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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Yulia Terekh

July 2020: Yulia Terekh

Instagram: @vancouversambaschool 
Facebook: @VancouverSambaSchool

Who is Yulia Terekh in a sentence?

One hardworking, creative and inspired lady who loves dance and movement in all its forms and enjoys learning, leading and connecting.

What was the path to building your artistic career? 

Starting my journey with artistic gymnastics at age 7 and almost giving up on any activities at 16, I had my passion rekindled by a coach who encouraged me to become a fitness instructor at her gym. There I also started teaching dance in 2008. My passion to Afro-Brazilian culture was uncovered when I joined a Capoeira group in Vancouver in 2011.

What inspires the work you create? 

The incredible healing and happy energy that Samba brings out of every single person who takes a class. The ability to connect people from different cultures, countries and environments in their curiosity or love to Samba and Afro-Brazilian culture in general. Smiles.

Do you have any memories of moments or people that have influenced your artistic trajectory? 

My artistic gymnastics coach who stayed after hours helping me to conquer my fears on balance beam. The owner of the fitness studio who saw a potential in me as a teacher and my first dance teacher who I met at that gym later and ended up subbing her classes. My Capoeira teacher in Vancouver who challenged me a lot.

What are the core values of your practice in three words?

Unity, expansion, energy.

Do you have a ritual that you carry out each day?

Daily I make sure I post something on social media to spread the word about Samba, Capoeira or Dance and Fitness classes that I teach or attend (to also promote my teachers). As a rule, I go to bed thinking about my accomplishments and good things I did during the day (no matter how small they are).

How have you adapted during the pandemic and how has this impacted on how you engage with your work now? 

Almost immediately I have switched to teaching online, live streaming beginner classes and preparing pre-recorded classes and virtual team training. It was a challenge to learn a new teaching skill when talking to the computer and dancing on my own in the living room, projecting my energy to imaginary students and making sure I communicate daily with the team. However, having online lessons now is a dream that came true. Also, this was a very productive time to train with the best Samba teachers from Brazil. Currently, I am taking a teacher’s course dedicated to learning about Samba roots, its heritage and Afro-Brazilian culture, all in Portuguese.

What’s coming up for you this season? 

This season is about learning and connecting. Taking online classes with Brazilian instructors, watching documentaries about Samba, Afro-Brazilian dance and history. I am excited for the International Samba Congress happening soon and starting to work on costumes for future shows.

I am a Dance Centre member because…

I like to belong to a dance community and to place myself into a professional environment. Being a member encourages me to keep up with the news and events in the Vancouver dance scene. Applying for various submissions and awards helps me to analyze my dance company’s activities, perspectives, my own goals and “why’s” of running classes or preparing for Samba shows.

Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here

Photos by Diamonds Edge Photography