Svitlana first thought of taking up belly dancing when she was a teenager, inspired by the Brazilian actress Giovanna Antonelli. Svitlana laughingly recalls that she watched the telenovela “O Clone” for hours on end hoping to see another 30-second-long fragment of the belly dance choreography performed by the actress. Giovanna Antonelli’s dancing style made her the epitome of femininity, grace and beauty for Svitlana.
It wasn’t until 10 years later that Svitlana had her first belly dance class at the Eastern Dance Studio in Calgary. The classes were quite challenging, but Svitlana felt that it was the kind of challenge that she wanted to take on. In addition, she really enjoyed the company of the group of dancers which she joined. It was a group of like-minded women who appreciate art, love life and understand the value of beauty in it.
Svitlana has been performing on stage for over two years now. The 7 choreographies that she has learnt so far include fusion of different belly dance styles, different folk dances, as well as the use of various props, such as finger cymbals, veils, and fanveils.
Today, Svitlana’s favourite aspects of belly dancing are the self-expression through creative choreographies, the constant pursuit of new skill and knowledge, the challenge to both her mind and her body posed by layering a variety of movements, the embellishment of her own life, as well as other people’s lives, through the beauty of the dance.