just love it! In Ballroom I would say the Tango because again it has a lot of passion and character.
You toured with Burn the Floor before Strictly Come Dancing – how did you get into that?
Burn the floor was always in the back of my mind even when I was competing, I was a big fan of Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby when they were dancing competitively. I would watch all of their dancing videos and showcases, and because I knew he was doing the show I was so curious to see it. When I first saw it I fell absolutely in love and I said to myself ‘one day I am going to do this’! The time then came and I spoke to my dance partner at the time and said ‘that’s it, it’s time for Burn the Floor let’s go!’ and that was it! Usually when I have something in my head to do something – I will do it, no matter what it takes. Sooner or later it will happen lol!
Who are your dress aspirations?
Chrisanne Clover! I absolutely love Chrisanne Clover dresses, every single dress that is on the dance floor is a work of art. When I was at the Internationals I could tell on the dancefloor what dresses were Chrisanne Clover dresses! You can see it from so far away because of the high quality and the crystal embellishment shines like no other.
Espen Salberg is also my huge inspiration! I am his biggest fan! He sent me a few dresses this season and I was so in awe with how stunning these dresses looked! It is incredible what he does, his dresses are all works of art and I love them so much!
What would you say is your dress style?
For me it has to be less is more. It has to be simple, elegant and beautiful! I love beads and crystals but for me it is not about how many crystals are on a dress it is about how they are placed. Even a dress with no crystals can look like a million dollars. So for me less is more and as elegant as possible :)
Luba wears Latin dress LDD336NN >
Are there any particular colours that you are drawn to?
My favourite colour is black forever and always! I also love red. But black is the classiest of colours especially when crystallized it just looks amazing!
Do you have any advice to young dancers?
My Mum always says the best advice is to not give advice lol! But if I should it would be to keep going and follow your dreams no matter what anyone says, because if you feel it is what you should be doing then you definitely should be doing it. And, to keep working very very hard because one day you will look back and see that it was all worth it!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Eating! I love eating! Lol
What is your favourite food?
I love Japanese! But also because I grew up in Italy I am a big fan of pizza and pasta! I really love cooking and making a lot of dishes! I think when I cook I find it helps relax me so when I have spare time I buy alot of food and just start cooking everything!
What is your favourite music?
Actually right now I am going through all the albums of Michael Buble! He was on Strictly and he was such the sweetest, nicest guy and after meeting him on the show I am now a really big fan! Dancing for Andrea Bocelli on the show was amazing he has such a beautiful voice and I just adore his music so he is also on my playlist :) But I love all music from jazz to classic, it really depends on my mood and how I feel that day!
Luba wears dress BDD445NN >
What is your favourite film?
A classic would be Sleepless in Seatle I love that film! Or the Pursuit of Happiness, such a beautiful movie I cried my eyes out!
What is the most recent boxset you have watched?
The Sinner and Orange is the New Black!
What would be your one item of makeup you could not live without?
Mascara for sure!
Where do you love to shop?
Wow ummm well I am a shoe person, I am a bit crazy on shoes! For me the most important thing would be shoes and bags! To buy myself a present will always be a pair of beautiful shoes! My favourite shop would have to be Selfridges. I love Selfridges it has everything there that’s super high quality!
What would your career be if it wasn’t dancing?
I would be a model. I used to model in Italy when I was younger :)
If you want something, fight for it :)
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