Strictly Kosher Dancing!

Strictly Kosher Dancing!
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Katya Virshilas whose family moved from Lithuania to Israel when she was aged six spoke to TJ yesterday about her heritage and her hopes of waltzing to victory in this year¹s series of the hit show with her dance partner, cricket legend Phil Tufnell.

The 26-year-old, who lived in Israel until she was 13 and who still has an
Israeli passport, said: “I got into film, commercials and modelling in
Israel. I participated in an Israeli talent search competition and it
propelled my career to where I am now”

Virshilas describes her childhood in the country as “amazing”, adding: “Israelis are cool, interesting, and distinguished people.” As for her Jewish background, she said: “I am proud of my heritage and where
I come from.”

So what of the High Holy Days? Well, when she lived in Israel she fasted for
Yom Kippur and celebrated Pesach and Chanukah, but on this Day of Atonement,
she said she’ll have to eat. “I can¹t fast this year,” she told TJ, “as I need all my energy for the dance training.”

Virshilas did have a Rosh Hashanah celebration though while she was filming.
“My cousin came from Israel to surprise me for my birthday,” she explained. “We didn’t have a traditional dinner, but after the show on Saturday night we had a l’chaim and wished each other Shana Tova¹ in the BBC bar.”

The ballroom star believes she and Tufnell, who she called “fun” can do
well in the competition. “I think we’ll be one of the more entertaining
couples so we have a chance to win,” she said. “It does depend on the
audience and if they like us.”

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