The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ pro who has been paired with the retired Olympic boxing champion on the BBC Latin and ballroom show insisted her partner’s “aggressive positivity” will help her improve as the series goes on.
She said: “Nicola is my fifth dance partner and there have been some who were … problematic, let’s say.
“And even if you take Nicola, she does not have natural grace, plasticity. But, if you apply the right method, I believe anyone can learn…
“I love this term – aggressive positivity, it’s kind of such an optimistic-aggressive attitude.”
The pair have made ‘Strictly’ history as the first same-sex pairing in the show’s history, but Katya insisted gender is irrelevant when it comes to dance partners having “chemistry”.
According to The Sun newspaper, she told press in Russia: “There should be ‘chemistry’. It doesn’t matter with a man or a woman.
“In terms of choreography, a new door has opened for me – who is the leader, who’s the follower?”
Katya’s fellow ‘Strictly’ pro Anton Du Beke recently commented on the same-sex pairing, and also heaped praise on the show’s “brilliant” Paralympian performers, including former competitors Will Bayley and Lauren Steadman, as well as one of current crop of stars, TV presenter and former Royal Marine JJ Chalmers.
He said: “We’ve got Nicola dancing with Katya this year, and it’s incredible. It’s wonderful.
“And with [‘Dancing on Ice’] last year, the two boys dancing together – fabulous. Any time it’s a first, it’s fabulous.
“But you go to any tea dance up and down the country and you’ll see two ladies dancing together because there’s no fellas.
“Fred Astaire danced with Gene Kelly in the 50s.
“The thing I take my hat off to, and I get impressed about and think is wonderful is JJ this year, and last year Will, and Lauren.
“The Paralympians. They’re the ones that make me go, ‘Brilliant.’ That is special.”