We talked to Andrei Mosejcuk and Kamila Kajak when we met them in Blackpool during the Dance Festival in 2013. We enjoyed the interview very much! Andrei and Kamila dance for Germany now and compete in Professional Latin. See their profile page
I always say one thing [...]: remember, every dance move you do is now in the past and you cannot change it. So enjoy the moment
As you know we are doing interviews with couples we believe others can learn from which usually means the winners of the big competitions but sometimes we pick others whose story fascinates. Your story fascinated me. In my opinion you are an example of the wonderful dancers and people who love life! OK, let's start from the beginning. How did you get into dancing?
[Kamila] I started when I was 10 years old. My mother came across a dancing school in Warsaw and she wanted me to try. When I started dancing I felt really good. After 2 years I started to feel that dancing is taking too much of my time and I wanted to stop. I felt that I don't have enough time to do other things so I took a break. I had a break for about half year and then went back to dancing.
What kind of dancing did you start with?
[Kamila] I did Ballroom dancing from the beginning. Latin and Ballroom.
Did you have any partners then?
[Kamila] Yes, I had partners.
[Andrei] They were not good enough for you (laughing)
[Kamila] Yes, it was a little bit like that. My first partner was my cousin but he stopped after one year. I was actually happy that he stopped because it was very hard to practise with him. I always wanted to practise hard but he was lazy. For the next two years I practised alone. I also went to the training camps alone. I had few partners later but they were lazy and it was not easy to work with them. After, I think, three partnerships I finally found a really good boy. We danced for five years or so together. When we split I had several other partners.
And you, Andrei?
[Andrei] It is an interesting story. My grandmother was a teacher in Odessa in Ukraine. She took me to the dancing. My mother is a music teacher and she wanted me to play piano. My father wanted me to swim. So when I was five years old I had Monday, Wednesday and Friday dancing, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday swimming and in between of all this I played piano everyday!
Was there any time for school?
[Andrei] Oh yes, no problem. It was mornings till midday (laughing). After several years of doing all this stuff I decided to stop with the piano. It is nice to hear the music but I was alone doing it and had just a wood for company! I also stopped swimming because there was too much water and too many boys (laughing). So I stayed with dancing. It was nice, many girls and I liked the atmosphere. This is why I actually stayed. I liked to talk to girls. That's why I liked to dance, because there was a good company and a nice atmosphere. Since I was a little boy I had lots of energy and dancing gave me the freedom to use it. My career started in Ukraine and I danced there till I was twelve years old. Then my parents decided to move to Germany after my dance teacher told them I will have better opportunities there. It was very hard for them to change their life but they did it for the sake of my dancing and I am very grateful to them for that. It gave me the opportunity to improve my dancing a lot.
So from the age of twelve I lived in Germany. Since then, I danced for Germany and for Belgium as I had a Belgian partner. My next partner was Polish and I moved there to dance with her. We had a good partnership and results but, as I often found with my partners, when I wanted to practise she wanted to rest. It is always difficult with dancing. This is a difficult art or sport because both partners have to have the same commitment and ideas about it. When I was 26 years old I received a gift from God (laughing). I decided to dance with Kamila. Until then these kind of decisions were made by my teachers, and this time I just thought: no, this is MY life and will decide myself. Before we started dancing together we used to practice in the same dance hall in Warsaw and I saw the same type of thinking in Kamila. I knew her for a year already and I saw her practise really hard. One day my partner was asleep in the afternoon so I went to practise alone and I saw Kamila.
[Kamila] At that time my partner was really lazy. It was often like that: he was sitting and I was dancing. So when I saw Andrei started to practise....
[Andrei] ... we were both practising alone.
[Kamila] he went to my partner to ask
[Andrei] I said to him: Lukasz, can I borrow Kamila for a moment as we are both dancing alone. And he said: no problem. And that's how first danced together.
[Kamila] We actually did not start the partnership then, it was another half year later.
[Andrei] Before the World 10 Dance Championships I broke my arm. It was winter and I fall down. I was quite upset, I went to my parents to Germany for Christmas and did not practise for a month. It was very stressful time for me. We prepared for this championships with my partner and we had a good chance to be in the top 3. But things sometimes happen for a reason
[Kamila] Maybe it was meant to be like this...
