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Meet Anastasiia Zhuchenko

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anastasiia Zhuchenko.

Hi Anastasiia, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a professional dancer, choreographer and Candidate Master of Sports. I am 30 years old and I was born in Kiev, Ukraine. I started dancing when I was four years old. I saw my older sister dancing and I wanted to imitate her. I danced everywhere: at home, on the street, in the store. And then my mother resolutely took me to the dance studio. From that moment, dancing became a huge part of my life and no one could even imagine where it would take me… My parents worked very hard to give us a good education, they supported us in everything. But when they couldn’t afford any longer to pay for mine and my sister’s dance classes, unfortunately she decided to quit. And I continued… After classes in kindergarten, my mom usually immediately took me to the dance lessons, after school, when all my peers were having fun, I had to go to practice, and of course, at the university, when student’s life was in full swing…I had to train and work a lot to be able to pay for my classes. But, by that time, I was already a Candidate Master of Sports and a finalist and winner of many national and international competitions. Dancing wasn’t only my favorite thing to do, but also my job. I had many students who wanted to learn from me and soon, I opened my own dance studio. But I always had the feeling that I want more, that I can do more.

I was offered a job in Germany, in one of the most famous shows “Fantissima”, which is located in “Phantasialand, one of the largest amusement parks in Europe. It was an invaluable experience of working in another country. We had the best team: choreographers, costume designers, every evening we danced to live music. I learned new styles, shared the stage with the best artists all over the world. But after years of living this predictable life, I felt like I was in a «golden cage» and I wanted to escape. I have always dreamed of visiting the United States… but it never even crossed my mind that this could ever happen. But my dreams came true and I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 25 and I’ve been living here for almost five years. It was a really difficult time for me! Language barrier, culture shock, loneliness and the millions of immigrants who came here for an American dream like me. Many people didn’t believe in me, but there were a few of them who believed and helped me a lot. I fell in love with the City of Angels at first sight. This city gave me a lot. New emotions, acquaintances, projects, opportunities. At my first dance competition in the USA, I took 1st place, which gave me a huge boost and confidence that I was on the right track. This country reveals to you from different sides and gives you the opportunity to express yourself in different genres. Here everyone can find their own place.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Of course, there’ve always been various obstacles and difficulties on my way. Everything I have now was given to me after hard work and dedication, which made me even stronger, and on the other hand, very vulnerable. Because on the way to your goal, you face competition and cruelty all the way from your childhood, you grow up quickly, because you always work for the result. You sacrifice the time you can spend with your family and the loved ones. You lose people, your family… and sometimes you are not able to come and say goodbye to them. Unfortunately, I went through this… and this is the worst thing that I’ve ever had. There are times when you want to give up, you get tired of constantly trying and think that nothing will work out for you. But then you look back and realize what you’ve already gone through, that you just can’t give up. It gives you the strength to move forward. This, and the people who are supporting you. But despite all of this, I am very grateful for everything that happens in my life. Sport gave me a lot. And if you ask me if I would like to change anything in my life, then absolutely not.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a World Rising Star Vice Champion, US National Rising Star Finalist, choreographer and director of many shows, including «Maydance Ukraine», instructor, Candidate Master of Sports. Teaching is my passion and I devote a lot of time to it. Master classes, personal or group lessons, everything that will help to show the beauty of the dance or raise future champions. My students are part of me. It is very important to give correct information from childhood, and of course to be an example for them. And I am still learning every day, getting new information, improving myself. I believe there is nothing more powerful than information and the ability to apply it. I have many achievements, but even more goals. I think these are the advantages and disadvantages of athletes. For this few minutes of adrenaline that you experience on stage, ring or at the stadium, you can put everything.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I have a lot of hobbies. I do modeling for a while and wanted to participate in some bigger companies. But my big dream is to open a Children’s Sports Academy, which will specialize in dance and art. A place where little stars will be born, where professionals from all over the world will help to recognize and develop in every child his greatest talents. So, welcome to everyone who wants to learn how to dance, dance freely at the parties or even compete. It’s never too late to start a new hobby that can become an essential part of your life.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Alex Fisher – photo – @laphotography Maksim Leonov – photo, hair, make up – @maksim_leonov_official Viktoria Pashuta – photo @Viktorija_pasuta

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