Strictly’s Pasha Kovalev and Aljaz Skorjanec on why they prefer dancing on stage to TV: ‘The reaction is instant’

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Pasha Kovalev and Aljaž Škorjanec have opened up about hitting the stage for the first time in almost two years as their dance show Here Come The Boys returns to London's West End.

Pasha, 41, and Aljaž, 31, are teaming up with their Strictly Come Dancing co-stars Graziano Di Prima, Robin Windsor, and 2019 runner-up Karim Zeroual for the stage show, which will open at the London Palladium on 25 May.

The dancing legends have spoken exclusively to OK! online about how they enjoy performing live more than taking to the Strictly dance floor, and why rehearsals have been such a struggle after two years away.

Aljaž told us: "I've always enjoyed performing on stage more than anywhere, really, because you have the direct connection with the people right in front of you.

"On Strictly, we do get that because of the people in the studio, but you can't really get that physical connection with someone through the camera. We perform for about 700 people in the studio, but you can never imagine what 11million people at home feel like.

"So I always love doing theatre because the reaction is instant, and I especially love performing in the UK because the appreciation for what I love doing is so incredible here.

"The level of applause is more rewarding than it would be anywhere else because people genuinely love dancing in this country, that's why Strictly is the biggest show on television."

Pasha, who is expecting her second child with wife Rachel Riley, added: "We all absolutely love what we do and a part of what we do is performance for a live audience.

"For me, that's the main aspect of my job that I've missed and not having the opportunity to be able to do it for almost two years was sad. But now we have the chance to go back on stage and dance together with our friends, which is a bonus.

"Between all the boys, Graziano, Aljaz, myself, we have an amazing friendly relationship and we knew each other for a long, long time so it's so good to get back together and create a brand new show. We'll be one of the first shows that will be coming back to the West End which is very exciting."

He continued: "There's new music, new choreography, new cast, it's like a brand new show.

"When we're rehearsing, I think it's absolutely brilliant choreography, an absolutely brilliant idea, amazing energy from all of the guys and girls on the dance floor so I think we will wow the audience, especially as people haven't had that much exposure to this quality of dancing."

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But, Aljaž admits that rehearsals has proved to be a struggle after the boys have spent almost two years away from the dance studio.

He said: "It was a bit of a shock to the system on the first day of rehearsals. I'm not going to lie to you, it was a bit hard.

"Dance studios have been closed around the country for a year and it's hard to dance if there is no space to do it and if I do it outside my house it's a bit weird, so I haven't danced much.

"It was a bit of struggle to the first couple of days. I am so excited to be back in rehearsals doing what I love doing the most, creating and performing.

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"My first live show I'm doing after lockdown is at London Palladium, what a place to do it! I'm chuffed with that.

"Plus, doing it with mates like Robin, Pasha, Karim, Graziano, Nadiya [Bychkova], it's a dream, it's a lovely cast.

"It's going to be an amazing show, I think it's going to be the best night out on the town for a while."

Here Come The Boys premieres at the London Palladium on 25 May before touring the country in June and July. For information and tickets, visit

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