I was born on June 3, 1985 in Chernivtsi. Chernivtsi a city in Ukraine has provided me with a nurturing environment of a special kind. I experienced the crumbling down of the vast Soviet Union, the proclamation of the independence of my own country, and all the turmoil that followed and still follows Ukraine like a plague. The life during the reconstruction has forced me to grow up early, be aware of the situation and be responsible. My mother, being fond of performing arts, desired me to learn the art of dancing and that of music. At four, I started attending ballroom classes, at six, I started going to the regional music school, concentrating on piano, and at seven to the normal elementary school. I attended the music school for six years, up to the time of my family's immigration.
My dance teachers thought me to possess a talent of a special kind, and persuaded me to indulge my self in that art even more than before. I happily agreed, and thus started my dancing career. When I saw the summer chase away the winter for the twelfth time, my family moved to Toronto, Canada, in hope of the better future. I started going to the St. Mark's Catholic School and succeeded to be on the honor roll for the years of 1997, 1998 and 1999. While keeping up the ballroom dancing, I started a dance program at the Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance. There, I regularly took classes in ballet, jazz, tap and acrobatics. Although I became a Canadian ballroom dancing champion, I was still hungry for more.
I understood that only in Europe could I get the best training for my particular field of dance, and that is why I started to look for a new dancing partner in Europe. It turned out to be, that in January 2000, I found her in Berlin, Germany. After numerous telephone conversations, my parents agreed upon sending me their fourteen year old son away to Europe by my self. I flew to Berlin, wrapped in great anxiety. I knew no one there, nor spoke a word of German. The risk was great, but the rewards were still greater, as the life showed afterwards. In Berlin, I continued my high school education at the John F. Kennedy School, pursuing an American High School Diploma program. In no time, I found my self speaking German, and thought it not a bad utility to be in possession of.
Living so far away from my family has taught me a lot. In retrospective, the most important thing that I have learned from my brave errant is, I think, the fact that I have actually undertook it. I understood that everything is possible; only if you put your mind and your body to it, of course. I also understood that dreaming is an essential part of going forward, since it is the thought that comes first, and then the action. I became a world junior ballroom dancing champion in December 2000. It was a huge success as I remember. The life of a competition dancer is not easy. There is the usual practice six days a week, and usually a competition somewhere in the world on the weekend. Well there is of course also the homework from school that awaits you every day at home, patiently sitting either in the school bag, or on the desk. So, after a hard day of practice, I usually sat down at my desk, exhausted, and did my homework. The training plan needed to be made six months in advance, so there was no time for slacking off.
In 2002, I won the world championships in ballroom dancing again, this time in the new age category, sixteen to eighteen years of age. Since at the time of winning I was still seventeen, I had a chance to defend my title again the following year. That is why the German dance federation took it upon itself to organize the 2003 world championships in Berlin my home town at that time. The pressure was, of course, enormous. It is a horrible feeling to be afraid of disappointing everybody. But that misfortune was destined for somebody else, for we successfully defended our title.
Having won seven German championship titles and three world championship titles, I felt good, but not good enough. I finished my High School in 2003, and received my High School Diploma. I was also awarded the AP Scholar with Distinction award and AP International Diploma for overseas studies award. Because of my dancing, I had less time to study than every body else in my school, and therefore I am very proud of my good grades and wonderful awards. After High School, I started a dancing education in a Berlin private school. The school is one level bellow a typical American college, since it did not have any academic courses. I had lessons in ballet, modern, partnering, improvisation, anatomy, and choreography. Although I was satisfied, I wasn't truly happy. Firstly, I wanted to have academic classes to satisfy and challenge my mind and secondly, I longed to attend a more rigorous and more professional institution.
That is why in September 2004, I started applying to The Juilliard School and Fordham University, since both schools have BFA programs with concentration in Dance. It seemed like a crazy thing to do then, due to the complete involvement in my Berlin life. There were supposed to be plans made for the upcoming year and all sorts of things; my partner and I were supposed to have a wonderful career in ballroom dancing. All was planned out. But I thought otherwise. I decided that I should never stop educating and challenging my self. I applied to those schools in New York with as much as one percent hope in being able to actually realize my plan. I had and still have no money, and therefore those tuition figures looking grimly at me and I at them did much to keep my hopes from getting all too agitated. You cannot imagine the joy I felt when I found out that both, The Juilliard School and Fordham University have accepted me and were offering me scholarships. The Juilliard School turned out to support the international students more than The Fordham University, by giving me a full tuition scholarship. I could not believe it, but I guess I had to.
In the summer of 2005 I continued my migration back over the ocean and started a new kind of life in the New York City. The Juilliard School was very rigorous and challenging. The four years were incredibly productive and enriching for me. I created a number of choreographies and got a chance to dance in a few my self. I also got a chance to perform on the Juilliard Theater stage each semester, as well as in the other great performance halls all over New York City. The experience is incredible. In the summer of 2006 I also attended summer courses at the University of Toronto. I studied Economics and Philosophy to broaden my intellectual horizons. In my third and fourth Juilliard years, I took a part in the Juilliard-Columbia exhange program, taking classes in philosophy and mathematics. I also successfully completed a scholastic distinction program, which accumulated in the year long research paper. I have done my research paper on the education of competitive Latin-American dancing. I am eager to continue my research and inquiry even more into the topic of my undertaking and that is why I am eager to pursue a Masters degree in Dance Education at the NY University. Currently I am enrolled in the MA program for Dance Education in the Higher Professions at the Steinhardt School of Education.