[Andrei] When I returned to Poland I met some friends and started talking about packing and coming back to Germany as I felt I really have no more reason to stay. And they told me firmly: no, you stay here and continue dancing. One of my friend invited me to the New Year party and mentioned Kamila split from her partner.
[Kamila] I actually was thinking of giving up dancing altogether
[Andrei] Few days later we met at the birthday party and I thought to myself: this is your chance, either you have courage to ask her or you always be regretting that you did not. I felt it with all my heart and my brains that this is it. So I went I ask her for a try-out.
[Kamila] During that birthday party
[Andrei] I still had a plaster on my arm and it was to be removed in a week time. But she gave me the time: try-out tomorrow! I asked for another week.
[Kamila] I did not believe it possible. At the time Andrei also danced Ballroom and he was actually better in Ballroom than Latin.
[Andrei] My Ballroom teacher Massimo Giorgiani told me that it is a shame I stopped as I have a real talent in Ballroom, when I decided to do Latin only.
[Kamila] I also liked his Ballroom more than his Latin then. I was so surprised that Andrei Mosejcuk wanted to dance with me, I thought: he is dancing Ballroom and I am not. So I thought it was not possible. I actually though it was a joke as he asked me during the party.
[Andrei] For me it did not matter if I danced Ballroom or Latin. I wanted just to dance. And dance with her. Anyway, I went back home and after a week had my plaster removed. My arm was very painful. We met and our try-out lasted for eight hours.
[Kamila] I lost my wallet just before the try-out, remember?
[Andrei] Yes, I remember. Two days after this birthday party both of us, and friends, went to restaurant. At eight o'clock in the morning of our try-out day I had a call from Kamila. When I looked at the phone and saw her number I thought there were only two reasons possible for her call: she wants to cancel the try-out or she wants to do it earlier. What should I do? If I don't pick up I will just turn at the try-put normally (laughing). But I had to be a gentleman so I picked up and she just said she lost her wallet probably at the restaurant where we were together. So I quickly dressed up, jumped into the car and drove there. Luckily they had it. I thought to myself Kamila will be pleased with me and I will now have a really good chance with her (laughing)! I felt like a Superhero (laughing)
[Kamila] I was very pleased, all my bank cards were there. I was so relieved.
[Andrei] We had a try-out for eight hours. We made four choreographies.
[Kamila] We still have the pieces of that choreography we made then now in our current routines. The Samba, Rumba and Paso Doble...
[Andrei] We have this base in our choreography we developed during that first try-out.
[Kamila] And for me it was great as well. Normally when you have a try-out with a new partner it is not that comfortable as with your former partner. Because you are used to your ex-partner and used to work with him. You know his movements. But with Andrei it was very comfortable from the beginning even more than with my ex-partner. It was a sign for me that this is a good choice.
[Andrei] For me such a partner was a gift from God. We felt very, very comfortable together. Also our minds and commitments were similar. I knew Kamila wanted to practice hard and wanted to improve. It was not all about the results. I believe that if you do a good job the results will come. So at the end of that day we decided to dance together.
What was more important, the fact she was a good dancer or a pretty girl?
[Kamila] Come on Andrei!
[Andrei] No, it is true. She is a pretty girl and that's why she is my wife now (laughing).
[Kamila] It was different for me, I did not like him that much. I thought he was a really good dancer and that's all.
[Andrei] OK, I know the story. I am OK with it. Now you are my wife so I won (laughing).
Have you already been involved with the Dancing with the Stars?
[Andrei] Yes, I remember the date exactly when we started dancing together. It was the 12th January 2009.
[Kamila] I already took part in the Dancing with the Stars six times or so. I remember that year I already said no to them because I wanted to do new things. I wanted to stop dancing altogether and that included quitting the Dancing with the Stars as well. I wanted to open my own dance school. I really thought I finished my competitive career. And Andrei told me he wanted to try the Dancing with the Stars.
[Andrei] I wanted that experience, to be on the stage and in front of cameras
[Kamila] And he told me he would like me to wait until the program finished so we can start practising together. For me three months to wait for him sounded too long. So I decided to go into it for the last time and called the TV people to tell them I am still available.
