YY Westie hosting Piotr & Marta

Hi! Hi! And hi everyone! It's the YY Westie from Wroclaw I'm here with Piotr and Marta, I'm Piotr BTW

one of the most beloved couples in Europe Is it really? No, no, it's– No, no, wait, wait She's the beloved one– it's about the couple, not you She's the beloved one, and I'm just hanging there They both compete in the All-star devision and they've both been teaching for many years, I would say? Whatever amount– Six? It will be seven this year

Might be seven this year, true Let's start with a bit of your history Where did you grow up? You go f(irst)– Poland in general Yeah, Poland in general It was quite interesting

I will start from the different parts of our life So, when you are getting married in Poland you need to gather a lot of documents It is like: where you were born, where you were baptized, when you had the first Communion? I think so, I don't– and the stuff around, catholic stuff So when we were collecting our stuff, our documents, every form was from different city For me and for him

So we were moving a lot I was moving a lot because my parents were studying when I was born, so they were moving because of the work And he was moving– Because of my father He's a– he was, actually, a professional soldier And how did you end up in Warsaw? It's in the middle

That's actually true So she ended up there because Warsaw has probably the best universities So it was it, and I went there– I wanted to go to Krakow But it was too far away, so– And I ended up in Warsaw because of her I would assume that he also have some "normal", ordinary jobs

She does Yeah, I do I have been working for over 12 years now in clinical trials in project management I'm a teacher I teach English

Kind of ish right now because I just do one day (a week) right now How often do you travel to events? 42? We are– last year it was– I will start It was 20 weekends of learning and 22 weekends of teaching That's it So 42 weekends

But yes, some of them were in Warsaw So do you sometimes stay at home? It's like only 10 weekends a year? For Christmas we usually go to one of our families Yes No, we do have some free weekends, but not a lot We are working on that

So this year we had one for weekend as for now Yes, so far One free weekend? We're working, really hard Is possible to become an All-star without any dance background? Yes We did, so that's possible

Next question So can you take me step-by-step from zero to hero? It's definitely easier if you have, for example, a classical background, and then you go into West Coast Swing It's easier to move up or faster You can work faster So it was kind of slow, I guess, for us

At the beginning At the beginning of the way For example, once I got to Intermediate, for a year I didn't have any finals, and I think I just had to reach this point when I was comfortable with some aspects of WCS, all right? Then I was actually doing better and better in the competitions So I started doing very well in Intermediate And I think once I hit Advanced, it was like– Yeah, from the first competition

I really think it's important to a have good balance in your learning curve, so to have workshops, private and practice time plus a lot of social dancing Social dancing! So it cannot be only one thing You need to go through all of that because different kind of classes are giving you different kind of experience What would you think if someone would tell you that he prefers to take only private lessons and no group classes or the other way around? So private classes are really good for particular corrections So especially if you do not have a lot of regular classes, then it's really good to go to the privates from time to time because they can correct stuff which is your habbit now

Because through dancing with the same people you are getting some habits And we are always doing that because we are dancing quite a lot with each other At the beginning it was like, we needed Corrections We needed a lot of correction because we couldn't see our mistakes and we couldn't correct them properly That's why we were going to quite a lot of private lessons

And for the workshops – workshops are giving you– it's cheaper option That's first thing They will be giving you more patterns They will still– if you're going to the right workshops, you will get a lot of technique And you have a possibility to practice with a lot of people with a different type of connection and a different background

So I think it should be a mix of that I agree It's a perfect answer How long did it take you to get to All-stars? From the point where you started dancing It's difficult for us to pin a point when we start really dancing WCS and learning it properly

So we will go from the first comp– our first competition ever was Budafest– no, it was 2012 Three years? I think it was three years (from first comp to All-star) I would say it was three So 2012, which would mean that 2015 was my first All-star? I think, yeah, and for me it was a year after – 2016 Although, actually, I wanted to make it later, but they didn't allow me to, so whatever Yeah, back then he wanted to stay in Advanced, but the chief judge told him, "You can compete here in All-star or do not compete

" Why did you want to stay in Advanced? Because it felt more comfortable It was like, "No" Once you just keep winning or keep getting frees (free passes?), it's like, "Yeay!" And once you get to a new devision, and you are just a newcomer, baby Advanced, baby All-star, you don't feel as comfortable as once you get to know the people, and the judges get to know you, which is actually quite important as well When you think about it, the judges have to know you Need to recognize you

