Photo courtesy of Jonathan & Oksana Platero.
In the dance industry, Jonathan and Oksana Platero are known for their fiery duets, which combine the best of their dance backgrounds. Jonathan's choreography always features complex lifts that make him one of the strongest dance partners out there, while Oksana's ballroom background adds traditional steps and technique to their unique flair. Their work has been seen on "Dancing with the Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Strictly Come Dancing," but they are taking their talents to the next level on Univision's "Mira Quién Baila."
They are back for a fourth season of the Miami-based show, but this year, their roles have taken them behind the scenes as well. The couple is calling the shots as supervising choreographers on the program to help structure camera angles to make each dance look picture-perfect for the audience watching at home. In addition to their roles on the dance competition show, the talented duo is also making their mark on the acting world, coached by their close friend (and "Dancing with the Stars" veteran) Leah Remini.
Watch the full video interview with Jonathan and Oksana Platero:
What makes this season of "Mira Quién Baila" so special?
Jonathan: This season is a little bit different. They tried a different format this season, and it's an in-house, Univision All-Stars. So we have people from "¡Despierta América!," which is like "Good Morning America," we people have from the sports channels, we have a journalist, we have actors, singers, we have contestants from Univision shows, so we have the whole parameter of everything there. The cast is not just a Latin-based community, we have people from all over — people from all over the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Can you explain the concept of the show, it's a bit different from "Dancing with the Stars?
Oksana: We don't do just ballroom, we do all of the styles like hip-hop, contemporary, Broadway, jazz, disco, freestyle, regional Mexican.
Jonathan: — which is a really fun one, but also very difficult.
Oksana: That's why the dancers, who are hired on the show, have a good representation of each style. Our celebrities switch around every week. If they have hip-hop, they would be partnered up with a hip-hop professional dancer, and if they have ballroom, they would go to me or another dancer who is ballroom-trained. So, according to the style, that's how we're going to be partnered up every week.
What is regional Mexican?
Jonathan: It's less on the technical side. It's a very Latin-based Mexican dance. It's very partner-based, so you have a lot of moving around, jumping from feet to feet.
Oksana: It's jumpy and bouncy — and there are some crazy tricks expected.
Now that you've added supervising choreographers to your resumé for this show, how has that challenged your creative skills?
Jonathan: We have to oversee everybody and everything. Our boss, Rodrigo Basurto, had to leave to go do "American Idol," so we had to step in. He's been training us through the years, and honestly, he's one of the best mentors we've had. I think the biggest surprise for me was that I went from shadowing him to learn everything, and then the next week, he had to leave... You just jump in there and do it. That was a shocking day for me and, of course, I was nervous. I was extremely nervous.
Oksana: You have to make decisions that impact everyone on the show.
Jonathan: But at the same time, Rodrigo told us, "The only way to learn is by doing it." And it's true, and now as we're going into it more, we're going to get more comfortable with it and try to get really creative with it.
Can you share your journey into acting and being coached by Leah Remini?
Jonathan: It's something that none of us thought we would have such a great passion for, but Leah is a great mentor that we've had in our lives, and we're just so lucky and blessed to have her as a coach. She's somebody who has guided us in this whole new acting career.
Oksana: The timing worked out when the pandemic started with all of this time on our hands. It's always been an interest, but we never had time to do it.
To learn more about Jonathan and Oksana Platero's experience on "Mira Quién Baila" and the two new short films they are starring in, watch the full video interview.
For more behind-the-scenes stories about the dance community, check out our recent interview with former "So You Think You Can Dance" contestant Dassy Lee on her new project with Red Bull Dance.