Pavel "Pasha" Kovalev is a Latin and ballroom dancer who auditioned for the show in New York City with longtime partner and fellow finalist Anya Garnis. A Russian native, he began dancing at the age of 8, and received formal training in ballet and jazz as he grew older. His favorite professional dancers are Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Before So You Think You Can Dance, Kovalev appeared in the production Lois and Lois. He was eliminated from the competition on 2007-08-13 but eventually went on tour with the show. During season 4 he assisted Mia Michaels on a contemporary routine. On season four he and his partner Anya Garnis choreographed a cha-cha routine performed by Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian. During season 5, Kovalev and Garnis choreographed a samba for Evan Kasprzak and Randi Evans. He and Anya also appeared on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars on a results show performance, dancing to "Come On Over" by Jessica Simpson. He performed with Anya on the international dance show Superstars of Dance, representing Russia in the duet category, but was then replaced by an unnamed dancer in the January 19th episode. He and Anya returned to SYTYCD in season 6 to lead the choreography rounds during the auditions, and later that season choreographed a jive for Russell Ferguson and Mollee Gray.
Both Anya and Pasha have also recently guest-choreographed for the third season of SYTYCD Australia, and are currently involved in Jason Gilkinson's production Burn the floor. It has also been announced Pasha will be an "All-Star" for the seventh season of SYTYCD America.