For almost a year lasted Matyáš Adamec’s return to the competition dancefloor. He’s not competing under the Czech flag but in the colors of Switzerland. We mapped his long journey from the breakup of a couple with Natalie Otáhalová to a new partner from abroad in a long interview for which is the article divided into three parts:
The second part
About partner search
After the break-up of this successful couple, Matyáš and Natalie made their own way. Matyáš headed abroad, specifically to Bremen, the ancient Hanseatic town on the River Weser. He has tried a lot of different partners around the world and thanks to tryouts he traveled from Ankara to New York. Not just dancing in Bremen, but also the experience from Moscow or Turkey, was discussed in the second part of the interview:
So you fulfilled your vision to go dancing abroad and set out for Bremen. But how did it happen? Have you considered other places?
The intention to go to Bremen came on my mind the year before the crisis with Natka. We were at GrandSlam in Cambrils (Barcelona), where my good friend recommended me a camp in Bremen. Interesting lecturers were on the agenda and it looked good. We came there and I liked it very much. In fact, the city made the biggest impression. I think the city of Bremen is cool. I like it so much.
Did you decide to dance there because of the city?
Not at all. I wanted lessons with Roberto (Albanese) a lot for one reason: Once he was invited to the Czech Youth Sports Center (Czech national team camp) and I had one lesson with him. I have screw it up a lot, I’ve been acting like an idiot, so I wanted to improve my reputation.
How can you mess up a lesson?
The Youth Sports camp worked in a way that the same foreign coaches were coming back there to teach us. Zoran Plohl and Olga Basenko had their own system of coaching and they taught us in a specific way. And then, the week before the world championship, two other coaches came. I’ve never work with them before and it was all weird. So I’ve boycotted practise that Roberto led and behaved like an idiot.
Back to Bremen…
Well, so we went there for the first time, took two lessons at the camp and I thanked to Roberto and said I was glad we could start this way again. I began to travel for training regularly there. And not just to dance. I was going there to get to another environment. As I said I like the city, it’s only 600 kilometers away from Prague, I have got a lot of friends there. There are a lot of Czechs, I knew Roberto, Timur and Nina lives there… So when I needed to clean my head, I went there. It was some kind of escaping to another world for me.
First time we went there before Stuttgart 2017 and I liked the atmosphere in the club. Everybody accepted me, even though I had nothing in common with these people and I was completely out of their group. I realized it was exactly what I’ve been waiting for. It’s funny because I’ve always been against “hardcore” training at all costs, but I just enjoy it there. At the same time, it is not a club where every second couple is a world champion so there’s no heavy rivalry or some kind of tension in the group. I feel fine there. My coach (Martin Dvořák) told me he would like me to work in a group of people who raise me up.
And how was your partner search?
Martin, Timur and Nina knew I would probably need a new partner. When Roberto took me to Bremen, he also helped me with the search.
Did you want a Czech partner?
It was out of a question. Even if there was a free one, it would be useless to me. I wanted to go abroad, I wanted a change of mind. I would not get out of Bohemia with Czech dance partner. When I’ve been flying around the world looking for a partner, I’d sometimes wondered if it’s worth it. I have friends in Prague and the country is nice, but I knew from the beginning that I would have to look abroad if I wanted to change myself. I was looking for German partner because I wanted to live in Bremen, I wanted to represent Germany and my new club. But it’s not always that easy and I did not even get a tryout with German girl.
So you want to handle German citizenship …
Yes, I’m serious about it now. I want to live in Germany, there are far more possibilities and it can help me a lot. I know I would live well in Prague now. I’m dancing here, I have my couples here, I can make money here. But I’m eighteen, I still have plenty of time to improve myself. So I rather sacrifice everything for dancing now and it can get back later.
Would they give you better conditions in national team than in the Czech one?
I must say the Czech DanceSport Federation is working good all in terms of financial support for young people and so on. For example, there is nothing like this support in Switzerland. Germany is different, far better. And overall, Germany means more opportunities for me, both sporting and personal, so I’m managing my moving away.
How many partners did you tried after you broke up with Natalie?
Surely there were no more than ten.
You did not have any other partner before Natalie, did you?
