Here's how 'DWTS' dancer Daniella Karagach used dance to overcome attention deficit
For the stars and choreographers of 'Dancing With The Stars', it's all about making a great impression and winning over the judges and the fans, all while putting on an excellent performance, obviously. So, it helps if the team has good chemistry that translates well on screen.
It didn't seem like their chemistry translated well on stage for choreographer Daniella Karagach and her Season 29 partner, award-winning rapper, Nelly. However, the duo proved people wrong, made it to the top, and placed 3rd on their Season. This time Daniella Karagach is back and will be performing with none other than NBA star Iman Shumpert.
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Who is Daniella Karagach?
Daniella Karagach, whose full name is Daniella Brittany Karagach Pashkova, is a professional dancer. Apart from being a choreographer, Karagach has performed and competed internationally and was also the three-time United States junior I and II Latin champion along with her partner Leonid Juashkovsky. The team represented the United States in the World Championships in Latvia, Russia and Barcelona. In 2019, Karagach joined the cast of 'Dancing With The Stars'. On Season 29, she was paired with grammy-award winning rapper Nelly and the duo placed third on the season. Having chemistry with your partner is definitely essential to go far on the show. However, there was speculation regarding if Karagach and Nelly got along. The rapper did defend their partnership and even referred to the dancer as his 'lil sis', in an Instagram post that read -- "Let me be clear..!! This my fckin lilsis ..!!! 💙 we ride or die..!!!!!! Bigger than dance..!!!!! 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 #YUNGSWIVEL&MUTHARUSSIA".
Even when their ballroom performance got harsh critique, he was quick to jump to her defence. "As far as my technique, that's in this young lady's lap, and when those judges don't see that, I get offended because I'm taking up for her. I don't care about me, but she's put in the work and they shouldn't be doing that to her," he said, as reported by TV Shows Ace.
Her path to success was not an easy one
In a conversation with Brooklyn Reporter, Karagach spoke about how her love for dancing came to be, and it was her mother who was instrumental in paving the path for her. Karagach began dancing at six years old as a way to deal with her Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"I couldn't focus in school so my mom took me to the doctor and he diagnosed me with very high ADHD. I was always moving and they prescribed medication but my mother said, 'At six years old, my daughter will not take medication. She put me into ballroom dancing and I've been in love with it ever since. I started focusing better. I did better in school. It just helped me overall in life." she explained. But her journey was not easy.
"My mom was a single mom who worked three jobs in Brooklyn for my dancing," she said. "She didn't have a lot of money. She drove me to school in the morning, then drove to Brooklyn for work, then picked me and we went back to Brooklyn for my dance classes. She would make three trips every day." she added, seeing that they stayed in Queens at the time.
She is married to fellow' Dancing with the Stars' Pasha Pashkov
Pasha Pashkov is a known face in the 'Dancing With The Stars' franchise, seeing that he was partnered with Kate Flannery on Season 28 and later with Carol Baskin on Season 29. But in real life, he is married to Daniella Karagach.
They joined the show as a part of the troupe and later starred in Season 28 and 29, respectively. However, the couple met and fell in love long before the show. As reported by Heavy. the pair were partnered together when Karagach was aged 15 and Pashkov was 22.
While her coaches were unsure about their compatibility on the dance floor, the two made it work - they are seven-time winners of United States 10-Dance Champions and Latin Champions.
They eventually began dating and tied the knot in 2014.
Season 30 of 'Dancing With The Stars' premieres on September 20 at 8/7c on ABC. You can also stream the Episodes on abc.com and Hulu.