Things You Might Not Know About DWTS Pro Sasha FarberPublished on May 25, 2016. Updated April 27, 2020
Dancing with the Stars pro Sasha Farber has been on the show for five seasons and made a lasting impression on fans while working as a trouper on the show since 2011. We all know he’s an impressive dancer, but what else is there to know about Sasha Farber? Here’s a look at 7 things you might know have known about this professional dancer:
7. Dancing Career
He started dancing when he was only 13-years-old. Farber was a natural — when he was only 17 he had already won the Australian Youth Latin Championships…not once, but twice! He represented his country at the World Latin Championships. Similar to some of the other successful dance pros on DWTS, he was a cast member and lead dancer in the Broadway production, Burn the Floor. Today, Farber is recognized as a successful choreographer and dancing pro. He’s made guest appearances on shows like So You Think You Can Dance and the MTV Music Awards.
6. Olympic Dancer
He danced at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
5. He’s Russian
Born in Russia, his family moved to Australia in 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He has one sibling, a sister named Svetlana Shapshal. He was born on May 9, 1984.
4. Dancing Resume
Sasha Farber didn’t become a Dancing with the Stars pro until 2013, but he’s been in the DWTS family for quite some time. He joined season 2 of Australia’s version of the show in 2005 and then in 2011 he was a DWTS troupe for the American version and was promoted to dancing pro two years later. In an interview with Wet Paint, Sasha Farber said, “I was a pro on the Australian DWTS, and I really really enjoyed that. I love to teach. I think it’s every dancer’s dream to be a pro on this show, and having the experience behind me is also really good. The way I like to teach is I just love to have fun. It’s really hard to see celebrities stressed out. When you see them stressed out it’s just like — oh no. You just need to have fun with them, and be smart, not to over rehearse. Sometimes you just have to leave the room. Go for a coffee, go for lunch, go to a theme park — I mean, I did that when I was in the Australian DWTS. Just so they can forget everything and just have fun, and go into the studio with a clean, fresh start.” However, after his first season paired with Snooki, the pair were eliminated in week 7 and he was back in the troupe for the next few seasons. He returned as a dancing pro for season 22 and was paired with actress Kim Fields and then returned for season 23 with Little Women: LA star Terra Jolé. For season 24, he was partnered with Olympic artistic gymnast Simone Biles and now, for season 26, he has been paired with figure skater Tonya Harding.
3. He’s Fun and Cheeky
In his interview with Wet Paint Sasha described himself as the “fun and cheeky” one of the show. He’s the type of person who doesn’t sweat the small stuff and thinks it’s important to let loose now and again. He said, “It’s just about having fun and not stressing so much — obviously stress is important, but so is fun…I would definitely try to push the limits. It is a dance competition, but it’s also television. You want to make it as right and as entertaining as you possibly can. That’s my forte. I’ve been on stage for the past 11 years and competed in all the main world championships. I have a lot of entertainment behind me. It’s pretty much what I live to do.”
2. Petitioned to Become a Pro
One of the most inspiring stories to come from the show was when fellow pro dancer, Tristan MacManus, made a petition to promote Sasha Farber from dancing troupe to pro dancer. In the past, pro dancers have worked their way up from troupers, like Peta Murgatroyd and Sharna Burgess. In October 2012, Tristan tweeted out a link for followers to sign an ongoing petition and started the hashtag trend, “#Twitition Make Sasha Farber a pro on DWTS.”
1. Dating Fellow Dancer Emma Slater
Emma Slater joined the dancing troupe on Dancing with the Stars the year after Sasha was promoted. The couple has been dating on and off since 2011 — they broke up briefly in 2014, only to get back together in 2015. These two dancers knew each other before DWTS as they worked together on the Broadway production, Burn the Floor. They’ve had a very cute relationship, even when Sasha and Emma broke up they were extremely cordial and continued to work together and call one another best friends. The pair got engaged on the show in 2016 and then on March 25, 2018 they were married