Right, they have to recognize you You need to be kind of consistent in the competitions to go through the ranks And then it's like, I'm comfortable right now, so it's fine Yeah, in All-star, having almost one hundred points Yeah, you are– It's fine! What made you fall in love with this dance, with West Coast? John Lindo! It's actually true! It started with the video of John Lindo, yeah

Which one? The one with Stephanie Batista, Stephanie McHenry (Link in the comments) You know it They were dancing to Danity Kane, I think that's the name, "Damaged"? There were two songs There were two songs There was one Bluesy song

Yeah, in the beginning, yeah "Soul serenade" was it? It doesn't matter It doesn't matter Anyway, so, we see this video and it was like, well, first of all we thought it was kind of like a choreography, but it wasn't And it was just perfect and you kind of see the interaction in the couple when they're trying to do things and they're having that fun

And there were people in the background who were having fun with them, but, basically, they were competitors You two have quite a lot of experience as judges in competitions, and I wanted to ask you if you can tell about the criterias you use to evaluate followers and leaders I always try to judge through comparison So I do not have criteria, so– Unless it's timing Yeah, timing is the most important, that's definitely

The thing is, when I see the group for the competition, I'm trying to find the best and the worst people and then compare them to the rest of the people so sometimes you can be my nine and sometimes you can be my seven It always depends on the group I think it's more fair On a one-to-ten scale BTW

Or actually, it's five-to-ten, nobody does that Yeah, because it's nine point something, bla bla bla Nine point something? Yeah, so it's like, I have my table, it's nine, eight, seven, six, five, and I'm adding the numbers, which means nine point five or seven point eight to compare people And definitely we are trying to have timing as our priority and then I really love– for Newcomer it's always timing And usually it's enough

And then you can compare how it looks, and you can add proper stretch and proper compression Yes We both like stretch and compression That's for Novice Yeah

That's like, followers waiting, leaders giving the space And then, judging the higher division it's other stuff, like more creativity, more variations and contrasts Is it something that you look for in Novice as well, or you're talking about Intermediate and above? I would say more for Intermediate and above, but I love, when I judge in the prelims, I really like to see people dancing differently to different kind of songs I don't want to see the same girl dancing the same styling, for example, for slow song and for blues, or slow song and fast song It doesn't look good

So I still want to have that impression that if I won't hear the music, I will see what kind of song is played And would you say that timing is still a criteria in Intermediate and Advanced and– For us, yes, not for everyone Absolutely! Not for everyone I mean, for me it is So you can have like, amazing quality movement and have amazing patterns, but if you fail at, like, heating the brakes or, for example, basically, your timing is a little bit off, you're just still going to be, like, "No" (not qualified for the next round)

If you have other people who actually do less, but they're on time And would you say that your teaching is competition-oriented or social-oriented or– Connection-based! I think, focused on the connection and how to lead properly Obviously– That's why I think more– Social(-oriented) social dance-(oriented) It's not– for me, if you want to have a workshop dedicated to competition, you need to focus more on the visual part of the dance, and usually, for us, technique is more important than the proper look

But eventually, once you get the technique right, you'll get better from your frame, your posture aspect, I think so For the highest level we do have classes on the look, but still, connection is more important to us If now, for example, a beginner dancer comes up to you and asks you for the most important tip that you could give He wants to be a pro dancer like you; he wants to teach; he wants to evolve and be better, let's say, in competition– That's a very very complex question No, no, the easy part is like, you need to earn a lot of money

You need to spend a lot of money at the beginning But in general, if you want to be a pro, you have to love what you're doing That's pretty much it Because if you don't, you're going to get fed up with it eventually Yeah, and I still think you need to travel a lot

We have some good examples of people who actually got to Champions from All-star Yes, but there are not many Yeah not too many yet I think, also, the fact is that you have to show yourself [inaudible] in the US if you want to become a Champion, so– And that's expensive Yeah, and it's not just one event a year, it's like, you have to be there for a few months

And once you get noticed, for example you get to be asked by other Champions to do strictly with them Because you're good as an All-star in Europe, but once you get this spotlight with another champion in the US– It feels like an invitation Yes I think that's okay Is it something that you would try to do in the future? Are you thinking about it? Yes for him, no for me

Okay Hi Victoria How're you doing? I want to dance with you I want to dance with you! How did you aquire your unique nickname – "Batman"? Our first– Two-events story Two-events story? Is it? Yeah The first time I was called "Badman" was – "Batman" actually, "Batman" – was in New Year's Swing Fling 2012? Or (20)13? No, it started with our strictly during the Warsaw Swing, Warsaw Halloween, it was back then– Oh yeah, it was that T-shirt