[Andrei] They always have been telling Kamila that she can come back anytime to the program. They really wanted her there. She was there from the first edition.
[Kamila] I won twice with my celebrity partners as well.
[Andrei] So in February 2009 we started Dance with the Stars. And we decided to move to Professionals. I felt that our dancing will be more suited in Professionals than Amateurs. I felt I had a right partner for that. It was exciting and because of that we decided not to wait for these three months and for the program to finish. We were in January, the program was to start in February and finish on the 19th of May, exactly one week before Blackpool. So we decided to start preparing for Blackpool as well as work in the Dancing with the Stars.
[Kamila] So we started practising together every day, actually during the night because during the day we had practice with the stars. I am not sure how it is in England but in Poland we were practising every day with our celebrity partners. Eight hours a day.
[Andrei] Four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. Between that we had some lessons teaching our couples.
[Kamila] And during nights we practiced together
[Andrei] I remember we worked till 2 or 3am.
[Kamila] We wanted to dance Blackpool very much.
It must have been really hard for you
[Andrei] Yes, it was. We really were dancing all the time, not only with the stars partner and with each other but also teaching and you cannot sit on the chair when you do that. Couples come to you for inspiration and new ideas, you cannot let them down.
[Kamila] We did not manage to finish our Paso Doble routine. Shell I tell?
[Andrei] Why not! We made all the choreography by ourselves but we also went to Kamila's teachers: Sergey Sourkov and Mela. I knew them as well. They gave us an idea for the first part of Paso Doble so we felt we had something. So we decided to practice Samba and Rumba more. It was exciting when we went to our first Blackpool...
[Kamila] We did not finish our Paso Doble routine
[Andrei] Yes, true but I had this positive feeling about it for the week before. A week before was my birthday and I won the Dancing with the Stars on my birthday. Kamila was third. All worked for us. And now we arrived in Blackpool at the Professional Rising Stars...
[Kamila] We did not know what to expect. It was our first Blackpool together and first time in the Professionals.
[Andrei] I remember the first round. Cha Cha, Rumba... and the Paso Doble. And we looked at each other and had to laugh. We did not have a flamenco part. We would have to improvise. Kamila said to me: do your job, I trust you.
[Kamila] I said I will follow you
[Andrei] She did. And it went really good, we felt great. We went up and further through the rounds of Rising Star, semi-final felt beautiful, and then there was a recall to the finals. We stood there waiting and they called the couple from Poland: Kamila and Andrei. I felt ecstatic, I wanted to kiss everybody around! Then there was the results presentation. They called: FIRST: from Italy ... Emanuele Soldi and Elisa Nasato, SECOND: from Poland ... Przemek Lowicki and Asta Sigvaldadottir, THIRD from Poland... Wow! It had to be us!
[Kamila] (laughing) It was amazing
[Andrei] We learned later that actually we only lost by one point to Przemek. We were so happy. Few days later we went to dance the main event. We did not expect much, we just wanted to do a good job. That is what I always say to my couples: don't think of the results, do the good job and they will come.
[Kamila] If you think about the results too much it actually kills your dancing. It is a killer of your emotions
[Andrei] Funny thing is, it is actually unbelievable as well, that with our unfinished Paso Doble we ended up 7th in the main Professional Latin event in Blackpool.
[Kamila] It is our best result to date in Blackpool.
[Andrei] I was shocked! We had an amazing Blackpool that year.
I remember we had a first chat then with you. You impressed me with the fact that you continued your competitive career while so many other couples stopped after getting involved with the Dancing with the Stars. This program sort of destroyed other couples, not just in Poland but practically everywhere. Most couples who get into the Dancing with the Stars fell off the competitive circuit. It was amazing that you were in the program till the last episode and in the same time managed to prepare for Blackpool so well. How did you do it?
[Andrei] I felt I wanted to try it once for experience but also I knew I belonged to dancing not to the Stars.
[Kamila] I think some dancers forget where they come from. They start to feel they are the Stars themselves.
[Andrei] This is the problem. They feel glamour, they enjoy the attention, the cameras...
[Kamila] Some of the dancers do more TV work
[Andrei] I spent 26 years dancing. And I believe I am quite a good dancer. To be a good actor you also need to study. You cannot do it just like that.
[Kamila] I think we are the only ones who continue competitive dancing.
