With the opportunity to interview a fierce ballroom champion like Sabrina Strasser, I wanted to delve into her passion not only to compete, but to win unapologetically. Sabrina is the breakout star of Bravo’s new series Dancing Queens.
Congratulations on winning the ultimate prize of first place at the Millennium Dance Competition! Needless to say, you were phenomenal and danced like a queen. What did that victory feel like?
Thank you so much. It was an incredible feeling, not only because I won, but because I got to share the moment on Dancing Queens and with my husband who surprised me. We work so hard to have these wins, but having the support from people we love and sharing these moments with them is the biggest win.
How has being a cast member on the Bravo show Dancing Queens affected your dance career and your personal life?
I’ve always wanted to be on TV, it has been a lifelong dream of mine. Having the opportunity to showcase doing what I love while on TV was unmatched. Of course, now I feel this sense of pressure when competing. I feel like people are watching and judging me. It could be all in my head though! Personally, I feel that my friends and family are proud of the accomplishment and are very supportive.
At what age or what part of your life did you start dancing?
I started dancing later in life. I had never taken dance as a child or had any training. I literally was watching Dancing with the Stars when I was about 29 years old and decided it looked like a great pastime. I began taking lessons once a week after work and it slowly began to snowball into this addiction, and I loved the sport for its physical intensities.
What drives you to continue to be an award-winning ballroom dancer?
There are many people who ask the same question and I continue to give the same answer. For me, it’s not about the win but more about the discipline, the hard work, the physical strain, the time management, and the escape it gives me. It also teaches my children significant lessons as they watch their mom continue to pursue a passion and do something other than “mommying” I think it’s very important that we all have an interest, a passion, or an outlet outside of everything else.
When did dance go from being a hobby to one of your life’s passions?
Once you start ballroom dancing, you’re bound to fall in love. I think it begins for many as a hobby since women and men of all ages and skill levels can participate. However, once you hit a competition floor, even as a beginner, you slowly become addicted to the high. I say this because I’ve seen it happen to many of my friends as well as myself. I began my journey once a week as an after-work activity. Upon starting with a new teacher who introduced me to a competitive stream, it was all over! The dresses, the music, the escape, and the joy of dance was all it took for me to be hooked.
How do you share your passion with family and friends?
To be quite honest, other than fellow dancers, no one understands the complete feeling and passion that drives me. However, they do support me now, this wasn’t always the case though. I’ve had a lot of issues trying to explain it to my mother, my husband, and my friends. People couldn’t understand why I would have to compete monthly repeatedly. They couldn’t understand having to travel and leave your family for a few days at a time. They couldn’t understand dancing with another man and dressing in seductive dresses. I think now, after many years of explaining and with the help of Dancing Queens, everyone finally gets it.
What do you think is your best style of dance?
I think my best dance is the Rumba. It’s slow, sensual, and emotional. I think we do it justice
How is your relationship with your dance partner Stanislav Kochergin?
Well, I’m not going to lie and say it’s perfect. We definitely have our share of disagreements. I think we both have very strong personalities and opinions and have been together long enough that our comfort level is apparent. I will say though, that for me, no other partner will be as committed, loyal, and hardworking as Stas is. He is very invested in my dancing and for this reason, we are successful.
Who do you consider to be your strongest competitor?
I don’t think you can underestimate anyone on that dance floor. People are hungry to win and the moment you feel too comfortable and secure, someone can snatch it from you. Everyone is your competition, including yourself. You must keep trying to be the best because no one is safe!
Where do you derive your passion for dance?
Truly it’s hard to stay motivated all the time. There were many instances when I wanted to quit, that I felt tired and had enough. The constant grind is exhausting, but what keeps us coming back is the feeling you don’t get when you stop. The escape is the feeling we need, for some it’s meditation, for some it’s yoga or running, for some it’s reading a book, for me it’s dancing. It takes you to another place. This is a place where we get to be creative, show movement and emotion through our body language, we get to forget all of life’s problems, and just dance.