Artem Plakhotnyi Inna Berlizyeva

This is a problem when we interview couples who are also together in private life!

[Inna]: (laughing) Definitely he has several good qualities. I think Artem is a very smart dancer, he will not do anything without thinking about it first, without planning how to do it. I guess he doesn’t like to make mistakes and that’s why he is really thinking how to do things. He needs to find a reason why to do it. It can be related to competitions, to practise, to private lessons, to teaching… this is his strongest point.

What is the weakest point, his or hers biggest fault?

[Inna]: Well, I am not sure if this is bad because this is who he really is but sometimes Artem appears to be living for the moment. If there is something he wants, he wants to do it now. He might not think of consequences. I know I said before that he plans everything and likes to think of everything but it could be just for this moment. He doesn’t think of if he does it now it may cause some problems in 10 minutes. I would probably want Artem to think a little bit further ahead.

[Artem]: I think that while I am thinking and planning my movements in dancing, Inna is actually not thinking ahead there. She is doing it right away without thinking. I think changing that will help her improve herself a bit.

[Inna]: But we can have one brain there! You can think it all and I can just follow

[Artem]: Actually, maybe it is good combination! (laughing). In private life, she needs to separate business from private life. As I said, she really is business oriented which is great but sometimes she gets into it too much and she forgets of what is happening around.

[Inna]: I can see that. A lot of times I think about our dance studio. We have our dance career, we do Pro/Am. We are responsible for a lot of things. When you have some much responsibility and you are a responsible person you want to make sure you fulfil that. So a lot of times when I come home, instead of relaxing and taking time off, I keep on thinking of how many thing I need to do or what is happening…

[Artem]: So she cannot go with me to play tennis or watch a movie. I like watching movies so a lot of times I go by myself.

Is this because she likes different movies or she doesn’t have time?

[Inna]: That’s interesting too! Artem, right now, may say she doesn’t go because she is busy making dresses or doing something but there may be another reason. When we first got together he liked the same movies as I liked. But at this moment he only likes action movies!

You mentioned your crazy travel schedule. Do you travel a lot?

[Inna]: So far UK Open is our second travel to England. Previously we were not able to travel internationally because we were waiting for the green card. Now we are free to go. However, even when we were not able to go abroad we travelled a lot in United Stated. We attended lots of competitions, we travelled every week. We take our prime students with us and that makes weekends really long as we then dance every day in Pro/Am and then Professional. We do not have teachers in Scottsdale where we live so we also have to travel for our lessons.



What was the most exotic place you travelled to?

[Artem]: It is my second time in England. I’ve just been to England once previously, and it was last year for the International. For me England is very unusual, you can say exotic. The competitions and the atmosphere is so great I am just so in love with this place at the moment. I want to come back here and dance here more and more.

So you have not been to Blackpool yet?

[Artem]: No, never ever.

[Inna]: I have been to Blackpool with my previous partner. And I danced in England before. It is very nice to be back.

Will you be dancing Rising Stars in Blackpool as well?

[Inna]: Yes. We have long preparations ahead

[Artem]: We go home day after tomorrow and we have already started planning how to achieve the same results in Blackpool!

Some Professionals say that it is impossible to compete and teach at the same time. What do you think?

[Artem]: I would say it is very hard. Normally, we do not have days off as we have our Pro/Am students. Here in England we have one day off and can relax. Tomorrow we have a day off and I will play soccer, sorry, football match. Every day we have ten to twelve hours of teaching and then we practise. Sometimes it is one o’clock in the morning when we finish our practice.

So when do you have time for golf and video games?!

[Artem]: It is usually Monday morning when you fly back from competition and you have six hours free time. I usually take this time for myself and go fishing, golfing…

Fishing as well?

[Artem]: I like fishing as well, I like Nature, I like to be outside and breathe fresh air!

[Inna]: We like to ski as well, only once a year unfortunately. It would be nice to have more free time… We teach and dance and it is extremely difficult. But, in some ways, it helps you. When you teach somebody else you can see what mistakes they do. You have better understanding of how things work. A lot of times your own coach is telling you things and you just cannot get it. But then you teach your own students and you can see they are making the same mistakes. You fix these mistakes for them and you are really fixing them for yourself as well.

[Artem]: You definitely start to understand more by coaching somebody and seeing how they are changing. This understanding can help you change for the better as well.



When you teach others do you concentrate more on technical aspect or artistic aspect?

[Inna]: Depends…

[Artem]: Inna is one of the most artistic people I know, while I am more technical. I try to make things work by concentrating on the technique.

[Inna]: I can say that Artem is very technical. When I look at my students I try to establish what they need. Some couples may need more technical base, some couples need more musical awareness, some people need to improve their artistic side. A lot of times I teach girls who compete in Pro/Am with Artem. They need styling, they need manners, they need to feel the real dancers. This is what I try to provide for them, while Artem is concentrating on technique with them. When we were young our coach taught us how to behave on the floor, how the boy needs to lead the girl to the floor, present her, how to behave like a lady and so on. I think some people really need to be shown that because they don’t know any of that, especially the new students who come to the studio.

[Artem]: I can always see when my student had a lesson with Inna! I can see the head up, chin forward, arms to the side…

It looks like it is best for a couple to have both of you as teachers!

[Inna]: Absolutely! I think it is important that they do not have just one teacher but it is very good to have at least two, the male and the female teacher. They look at you from different perspective. As a dancer, you want to develop all aspects, all sides, not just one quality but all of them.

Do you go to different teachers, do you have many coaches?

[Inna]: We do not have many coaches but we have a few which we stick to. They help us learn different things and develop in full.

[Artem]: We also take responsibility of developing ourselves. Sometimes you are your best coach. We record almost every competition and as soon as we are back home we watch our performance. We watch many times and we try to see what needs to be changed in technique, what needs to be changed in our look, how we present ourselves on the floor and off the floor. We analyse how we do this and that line, we analyse our stamina from round to round. Then we go and practise and try to implement what we decided to change.

[Inna]: When you compete you have certain feelings. Sometimes the feelings are great but you don’t know how it looks. You may not look as great as you think. Sometimes you feel bad but everybody complements you and they say: wow, you looked great tonight. So, we try to compare the feelings with how we looked by watching and analysing these videos.

[Artem]: What we want to achieve is to look good and feel good!