[Andrei] And Marek and Kinga Fiksa. They were in the program once.
I remember, when we met in 2009, you said that Dancing with the Stars was just a way to earn money to fund your real dancing.
[Andrei] Yes, sure, it was a nice money. We could still do it, they keep on asking every year. But our hearts belong to competitive dancing. Dancing with the Stars is a nice job, but I prefer to teach the young, talented couples. And to dance with my partner Kamila. We belong to the dance floor not to the glamour world.
What is in dancing that you are looking for?
[Andrei] It inspires me. I lived in Ukraine for twelve years, in Germany for fifteen years and now I am in Poland for five years. I will probably stay in Poland for the rest of my live as here is my wife. Maybe we will move to Maldives when we earn a lot of money (laughing). But I don't think about it. I always wanted to show I can do it without any help.
[Kamila] What do you mean? Without any political help?
[Andrei] Yes. I don't care about politics in dancing. It is a difficult subject. I don't want to insult anybody. We have decided to do it our way.
[Kamila] We choose the teachers ourselves
[Andrei] We choose the teachers who will, in my opinion, help me learn dancing. I always believed that you can realise your dreams if you work hard enough. When you work hard your dreams will come true. We come to England only three times for the big competitions. We have a group of our teachers and it includes English teachers like Colin James or Lina James. But they come to Poland or we go to Denmark to see them. We have Carolyn Smith who lives in Italy. One of our teachers is Russian Victor Nikovsky and he is now affected by this unpleasant situation between WDC and WDSF.
[Kamila] Also Dima Timokhin helped us.
[Andrei] So it is only five people who we work with.
[Kamila] We don't mean that it is bad to come to England! It is just bad to get involved with the politics. Of course, there are great teachers in England but we don't want to get involved in the politics.
[Andrei] We just want to be able to realise our dreams.
[Kamila] Lots of people say we have to be here in England and take lots of lessons from the teachers here to get good results. A lot of dancers think that.
This rumour is hard to kill. We have done lots of interviews through the years with Blackpool winners and some of them either don't go to England for lessons ta all or do it rarely. So it is definitely possible but many dancers still are convinced otherwise.
[Andrei] Everybody makes their own choices. But what keeps me dancing is my wife, the music and the dream.... I know I will never be a World Champion in Professionals.
[Andrei] I am a realist (laughing). I also believe that at some point you have to stop, there is life to be lived and not waiting for the title forever. After dancing there is life together, children, family, cars, house, and hobbies. Also meeting friends because when you are in dancing the life is so crazy there is no time for that. It is like: bed, studio, bed, studio.
I remember when I talked to a group of Polish dancers in 2009 they were all saying to me that Andrei is so in love with Kamila and wants to marry her but she is not really interested. So, congratulations, you persevered and succeeded.
[Andrei] Thank you. But this is what I was talking about. Have positive energy and work on it and you will get results. The way you treat people it will pay back. By the way, sorry that I talk so much. I like to talk!
[Kamila] I know you like to talk (laughing)
[Andrei] When we started to dance together we had a really nice time together. It started to be more than dancing. I remember once I drove 300 km to pick Kamila up from some place because I did not want her to come back by train alone. It was maybe crazy but all men when they are in love do crazy things! I wanted to move mountains for her then and this is what I am trying to do now for my wife. Perhaps a little less now (laughing)
[Kamila] Not less! (laughing). It is the same.
[Andrei] So I am as good as I was. One day I remember Kamila came to practice and she was as cold as a stone. I did not understand why, we already started going out together, had a nice time. So we started with the Rumba and I stopped the music. I turned to her and gave her the ultimatum: either you have it all or I walk out of this door and you have nothing.
[Kamila] No, it wasn't like that. You asked me: why don't you like me, what do I need to change for you to like me. There was no ultimatum
[Andrei] In my head it was. And she changed from that day. We decided to be together on the 21st of March. I have all the dates in my head (laughing). It was two months and two weeks after we first danced together. I proposed to her and told her I want to have horses, I want to have limousines and I want to have a beautiful wife. But I forgot to go on one knee! And Kamila did not take a ring.
[Kamila] You cried
[Andrei] She asked: what about the knee. Then I went on both knees and she accepted. She was mine (laughing).
