DANCE: Professional Latin | PARTNERS SINCE: July 2008 | REPRESENT: England | PLACES OF BIRTH: Neil: Düsseldorf, Germany | Katya: St. Petersburg, Russia | BASED: The Bellhouse Studio, Alton, Hampshire, UK.
ACHIEVEMENTS: British Open Professional Rising Star Champions, 2x British National Professional Latin Champions, 2x UK National Professional Champions, Runner Up World Professional Latin Show Dance Championships, UK Open Amateur Rising Star Latin Champions, 4x British National Amateur Latin Champions, 4x UK National Amateur Latin Champions, British Open Amateur Latin Champions, 2x International Amateur Latin Champions, 2x UK Open Amateur Latin Champions, European Amateur Latin Champions, 2x World Amateur Latin Champions.
FAVOURITE DANCE: Neil: Jive, Jive, Jive, Jive and maybe Jive | Katya: All depands on my mood.
FAVOURITE COMPETITION/VENUE: Neil: Would have to be the Dutch Open, Assen, Netherlands & the Royal Albert Hall, London | Katya: I also really like the Dutch Open but also the British Open, Blackpool.
BEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER: Winning our first major event, the UK Rising Star Championships. The second is when we made our first Major final at the British Open a year after starting to dance with eachother. The third moment was when we jumped into second place at the International Open Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. Now we enjoy defending our position and always embrace the opportunity to attack and achieve unexpected results.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A COMPETITION: Always 8 weeks before any major event we prepare our diet and we also train 5-6 days a week in the gym and with our trainer to improve our stamina, strength and power. We then dance in the studio 6 days a week and as we get closer to the event we add more dance final simulation by dancing 5 dances in a row. We can't really tell you any more because we would be giving away all our secrets!
HOW TO RELAX AFTER A COMPETITION: For a few days after any major event we love to eat whatever we want and maybe go and watch a movie although most of the time we have another competition straight away so we will be back in the studio and working with our teachers.
MOST RESPECTED OPPONENT COUPLE: Neil: There are a few couples that we feel have pushed us and we have respected them due to the friendly competition. Firstly, Martino Zanibellato & Michelle Abildtrup (Denmark), whom we competed against in many Amateur finals. Also Valentin Chmerkovskiy & Dasha Chesnokova (USA) who were our biggest rivals during our Amateur career before Valentin retired from competitive dancing. There is also Jurij & Jagoda Batagelj (Slovenia) who we battled back and forth as the number one Amateur couple and even as we turned Professional it continued until they retired. All of these couples are creative, individual and talented couples who we believe have helped us on our journey.
ADVICE FOR ANY YOUNG DANCER READING THIS: Stay positive and your only competition is yourself. You need to work hard and stay hungry for knowledge and improvement. Always inspire other dancers and only look forward, never back.
DANCE WORLD ICON/INSPIRATION: Neil: I've been inspired by many dancers, not only champions during my life as a dancer and I feel very lucky to actually see these couples compete not just on a video but live. Donnie Burns & Gaynor Fairweather, Paul Killick & Hanna Karttunen, Allan Tornsberg & Carmen Vincelj, Slavik Kryklyvyy & Karina Smirnoff are some outstanding names, whilst I have also been inspired by the competition between Ricardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko and Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis.
WHY CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL DANCE SHOES?: Haha, the last time I was asked this question I was very passionate. For us we don't look at International Dance Shoes as a choice because it is the only dance shoe company who are moving forward and innovating in the dance world. It's a lot easier to say why I wouldn't wear other shoes.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A DANCE SHOE?: Support, quality, comfort and style.
YOU'VE VISITED OUR FACTORY BEFORE, WHAT DID YOU THINK?: We love visiting the International Dance Shoes factory. It's great to see and understand the process of how our shoes are being made and then it always inspires us to come up with new ideas and designs which is great because we know that International Dance Shoes are the only company who turn our ideas into reality.
AWAY FROM DANCE
FAVOURITE SPORT AWAY FROM DANCE: Neil: Football | Katya: Ice Hockey
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Neil: Thailand 100%l | Katya: I agree, Thailand
FAVOURITE FILM: Neil: Rocky | Katya: Hunger Games
FAVOURITE MUSIC ACT/ARTIST: Neil: Michael Jackson | Katya: Beyonce
INTERESTING FACT: Neil: This is hard for me to say and it might come as a shock to you all, so please make sure you're sitting down. I am GINGER. | Katya: I will eat anything.
TEACHING, LESSONS & BOOKINGS
Neil & Katya both offer workshops, lectures and private lessons. To get in touch contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE JONESES' APPAREL
Neil & Katya have recently launched their own clothing line, 'The Joneses' Apparel'. We have their collection available and you can view and buy it online by clicking here.
Main Sponsors Page - Neil Jones Instagram (Click here)
Header Image - International Dance Shoes (Click here)