I had two others in the hobby category, but I always improved myself so much over the month or two, so they gave me a better one. Then I got Natalie, who was already C class in Junior I.
Where have you been trying new partners?
Romania, Russia, Turkey, United States … I had one in Prague. And in Denmark. Basically, I’ve traveled half the world.
Which tryout was the most interesting?
Well… Probably the one with the European champion and world runner-up Maria Chernykh.
How did it even start?
I don’t know at all. It was fixed up so fast and it still chases me. I was planning to fly to Moscow because of a GrandSlam. So I’ve wrote to Timur and Nina if they had some free partner there. And they have arranged a tryout with a girl from Israel, who was fourth in the Youth World Championship in Tbilisi now by the way. The tryout has been scheduled on Thursday, I had a flight on Monday. I was in Prague to watch some competition on Sunday before my departure and Nina wrote to me that I have one more tryout with Maria the next day.
I did not understand for a while. I knew Maria Chernykh had broken up with her partner, but I absolutely did not think of asking her. So when I learned it was her, I could not believe it. “What? With me? Does she even know who I am?” It was Sunday night and the next day I had to be ready for the tryout in Moscow.
Were you nervous?
Absolutely. I went straight to the hall from Sheremetyevo airport. If I knew it before, I would be training a week before, pushing-up a thousand time a day… And let’s be honest, I did nothing before. I thought I had a test on Thursday, so I’d have plenty of time to work and dance there. And I had to try the runner-up of world championship, the champion of Europe and the winner of Stuttgart all of a sudden. The best I could get in this age category. I came there completely stressed out. I was wondering if she is sure what is she doing? If she ever saw me dancing and so on. I’ve never been so nervous in my whole life.
Fortunately, she was self-confident, but totally cool, and my nervousness left me after few minutes. Which does not change the fact I was dancing like I did not train for two months. We immediately felt that it would not work together because she was tall, much higher than I needed. And also she was somewhere else in dancing to make it good looking in a short time. All in all, it was probably the only tryout, where I finally felt good, we danced, we laughed… It was fine.
Did any of the parents of any tried girl offer you to pay you everything?
And was it tempting?
It was in Turkey. They wrote me they want me for a tryout. The terms were that they would pay everything for me, I would have my own flat, a private driver, security, paycheck, I would teach there, have costumes for free… In short, I would have everything. I would earn money, and not just a few, I would not have to lift a finger for a year. Even the partner was 24th in the youth world ranking, everything I was looking for.
I did not want much to live in Turkey. The tryout was scheduled for 4 days, which was much longer than usual. When I found out that it would not work togehther in the first day, it was very hard to endure there. I had my own apartment in a residence, but I felt like a prisoner there. Everybody spoke Turkish, there were no foreigners except me. A driver picked me at home, dropped me out at the hall and vice versa. And again, and again, and again.
I’ve always thought if something like this happened, well, I would be able to hold out at least a year. I would have a phone, access to internet, I could call and write to everyone always. But it’s not funny at all. I would miss a family, buddies, I would miss that I can speak Czech with somebody. I would miss being able to go wherever I want. It was not worth the money. It’s not a long time ago I thought about it. It was May and if I were there, I would have been there for half a year. Still in the same apartment, in the hall, alone in the middle of Ankara. Moreover, Ankara is a short distance from Syria, from Aleppo, where is war… It was the offer of greatest value, but the worst of the athletic point of view.
And what about the other tryouts?
Experience about how it works in America was priceless. I had a lesson with Austin Jones… There was an interesting atmosphere. Partner – it was a paradox – I flew to New York for Slovakian girl. But of course I felt much better than in Turkey, just because I was able to speak with her and her parents in Czech language.
How did they approached you? They dance a little differently in America, aren’t they?
I think they don’t think about it in a way that some WDSF guy came. I don’t even consider myself as a typical representative of the athletic way of dancing. I’m not some musceled Russian machine. I’m not saying I want to change the organization or something. I’m just going to do what I want. If I decide to start at Blackpool, I’ll dance at Blackpool, if I decide to start Stuttgart, I’ll dance at Stuttgart. I’m not going to limit myself just because someone says: “You can not go there because you could upset someone.”
The interview continues in third part ‘About training abroad’ here.
Read the first part ‘About break up with Natka’ here.