Lawrence Chan's Exclusive Interview with Riccardo Cocchi (Italy) in January 2009

  1. In what age did you start your training of Latin Dancing?

    - RICCARDO  Well I started to dance at aged 6 with my parents' teachers, but I was only doing the folk ( local dancing) and Ballroom (Standard). I kind of started to study Latin American with Sammy Stopford at aged 12.  After him I started to like Latin but I never was so good to let me decide to follow just one discipline!

  2. I remember in 2003 in Cebu you told me that your main coach was Espen Salberg.  Do you still keep taking lessons from him?

    - RICCARDO Well my main coach then was Espen yes and he is the one that did most of the job for 10 long years! Thanks to him I know a lot of knowledge about Latin American! Now the situation is different, my girl friend is Shirley Ballas and I cannot call her coach but she is also a great teacher and of course the time that we spend together it is also in dancing! Let's say at the moment other people helping us with the developments and one of them it is my girlfriend! One more thing - Yulia's boyfriend also helping us with the choreography, he is one of the best in the world for it!

  3. You have had great achievements with both the previous partner Joanne Wilkinson and the current partner Yulia Zagorouitchenko.  How did you team up with them and why did you stop dancing with Joanne?  

    - RICCARDO Well dancing with Yulia it was much more easy than dancing with Joanne! When I was dancing with Joanne, we had one coach at that time and was Espen …. With Espen you  just have to follow his direction and you can't make mistake really! With Yulia the situation was completely different…. She is a great dancer even without me, dancing with her it is one of the most pleasure in life…. But before to dance with Yulia I did couple of shows with Shirley and I am telling you it is not easy to dance with such a great and powerful dancer like that! Dancing with Shirley helped me a lot to be ready to dance with Yulia, even because Yulia is the best student of Shirley!

  4. You are the only dancer who has represented two countries (Italy & USA) to win the Blackpool Invitational Professional Team Match.  How did you feel having danced for two different countries for this prestigious Team Match?

    - RICCARDO Well it was an experience, my job it is just dancing and the team match had 4 couples involved, I must say I was lucky to be with them or maybe them to be with me! Just a joke! Both of the teams were really strong and I enjoyed to dance for Italy and USA!
     Now how you know I am dancing for USA and I love it! I have what I was missing dancing for Italy somebody believe in you somebody there to be with you just because we are from the same national !

  5. Did you have any unforgettable moments and incidents in your history of dancing?

    - RICCARDO Several I must say……. But the best it was after I won for the first time Blackpool with Joanne after I lost the European , I was so happy that I jumped so high that when I landed I broke my foot and I could not dance for 2 months!

  6. Who would you thank most in helping you achieving what you have today? 

    - RICCARDO Definitely my parents and of course all my teachers! But most of the job and strong support from day one was coming from my parents! I love them and they love me!

  7. What are you short term goal and long term goal in your dancing career?

    - RICCARDO Short term of course win the first couples and long is to enjoy my dancing as much I can even because it is not forever and if I am dancing now it is because I have a great partner, and great teachers that believe in me!

Lawrence Chan