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Catching up with Kristina and Marius-Andrei 17/05/2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the daily routines of dancers globally, but for top Latin couple Kristina Moshenskaya and Marius-Andrei Balan, the slower pace of life has actually been most welcome.

Under lockdown, in addition to getting closer to their fans through social media, the pair say they have learned a number of valuable lessons that they will carry over into their post-pandemic lives. Perhaps just as importantly, they’ve also managed to tackle all the household chores they’d been putting off for years.

None of this is particularly surprising, of course, considering what a dynamic duo they are. Global crisis or not, at the Balan-Moshenskaya household the glass is perpetually half full.

“One thing we are not is depressed,” says Balan, who together with Moshenskaya currently lead the WDSF World Ranking List. “We are full of life and that is the most important thing. And being full of life means seeing the glass half full the majority of the time. And being that way with everything is great, especially as athletes and also as artists.”

One way in which the pair are channelling their positivity is through an increased presence on social media. Already one of the more active DanceSport couples online, Balan and Moshenskaya have discovered how much pleasure they receive from providing inspiration to people on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, especially during times of isolation.

“When the situation with coronavirus started, we decided that we wanted to do something to motivate people because we can’t see them in person, and we also felt from our students that they were getting a little demotivated,” says Moshenskaya. “We started the first week just doing an interview with ourselves, telling our story -- how we practice, everything about us. We were quite open and truthful. Then we decided to invite some great dancers, past and present, to interview and people also really liked that.”

The public response was so positive that soon other dancers started doing similar interviews on their own platforms.

“The best thing is that everyone is doing it for free and I think it’s nice because every dancer has different priorities and fans can choose who they like and follow that dancer,” she adds.

Balan and Moshenskaya have warmly embraced their followers over the years, but they insist they are not on social media merely to boost numbers, be it followers or likes. For them, the real purpose is to connect with the public in a much deeper way than they are normally able to do face to face.

“When we are at an event,” explains Balan, “we have many people that come up and want to speak to us, which we find almost impossible. Not because we are unsocial, but because we are so concentrated on our competition. We have ghost faces. Through social media, we have the opportunity to get closer to people.”

Moshenskaya agrees: “We’ve received so many messages lately saying: ‘Guys, during quarantine I realized that you are so nice and grounded. We like to follow you,’ and this kind of thing. Because normally, as Marius said, it’s not like we are different, but we just don’t have the time to show our real feelings to people.”

More than anything, the pair takes great satisfaction in hearing how they’ve inspired others, be it in dance or in life. One woman, for example, recently wrote the couple saying that she was alone and struggling during isolation and had decided to quit dancing, but because of the videos Balan and Moshenskaya had posted, she felt a renewed sense of hope and has vowed to keep going.

“Through our videos she felt the wish of life, the spark of motivation,” Balan says. “And this for us is the biggest prize for what we are doing, it cannot compare to anything financial. Because we’re not talking about just one or two hours. This can be motivation for life. You never know when these people start dancing again if everything changes in their life. So if we can be the starting point for something like that, I mean, it’s crazy.”

“We’ve had many people say that they have really been motivated by us and whether it’s one or two people or 100, it’s already a big deal,” adds Moshenskaya. “This is a great thing for us.”

In addition to working out, practicing and rehabilitation work (Balan is still recovering from an injury suffered pre-pandemic), Kristina and Marius say they are keeping busy doing a myriad of household chores, something they never seemed to get around to doing previously thanks to their heavy travel and competition schedules.

Together they have managed to replace all the old light bulbs in the house and donate cartons of clothes to the needy. Separately, Marius managed to finally clean the grill, while Kristina paved a hole on the balcony like a seasoned construction worker.

Throughout the lockdown, Kristina and Marius say they have grown to understand what is most important to them and to not take anything, least of all life, for granted.

Asked for their key takeaways from life during the coronavirus crisis, they answered:

1)    Good people will always rise to the top. (“Because people understand that nothing is more important than getting information and inspiration from the best” – Marius)

2)    Rest is a virtue. (“Before coronavirus, people were too crazy, always moving and trying to improve and go, go, go. When things get back to normal, always remember that if it’s too much, take a break. For some people it can be two days. For others one week. But really give your body the time that is needed” – Kristina)

3)    Appreciate what you have. (“Find the value in life itself. Appreciate life. Appreciate freedom. This is what we have every day and often we don’t appreciate it as human beings. This would be a great thing for us to take forward from this period” – Marius)

Some good advice indeed as we collectively look ahead to our post-pandemic future.

Follow Balan and Moshenskaya on Instagram ( Kristina & Marius), Facebook and TikTok.