A Bath Beach native is dancing to the next round.
Hit NBC show “World of Dance” contestants Daniella Karagach and her husband/partner Pasha Pashkov advanced to the next round of the competition in the couples category after impressing two of the three star judges, Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough, with their unique interpretation of a classic dance.
“It felt surreal because we were able to show a different side of ballroom dancing,” said Karagach of the episode, which aired on Tuesday, June 5. “We’ve been wanting to do something like this for a very long time because everyone thinks of ballroom dancing as rhinestones and beautiful clothing, beautiful hair and make-up, but we just wanted to show everyone how real it could be, and how down to earth, and how humble. We came out wearing jeans and did our thing, which was nothing flashy.”
“We danced the rumba and you never know how they’re going to react to it,” added Pashkov, “so you are hoping for best, that they will understand your style and message, and will like it enough to get you to the next round.”
Despite their solid performance that got the duo to advance, the couple had the jitters.
“We were super nervous. It was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life and we compete all over the world with millions of people,” said Karagach.
“You’re going in hoping for the best and of course when you get acknowledged and appreciated, it’s an amazing feeling,” added Pashkov. “You only have one minute and 15 seconds on stage, which is a short period of time, to be able to show who you are and impress them. You only get one chance. Any mistake and you’ll be out. So there’s definitely a lot of pressure. It teaches you how to be mentally stronger.”
One of the judges was less than impressed, however.
“We came out doing very basic ballroom dancing, something that was less flashy and without any lifts,” said Karagach. “Ne-Yo said it wasn’t enough for him to advance us to the next round, so this time we want to impress all the judges. We are basically upping our game so hopefully we’ll get Ne-Yo on our side.”
The accomplishment of advancing was an impressive one given the competition. “There were a lot of great dancers that didn’t get through which was very surprising to us,” she said. “Amazing dancers didn’t make it.”
Because the show was recorded earlier, the couple knew the results and tried to keep it quiet, which proved to be difficult.
“It was tough to keep a secret,” Pashkov said. “Family and friends knew but it wasn’t easy. We still have to keep doing that even now. People want to know.”
Their family was very proud of the couple following the episode. “They were in tears,” said Karagach, “to know that we’re becoming everything we wanted to be.”
In the next round, dubbed the duel round, the couple will be pitted against another act, with whoever gets the higher score moving on to the next round.
“World of Dance” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. The duel rounds begin on Wednesday, July 25. For more information, visit www. nbc.com/world-of-dance.