Fresh from finishing this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, the beautiful professional dancer Luba Mushtuk popped into Chrisanne Clover to chat about this year’s experience and exciting plans for 2019.
Luba Wearing dress BDD445NN
Luba grew up in St Petersburg, Russia and started dancing when she was just 4 years old, following in the footsteps of her older brother. At the age of 12 she decided to move to Italy and study under the current world champion at the time. From then on Italy and Russia became Luba’s home. It was the starting point of Luba’s dancing career, seeing her travel all over the world and become a star in her own right on the UK’s most loved TV show, Strictly Come Dancing.
Luba wears dress LDD966MM
How was your strictly experience?
It was incredible! It was my first time as a professional dancer on the show as for the past 2 years I have been behind the scenes. It has been so beautiful to actually be on the screen and to be on the floor with 17 other professionals who are just the most beautiful and inspiring dancers! I loved it, really, really loved it.
So you have been behind the scenes of Strictly for 2 years helping choreograph the routines?
Yes that’s right I have been working with the main choreographer Jason Gilkison, so I was his right arm choreographing all the beautiful group numbers over the last 2 years.
Wearing dress LDD336NN
Your cameo hairflicks videos with Neil Jones have been a huge hit on Instagram! What made you both come up with this idea?
How this started is… in the titles for Strictly there is this moment where myself, Johannes and Neil were dancing the smooth. The funniest thing - with my hair being blonde when I turned, it covered his eyes, but it never touched him! When it aired people watching it were like ‘ oh my god Luba is flicking her hair all over Neil!’, some comments from people were a bit passionate about this lol, so me and Neil sat down and were like let’s make a joke about this! So that’s how it started, and we had a lot of fun with it and everyone seemed to really love it! We kept getting messages from people expecting us to do it every Saturday – so that is what we did!
Do you have a favourite cameo?
I think the last one, polishing the glitter ball, has to be my favourite… lol
Do you think the right couple won strictly?
Absolutely! I think all 4 couples were incredibly talented and worked so hard for it! They all have become such great friends of mine and I think they all deserved to win. I always say it is not the winning of the trophy it is the journey, so for me the journey all 4 couples had was so unbelievable. To be on the show every Saturday with them all being so nervous was incredible! Even myself being a professional dancer, I get so nervous doing the group numbers! And doing something live is a lot of pressure. With Stacey who had never done any kind of performance before, I was so very pleased for her to win :)
Luba wearing the NEW 2019 Chrisanne Clover Dancewear Collection
How was the after show party?
The after show party was great! It was beautiful as all the team came together including people working the lights, cameras, wardrobe, hair, make-up …. and we finally had the time to chat, to have a drink, to have a dance and everyone was together, it was lovely :)
Do you all keep in touch?
Oh Yes! We even have a whatsApp group from 2016 of all the celebrities and professionals! Everyone likes to keep in touch and it is so beautiful when we have a live tour coming up (which we start in January), the celebrities from the previous shows will come and support us and the new celebrities. Once you are part of strictly, you will always be part of strictly! It is such a beautiful family and one I am so proud to be part of :)
Wearing the new Chrisanne Clover Dancewear Collection
What do you love about Strictly?
Definitely to be a professional and to share the stage with all the other professionals, it may sound cheesy but these professionals are such inspiring people who teach me something new every week. I just love having this opportunity to grow. Some dancers are amazing at contemporary, amazing at hip hop or incredible at argentine tango. I love learning all the new styles, it is amazing! It is also so fantastic to work with the best choreographers in the world, we have people coming from LA to choreograph the numbers as well as the best UK choreographers, it really is a privilege to work on the best show on television.
Luba dancing the Havana number on Strictly with Graziano and Johannes. Photo taken from Luba's Instagram
What were your strictly highlights this year with your performances?
It has to be the Havana group dance for the opening show with the 3 new professional dancers. I am so in love with cuba and I absolutely adored the whole number. I still remember the feeling of it as it was a real focus on the new professionals so I knew I would be in shot a lot! I couldn’t even sleep that night as I was so nervous and excited, lots of emotions all coming together! It was amazing and will hold a top place for me always :)
How do you feel now the show has come to an end?
I have mixed feelings! It has just been 3 days since the show finished and it already feels like it has been a month. I feel it has been such a long time since the final show! I really miss it because I was so busy with so many things to do: I had a schedule, a pick up call and now … I am not sure what to do with myself lol. I think I need a few days to figure it out! However Sunday was the best! I had a movie, I had a pizza and I had a glass of wine OMG it was the best time ever lol. So I am sad, happy... mixed emotions I am not sure how to process yet!
Do you know if you will be doing Strictly next year?
I would love that! However unfortunately none of us know until later in the year so we are kinda hoping and waiting for the phone call. I am keeping everything crossed :)
Dancing with Giovanni Pernice on stage. Photo taken from Luba's Instagram
What are your plans for 2019?
We have the Strictly live tour in January finishing the 10th February...
Will you be partnering a celebrity on the Strictly tour?
This is my third tour, I won’t have a celebrity partner but I am so proud to be part such of a big team!
After that the 23rd February will begin the Dance is Life tour finishing the 6th April. Then I will be dancing on a few cruises where I will be able to showcase Chrisanne Clover’s beautiful couture dresses :) I will also be taking part in a few Donahey events! These are incredible events where strictly dancers come and teach a lesson, lectures and showcase beautiful dances. Sometimes it is a 1 day event, sometimes 2, taking place in a beautiful hotel in a stunning location with a lovely dinner. There are a few more projects that are yet to be confirmed but overall a very exciting year ahead!
You are doing a show with Giovanni next year ‘Dance is Life’ can you tell me more about the show?
I’m doing the show “Dance is Life” with Giovanni which we originally did a year ago. It was our first show together and it went extremely well. We did a tour in the UK and Ireland. Last year we did Born to Win which went even better and this year 2019, we are coming back to Dance is Life. We will re-arrange the choreography to make it even better! It is going to be a 40 day show going straight into it after the Strictly Live Tour! We have 5 days to put it back together and make it polished with new costumes :) I am so excited to have Chrisanne Clover couture in my collection and I so cant wait to show it off to everyone!! Chrisanne Clover will be featured in the programmes so everyone can read more about Chrisanne Clover and the beautiful couture dresses that will be featured in the show! I am so super excited about that!
Dance is Life is a beautiful love story and is a 2 hour show with 2 acts. It is a pure Ballroom and Latin dancing show that will make you fall in love with dance… if you are not already :) Jason Gilkison choreographed the show just for us so the show really showcases our talents with Ballroom and Latin dancing, as these dances are really how we shine on the floor. You are sure to laugh and cry, there are a lot of emotions going on and you should defo come see it! It is on in London 13th March at the Shaw Theatre.
Dancing with Giovanni Pernice on stage. Photo taken from Luba's Instagram
Are the rumours true about you being Giovanni’s secret girlfriend?
Me and Giovanni have the most beautiful friendship, we are like brother and sister! But for some reason people really wish that we were a couple! Unfortunately, we are not dating, never dated and we are just really good friends. We have a special relationship and one that is priceless and I will always treasure.
We can’t wait to see more of Luba in 2019!
Watch Luba's behind the scenes photoshoot in our new dance wear coming soon HERE