It is certainly romantic story! I also wanted to ask what do you like the most in your partner and what do you dislike. The second part of that question will be more interesting now.
[Kamila] It is hard to say. There is something which is both bad and good thing. Andrei is a perfectionist. He believes he needs to be perfect in everything he does. At home he has everything neat and in order. His cloths are perfectly aligned in the closet. Everything is organised by colour and in order. When he wakes up in the morning and sees that the glasses on the table are misaligned he gets stressed and need to move them back to align perfectly.
[Andrei] No, it is not stress. I am just an emotional person!
[Kamila] But it is useful because I know we always have everything prepared. We have always everything organised before we go to work or competition or anywhere. But he gets angry when things don't go to plan
[Andrei] Of course I always have plan B. But I need to learn to prepare plan C.
[Kamila] No, you have to learn to have a plan B in the first place. He is better now, but in the beginning, it had to be exactly as he planned himself. But on the other hand it can give me a peace of mind.
[Andrei] I am a bit impulsive sometimes. But the way I am got me to where I am.
Andrei, now tell me what you don't like about Kamila. I can see that question makes you weary (laughing).
[Andrei] It's OK. She is a strong woman and I believe that every strong man has a strong woman by his side. I am a head and Kamila is a neck. If I am not taking about the details there is nothing I don't like about her. She is a positive person, she cooks for us, she practises hard... I cannot find anything which is a problem.
I cannot believe that (laughing)
[Andrei] OK, I found something but it is not Kamila's fault. When we teach the couples she is very good teacher but sometimes she forgets I am not one of her students! She tries to teach me....
[Kamila] No, no. That's not like that!
[Andrei] This might be good as well because I still have a lot to learn
[Kamila] And we don't have a teacher with us every day so it is normal.
[Andrei] This is what sometimes annoys me.
[Kamila] When I want to change something he is often against it. But many times at the end he actually agrees with me.
What don't you like in yourselves?
[Andrei] I think I should be more patient. If I want something I want to have it now and right here. It is killing me sometimes. But I slowly started to learn to let go. I feel that sometimes I can be too egotistic. If something matters to me it becomes the most important to do or to get. I realise I am an impulsive person as well. It can be good on the dance floor. You have character and charisma. In the real life it is a problem but I try to find a solution or compromise.
What about you Kamila?
[Kamila] I also try to be perfect but in the same time I realise it is not possible. Sometimes it is too much for me, it is frustrating. I am generally a positive person and confident but Andrei's energy can be too much for me. So I think I should also accept that I also can make mistakes.
[Andrei] I overwhelm her with my energy sometimes. It is just me.
[Kamila] I know I criticise you too much. Maybe I should listen to you sometimes. But only sometimes (laughing)
[Andrei] Men are like small kids and like to be praised. That's what we need from time to time.
What do you find most interesting or most important in dancing?
[Kamila] Yes, but keep them natural. Sometimes I see couples exaggerate.
[Kamila] I know it is weird to say stay natural while you have all the make-up and the dresses and tan. But while all that is artificial you need to find a balance between the show and being natural.
[Andrei] All this is part of dancing and we don't want to change it.
[Kamila] We agree to dress up and make up but want to be natural with our emotions
[Andrei] I don't see many couples who go onto the floor just to dance. Come on, just enjoy dancing don't pretend to be cool. I really think a lot of couples forget to be natural on the floor.
[Kamila] It is annoying to see some of them doing always the same moves, always the same face and mimic.
Do you think it can be a part of the process of learning? Some people are not able to express their real emotions easily. Maybe those artificial moves will wear off and become natural as they get better?
[Andrei] Maybe it will come with experience. But this is what I believe is most important: natural emotions. Of course, there is also sport element to dancing where we need to be physically fit. But at the end of the day this is only helping you to move your arms, to perform nice actions with your body. What you cannot learn is that natural feeling, it has to come from within and with years of dancing.
[Kamila] We should not be afraid to show what we really feel.
[Andrei] Of course you can learn how to show emotions: love, hate, sad but it is fake if it doesn't come from within. I am sure you can see the difference. You have to believe in what you are showing.
