Katya Virshilas

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Katya Virshilas
Born (1983-09-10) 10 September 1983 (age 37)
OccupationActress, dancer
Height1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)[1]
Spouse(s)Dmitry Ilyushenov (divorced)
Klaus Kongsdal (7 July 2012–present)

Katya Virshilas (born 10 September 1983) is a Lithuanian-Canadian[2] dancer and actress.

Early life[edit]

Virshilas was born in Lithuania, to a Jewish family. She subsequently moved to Israel at age 6, and to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at thirteen.[3] She began dancing at the age of 13.[4]


She was a Vancouver British Columbia Dancesport Champion four times, from 1998 to 2002.[5] In 2001, she and her partner won the Canadian Latin Dance Championship.[6] Virshilas has appeared in the Hollywood films Shall We Dance? (2004), Take the Lead and John Tucker Must Die (both 2006), and in the television shows Smallville, Supernatural, Psych, and others.

Based in the United Kingdom from the start of her appearances in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series, she has since 2009 been professionally partnered with Danish dancer Klaus Kongsdal.

Virshilas toured the UK with Pasha Kovalev from 26 March 2012 in their own show.[7]

She also starred in John Tucker Must Die in a minor role.

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

She appeared as a professional dancer on series 7 (2009) of Strictly Come Dancing partnering cricketer Phil Tufnell. They were knocked out of the competition in week 9.[citation needed] Their scores were as follows (all out of a possible 40 marks):

On that week, they were in the bottom-two couples after a combination of the judges' points allocation and the audience's votes, alongside Ricky Groves and Erin Boag but were not saved by the judges.

Virshilas returned for the eighth series of the dancing show in autumn 2010 and was partnered with rugby player Gavin Henson. In week 1 they scored 28 (their highest so far) and in week 4 they scored 23 for a tango to Britney Spears's "Toxic". However, were knocked out on the semi-final. In the ninth series, she was paired with Dan Lobb[8] who was at the time one of the presenters of Daybreak.[9] However, they were eliminated in week 3 of the competition.

On 20 June 2012, it was announced that Virshilas would not appear in the tenth series.[10]

So You Think You Can Dance[edit]

On the first series of the televised reality dancing competition So You Think You Can Dance, Virshilas choreographed or semi-choreographed four routines for different couples:

  • Week 1 – helped James Jordan with the choreography of Robbie White and Yanet Fuentes's American Smooth style foxtrot
  • Week 2 – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Mark Calape and Lizzie Gough's Viennese Waltz, which was highly praised by the judges
  • Week 5 – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Mandy Montanez and Alastair Postlethwaite's Paso Doble, which was criticized by the judges for the lack of passion, in particular, Nigel Lythgoe, series creator and judge, said it was the worst performance the pair had given over the course of the whole series
  • Week 6 (final) – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzén's tango, much to the praise of the judges

Virshilas reappeared on the second series to choreograph more routines:

  • Week 2 – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Stephanie Powell and Gian Luca Loddo's cha-cha-cha, which was praised by the judges, despite Powell and Loddo being placed in the bottom two couples by public vote and consequently eliminated
  • Week 2 – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Alice Woodhouse and Charlie Wheeller's American Smooth style waltz, praised highly by the judges
  • Week 7 – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) the boys' group Paso Doble performance (Lee Bridgman, Luke Jackson and Matt Flint)
  • Week 8 (final) – choreographed (alongside professional partner Klaus) Matt Flint and Kirsty Swain's American Smooth style waltz/foxtrot

Personal life[edit]

Virshilas started dating Klaus Kongsdal in 2009 after the two met at the BBC bar.[11] They announced their engagement in January 2011.[12] The couple married on Saturday 7 July 2012 in a chateau in Loire Valley, France.[13] The couple since then moved to Hong Kong and founded Ballroom Bees dance class for children below 6 years old, the dance courses are sold online and offline at YWCA.org and Kuddo. After Virshilas initially suffering a miscarriage in 2014, the couple had their first child, a boy, in May 2016.[14]


  1. ^ "Katya Virshilas BBC Strictly Come Dancing". Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  2. ^ Markowicz, Chloe (24 September 2009). "Strictly Kosher Dancing!". TotallyJewish. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
  3. ^ Sexy Katya to Salsa in Mumbai The Times of India, 19 August 2007
  4. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing's Katya Virshilas talks to EMB". Phoenix FM. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  5. ^ Shiamak is India's Michael Jackson! The Times of India, 13 November 2007
  6. ^ Katya Virshilas Free-Press-Release.com
  7. ^ "www.katyaandpasha.com". Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Dan Lobb". Strictly Come Dancing. British Broadcasting Corporation. September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Katya Virshilas". Strictly Come Dancing. British Broadcasting Corporation. September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  10. ^ "'Strictly Come Dancing' axes professional dancer Katya Virshilas – Strictly Come Dancing News – Reality TV". Digital Spy. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  11. ^ Mon; Jan, 03; 2011 - 09:23 (3 January 2011). "'Strictly' star Katya Virshilas engaged". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 28 October 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "'Strictly' star Katya Virshilas announces engagement to fellow dancer Klaus Kongsdal". Hello Magazine. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ McLennan, Patrick (16 July 2012). "Strictly's Katya Virshilas ties the knot | News | Strictly Come Dancing". What's on TV. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Former Strictly star Katya Virshilas welcomes her first baby – find out the gender". uk.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 28 October 2020.

External links[edit]