I don’t know if it’s a hobby or something more, but dance has become a necessity in my life.
Earlier, as a child, I somehow did not pay attention to this type of leisure: dance lessons with kovyryalochka, golubtsyamy, polka were as a normal “gentleman’s set” in kindergarten and elementary school.
Then, in high school, it all faded into the background: learning, new knowledge took up almost all my time.
However, I was dancing at every wedding. Usually the first dances with dad, and then with relatives, with guests, up to the pain in my legs. Gradually, a stereotype was formed – to dance all the dances at the wedding. Therefore, additional shoes for dancing at the wedding had become an integral attribute of intense dancing.
During my student years at one of the weddings in Borshchiv we were dancing all night until morning. I prepared for this wedding thoroughly: I bought new wedge sandals in advance to make it comfortable to dance. The wedge did not withstand until the morning – a longitudinal crack appeared on the wedge heel. My dad wondered for a long time how it was possible to dance new sandals in one night. But what is done, can’t be undone.
Already in my student years, heading the cultural and mass commission of the trade union of students at the Ternopil State Medical Institute (TSMI), in the 3rd year there was an opportunity to form a group of ballroom dancing.
I had organized, and managed, and began to dance ballroom dancing. Then it was a waltz, polonaise, elements of tango, cha-cha-cha and others. I danced all the senior courses. Our leader of the group drew the attention of many students to the ballroom dance group: up to 20 couples came to the rehearsals who wanted to learn and dance. Attracted aristocracy and sophistication of manners of this type of dance, graceful movements, gestures and emotions.
There were performances on stage, sewing costumes and dresses in the studio, and then… sewing them in the sewing workshop of the dormitory on my own hands under the watchful eye of the head of the dance group. The main motive for such dissatisfaction was in one sentence: “These should be ball dress, not nightgowns. I will not let you on stage in them!” Then, in the 80s of the 20th century, it was difficult for us to understand. However, we changed clothes, dressed up and performed with pleasure in blue dresses open on one shoulder. I present some pictuers from performances and photo sessions here.
The leader of our ballroom dance ensemble was a living legend for us as medical students: after a serious accident, he recovered on his own due to his character and love for dancing.
My partner in student ballroom dancing was a classmate Roman Bublyk. Roman danced in parallel in the ensemble of folk dances and often at rehearsals did not hide his admiration for the style of ballroom dancing: “At rehearsals of folk dances we have a lot of physical activity, we get tired, and here, at the ballroom, I just relax.”
It was easy to dance with Roman, he led a men’s party beautifully, easily grasped new dance elements, suggested, if necessary, some “tactical” moments of performance of certain dance compositions. We had been dancing for unnoticed 4 years until the end of our studies at TDMI.
I finished my studies at the institute in Ternopil, and my life as a young doctor in Kyiv entered a different rhythm: family, work, science, kindergarten, school, dissertation defense, research and medical business, 2nd, 3rd higher education, teaching etc.
Less than 30 years have passed since graduating from the institute.
And in 2016 in Oman, I get to a rehearsal for Latin American dances, namely salsa, and I realize that I did not learn something at the institute. And so I began my new acquaintance with Latin American dances, this time on the Arabian continent. As a result: 3 years in the Arab world in free time: salsa, bachata, zouk, tango, elements of belly dancing.
It was an interesting dance experience, learning truly Latin American dances in a multinational environment of expats, the formation of plasticity, flexibility, and at the same time immersion in Arabic, African, Indian, European, Japanese dance culture, scientific study of cultural nationalities via dancing.
After six months of salsa dancing practice I wanted to develop further. So gradually new opportunities appeared to join other dance groups – zouk, bachata and tango. Here I saw many different dance elements with certain national features of plasticity, posture, dance positions, etc. However, scientific research (and where else without it, the scientist includes such things in the subconscious), would not be complete if you do not try to feel all the nuances of dance in pairs and in the practice of mastering specific elements of belly dancing.
As a result, in about 1.5 years I felt the main difference in the performance of Latin American dances – female posture and plasticity, female dignity and excessive flexibility, ethics and eroticism, sensuality and sexuality in dance, tact and lust, the mission of women in dance in different nationalities, cultures, etc.
In general, it was an interesting research study in the practice and psychology of dance.
The most pleasant memories from dance classes were left by the zouk team with the leader, teacher Harkut. It was an exquisite pedagogy and choreography, elements of sensual and at the same time restrained in emotions dance zouk. Harkut always emphasized the civilized sexuality of this dance, and not just the performance of the pattern of movements. Gradually, dance classes turned into dance parties and festivals. It was not only informative, but also interesting to share experiences, take master classes from gurus on a particular type of dance, learn and improve in various dance elements.
As a result, till 2018, zouk as an intellectual dance has become my favorite. Why? Because, you not only dance zouk, feel your partner, but also control every movement, because there is a great variety of dance elements, not just 2-3 “pa”, which are regularly repeated, as in classical dances..
And in classical dances the love for tango gradually grew. The tango dance group in Muscat was very diverse: expats from all continents of the world and each had their own attitudes regarding posture, dance posture, etc., as well as different levels of mastery of the basics of this dance. Here I had a lot of questions personally – how to follow the standard.
Apparently, the imperfection of tango tactics has become the main driving force in the search for a standard of tango performance in Ukraine.
In the autumn of 2020, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of teaching and dancing skills at the Arthur Murray Dance Center Kyiv dance studio. At first I was impressed by the management of the educational process, group classes and individual work with coaches, polishing every movement of the body, arm, leg, foot, posture for each type of dance – from waltz to foxtrot, from tango to swing, salsa, bachata, cha-cha- cha and others. Latin American dances, recording all classes, sequence and stages of learning complex dance compositions only after polishing all the basic steps, movements of the hand, head, thighs, etc.
It is here that I saw and felt a variety of movements in the entire line of slow and fast ballroom dancing: waltz, classical tango and Argentine tango, rumba, foxtrot, night club step, salsa, samba, southern and northern swing, bachata, mamba, etc..
It is gratifying that this American network of dance studios, founded by Ukrainian Arthur Murray in America over 100 years ago (1912), not only teaches according to an individual program, but also tracks the dynamics of personal dance development, has clear algorithms for classical dance performance.
This is how my dancing skills are gradually improving:
Short dynamics in the video:
December 2020 – the first tango
April 2021 – my Argentine tango accompanied by the music of Ukrainian tango “Your mysterious smile”
As of autumn 2020, I considered waltz and tango to be my favorites, and for the first time I discovered rumba.
Rumba became a favorite one in the beginning of 2021.
And in the spring of 2021, a new dance was added to the favorites – complex in rhythm and steps – foxtrot.
That is how my soul is dancing.
Tango evening from Arthur Murray dance studio. It is incredible, refined and highly professional! Thanks to our coaches!