World and Olympic 800m champion Mariya Savinova has a hidden talent for ballroom dancing (and we’ve got the photos to prove it!!!) Here she talks exclusively to SPIKES about her love of the waltz and why she fancies her chances on Russia’s version of Dancing with the Stars. Take it away, Mariya…
“My mum started taking me to dancing lessons to help my general development when I was in kindergarten. I did it for about six years, although I didn’t have any major success.
"I decided to quit ballroom dancing because it required quite a lot of money for the costumes, and at that time I took up badminton.
A young Savinova struts her stuff
"I love the waltz. That is my favourite style. It is beautiful and graceful. I think dancing was really useful for my athletics because it helped me develop co-ordination.
"I do still miss it and I still watch the ballroom dancing competitions on TV. I’d love one day to take part in Russia’s Dancing with the Stars, but I don’t have enough time to commit because of my athletics training. I don’t know how I would do on the show but there is a chance I could do fine.
Savinova: ”I love the waltz, that is my favourite style”
"I still dance very often and I ‘m always listening to music. I can even do some moves during my longer runs [laughs].
"If I had to choose someone from the world of athletics to be my perfect ballroom dancing partner it would be my husband, Aleksey Farnosov [a 3:41 1500m runner]. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to practise our wedding dance, but if we had, we would have danced a beautiful dance.”