Yeah So we had T-shirts with a similar color scheme and his was with Batman And then during New Year's Swing Fling it was the different one that was also with Batman Yes I don't remember

But the first time it was Steve who said like– Steve Hunt I drew I think it was Joelle or Bev? I don't know who's the first one Anyway, in the all-skate I danced with both of them It was my first time doing a "double trouble" It was actually very fun He (Steve Hunt) said like or so, "France meets Batman

" And then after the event there were those photos Yeah, so I had a series of photos of me looking at girls' chests and– Someone commented someone said that I'm a "Badman" "Batman" – "Badman", and I use both interchangeably really

So then I started getting gifts from people: Batman belt– And are you still waiting for someone to buy you a Batmobile? Of Course Yes, please Yes, please If you appreciate Piotr's work, buy him a true Batmobile I drive a really old car

It's black, but it's not a Batmobile Please And how did you two meet? Who hit oh who? I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure I hit on you Oh yes Yes, I did

How did you do that? We met– Please I've never been a very attractive person, but I used to play a guitar So yeah, that was it Yeah, we met during the language camp What age was that? How old were you? She was 17, I was 18

And you played the serenade for her on the roof? No, I was just playing for girls in general, but she was the one who just – I think – liked it the most Although I know now that she hated my singing then Yes She was lying about it, because– No! But I'm pretty sure she wanted to hit on me as well, so that's it Never

And how did he convince you? because you seem you waren't interested at first, so, what made you– How did that happen? There was this letter I wrote you that you have to take chances every now and then, and you did, and I was like, "Oh Yeah! Score!" And you stayed together ever since or you split once and returned? We had longer and shorter breaks, I guess There was one which was a year long But we always kind of got back to each other Yeah, but it was difficult at the beginning because of the distance There were 700 kilometers between us for the first year

The she moved to Warsaw and I moved to Radom He was to move to Warsaw But I failed my exams, I'm sorry mom So we were still two hours apart for the next five years Five years, I guess? But then I moved to Warsaw, and it worked out, so it's fine

Let's end with something funny What have I been doing for the last 25 minutes?! Jeez! I need to work on my comedy level I wanted to ask you if you can think of the most awkward or funny or embarrassing moment you had on the dancefloor Oh! There is a video clip of me and Irina dancing (Link in the comments) It's on YouTube

It says "Irina beats the Batman", if we remember correctly It's got over 3,000 views or something like that You can find it, you know So I spin her into a free spin and her elbow– I mean, I was working on my posture back then, I'm sorry, so my had was a little bit forward and her elbow was little bit too high and she hit me in the face! And quite recently, which is funny– We will send you a link Yeah

So quite recently, same hotel, almost the same spot on the dance floor Remember? was it New Year's Swing Fling? I'm dancing– we're dancing, actually, together Oh my god! in this area and I prep myself for this one-leg spin, and it was really wide, and I didn't notice there was a couple dancing next to us, and then I just chopped a girl, she was in the air for like a second and BAMM! Yeah, I'm really sorry about this We had a good dance later though That was a good one No, I really loved her response at the end

Yeah, yeah She kind of– So, first of all, she was really really shocked, and I was shocked because I was like, "Wow! That happened actually?!" Because I'm usually very careful on the dance floor My floorcraft is pretty okay-ish, I guess And it was like empty space, a lot of empty space, so we could dance We went to the other side of the ballroom to dance and to have the space

But there was that one couple who moved Yes Well, anyhow, so I said that I'm really sorry and that we should dance later And she found me later I was looking for her as well

And she found me later and we danced and she was like, "Oh, it was worth it" I was like, "Yes, thank god!" She didn't hate me I still blush a little bit when I hear this That was really bad That was a bad one

But you are right that it was almost the same spot True So you should never dance on that spot I'm never dancing on that side of the– That's why I stick to the DJ booth So thank you so much

Thank you I had a lot of fun That was fun though Okay, let's go to party No kids

I don't do anything like that I used to do– Oh, I was going to say, "I used to do school kids" That will be in the bloopers One final First final, first place, out of Novice

It was longer for me I'm so good So it was 2012, and– Oh hallo Elva, hi Elva Oh, BTW– whatever BTW, I'm selling my points, anyone? Takers? It's a Euro per point You're so cheap! So cheap

Okay, if– So, actually, the music was off-time, not you Exactly! The music was off, absolutely I was fine! I was awesome! Subscribe to my channel (the round button with my pic in the middle) for more videos 🙂