This year, Ksenia Zsikhotska returned for a second season on Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars partnered with TV presenter Marty Morrissey, where they made it through to the fifth round of the competition. Ksenia has always been interested in fashion and has her own project Styled By Sen which she runs alongside her career as a professional dancer. Meeting up with Ksenia in London, we find out about her dance teaching, the second season on Dancing With The Stars and her Styled By Sen project.
Can you tell us about your new styling project?
I’ve always been into fashion, most probably due to the industry that I am in. You have to keep an image. I’ve always found that fashion is something I’m naturally attracted to. I found that I get more enjoyment of styling others, I love the fact that I can make somebody feel better, or maybe boost their confidence just by the way they look and feel…
How did you come up with the idea?
Because I enjoy it so much, I found it easy to get ideas. I designed my own outfits when I used to compete, so I guess you could say, that’s where it began. I find inspiration through everyday fashion, high streets, catwalks and awards.
What age were you when you became interested in fashion?
Well… from what my mum says, it’s seems I grew up with it, as I was very fussy and particular with what I wore. But for sure, fashion developed for me more and I became more interested in it through dancing.
Have you styled anyone in the public eye?
I actually styled Marty Morrissey, my dance partner on Dancing With The Stars, I’ve helped Emily Barker a little bit a few times, but it’s a little project that’s personal for me. At the minute, I don’t have the time to fully drive it, but I would love to get to work with or style a presenter, maybe do a talk show on fashion.
Where do you get your styling inspiration from?
From everyday things, everyday life, red carpet events, festivals, media… This is the great thing about technology nowadays, you can keep up with whatever interests you, without feeling like you’re missing out on anything.
Do you have plans to start a styling blog?
Eventually yes, when I have the time for sure I would love to, but it takes a lot of time!
Have you attended any fashion shows recently?
I haven’t attended any fashion shows this year, but was lucky to have been invited to the Gossies and the VIP Style Awards… But definitely on my ‘to do list’ is London Fashion week.
Do you have a favourite fashion designer?
I can’t say I have a favourite, but I like Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, I love Victoria Beckham’s style. There are so many different styles and looks out there! So it’s all about finding what you like, suit or makes you feel good… Style and fashion are very subjective that’s what makes it interesting.
Have you designed any of your own clothes?
Yes, I would design my own costumes when I was competing and even now, when I have a show I would pick or design what I wear according to the theme. I actually designed Ryan’s matador jacket and made it, I don’t really enjoy the making part, but designing is definitely my thing!
What are your aspirations for this project?
Eventually I would love to have a little boutique in Ireland that’s exclusive, something little, nothing big, just exclusive for certain looks.
Would you like to be a style advisor on a show like Dancing With The Stars?
Yes, I would love to be a style advisor on a production, whether it will be movie, theatres or TV.
How did you find this year’s show?
Absolutely loved it, I think I enjoyed it more because I knew what I was going to be hit with… I just accepted it and went with it. I think I had a different head on my shoulders this year, I knew how to construct my time and make it manageable, instead of stressing out and thinking, oh I’m never going to do this!
What was the easiest dance to teach Marty Morrissey?
Anything that’s in hold haha, that was the hardest for me but it was the easiest for him because he could follow… and not stress about missing a step or two.
Did you have an idea from the start that Jake Carter and Karen Byrne could win the show?
Jake is a great dancer and very talented, his music background definitely helps with the rhythm side, he plays an instrument so he got music very quickly. Winning is a lottery, it’s how you’re seen, I guess, throughout the whole show, but I definitely had him in the final from the start, there was no question about that! Both Karen and Jake are deserved winners for me.
Are you and Ryan McShane still teaching?
Yes, I teach a lot in Ireland now, I’m travelling back and forth pretty much every week. But on the weekends I teach in Studio1 (Walsall) so it’s a mix… Ryan has pretty much the same schedule.
How was the press night for Giovanni Pernice’s tour?
I loved it, I was running a little late, but I got there hehehe… The show is great, with such talented dancers, definitely a must see if you’re into dancing. But I think what people look forward to is the afterparties where you can just let your hair down.
Are you appearing in any dance tours this year or are there plans to do a tour of your own in the future?
Definitely, I’d want to do a tour in the future and that’s something that I am working towards. I’m not appearing in any dance tours this year, but still performing at different events, shows and lectures. I am working on a little project now, so stay tuned…
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