[Kamila] You should understand the moves and why you do them. You should ask yourself: why do I come to my partner, why do I touch his face. I think many dancers don't understand it, they just perform the steps they learned.
[Andrei] You should try to portray emotions through these steps. For example, I think it also comes with age. Take the Rumba: I believe that the Juniors and Juveniles should just do basic moves together and smile nicely. I hope they don't understand what they are trying to show! The real Rumba should be danced from the Youth age.
How do you think we should teach young dancers?
[Andrei] Well, without good basics you cannot dance.
[Kamila] You have to lean to move your body
[Andrei] When we teach couples we always set up a plan with them to make it clear what they should improve and what they should work on. This is for practice and training sessions. But during the competition forget about what you should and should not do, just enjoy it. We always say it to each other: just enjoy and sell your dancing as best as you can. Even when you make a mistake you can get away with it, nobody knows your choreography!
When you watch your own couples dancing what do you tell them after the competition?
[Andrei] I always say one thing to them: remember, every dance move you do is now in the past and you cannot change it. So enjoy the moment.
[Kamila] Enjoy every moment of your dancing.
[Andrei] You can do the improvement later in the practice hall. During the competition we don't want to talk to them too much, the work has been already done in preparation so now they just need to enjoy.
[Kamila] Definitely we don't talk to them about technique. It is too late then anyway. No need to stress.
Can you describe each dance in one or two words? First: Cha Cha
[Andrei] It has to be two words: my wife (laughing)
[Kamila] Hmmm.... Also life
[Andrei] Paso? How to say it... inner peace
[Kamila] Are you sure? Is this what you feel in Paso?
[Andrei] Yes, of course. I think Paso should not be all about fight and crazy energy all the time. For me, you should hold it inside and not let it escape.
[Andrei] It is like: I don't care!
[Kamila] Fun, simply fun. I know it is trivial (laughing)
Which dance is your favourite?
[Andrei] Before we danced in the English competitions we always started the competition with the Samba. This is how I was used to it. So for me it goes like a little story. You start with the Samba, you get to know each other and get a bit of fun together. With Cha Cha you go a bit deeper, you flirt, you touch here and there. Rumba comes next and is like a marriage, you have children, a house and money in the bank. Paso Doble comes next: it is a divorce. Or strong fight. Jive is the end when I am happy and free to start again (laughing).
[Kamila] Andrei, you are wrong that's not how it goes! It shows we made up, and are happy together.
[Andrei] This is typical Kamila! (laughing) Anyway, this is the little story involving all the five dances for me.
What are you plans for the future?
[Kamila] Short term: holiday. One week holiday to relax. We did not decide where we going to go but we need a short break.
[Andrei] We like to go away for holiday. I sit with a bottle of beer, Kamila has her ice-cream and we do absolutely nothing. That's what I like on my holiday.
[Kamila] Lots of sun and relax.
Not an active holiday or sightseeing?
[Andrei] No, not now. I think when I am older I will enjoy more active holidays, I will do walking or visiting museums. The slightly longer term plans: have kids.
[Kamila] We are not talking about such a long term plans!
[Andrei] It is not too long term I hope. Don't you want children? (laughing)
[Kamila] Of course, but not yet.
[Andrei] OK, seriously, we want to improve our dancing in a sense we want to get a deeper understanding of the ways to express ourselves through dance. We need to work on our technique and musicality as well. We also want to teach all that to our couples. To give them ideas and something special from us.
[Kamila] We want them to understand that dancing is not just about the steps. Body movement is very important but they also should know why they do certain moves.
[Andrei] I want personality from them. We want to improve our club and quality of teaching. And I want my own children, not in a month time, maybe in a year or two. But not wait for the next ten years.
[Kamila] You will let me know when you want them (laughing)
How many kids are you planning?
[Kamila] Who knows, we will see. I am not planning anything yet.
[Andrei] At least two, maximum three.
Kamila, you look worried!
[Kamila] We will see (laughing). OK, I am laughing now, but I am sure I don't want to be too old to start planning the family. I want to be a young Mum for my kids and not a Granny. Anyway, I am mentally getting ready for it.
[Andrei] I don't have to get mentally ready!
[Kamila] No, you don't (laughing)
I still have a lot of questions but this interview already lasted well over an hour! We wish you all the best and thank you for talking to us.