My story...

 

 

Like every one else I have a rich personal story to share... 

I was born in Kiev, Ukraine (former USSR), the only daughter of a self-taught jazz musician dad and a working class mom, who's passion was to recite poetry and dance.

 

Growing up I studied classical piano and all related subjects to some day become a music teacher. One of the most memorable experience prior to leaving Kiev was a rare opportunity to aprentice as an accompanist to the wolrd-renowned Ukrainian Folk Ensemble (Virsky Group), where I spent hours each week watching intence dance rehearsals. This is when I deeply connected the two: music and dance.  

 

 

At the age of 16 I was presented with a decision to leave Kiev and go to America in persuit of happiness and freedom. I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded very hopeful and exciting. I was about to embark on a real adventure. In January 1979 we left everything we had and everyone we loved behind to start a new life in the US.

 

 

The first two years of our life in the US took place in the city of New York, where I went to my first American Highschool and studied Art and Dance. This is where I got introduced to Jazz (dance) and fell in love with movement. 

Among my most favorite memories of this time were going to take live model drawing at the Otis/Parsons School of Design, which was a true dream-come-true. I simply loved all things related to arts and gravitated to everything creative. 

 

 

In 1982 my life took yet another unexpected turn, as my mother fell in love with a wonderful man who resided in California and decided that we shall relocate to Los Angeles. Having just found a place to call my new home, I was not very happy about the move, but being the only daughter and having no other family around I once again had to follow. 

 

Surrounded by my new family, all incredibly talented proffesional musicians from Russia, I to my own surprise felt right at home. It was easy to fall in love with LA with its perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and layed back life style.  

I was ready to find myself and embrace a new chapter of my life, so I enrolled in the University to study Psychology. Being an immigrant, struggling financially, not speaking English fluently it was a rough process of assimilating into the new culture and new surroundings. 

 

 

Back in the "old country" my friends were getting married and having their first child, while I was still trying to figure out what I was going to be...so I was in a hurry to feel like I am getting someplace, achieving some life goals trying hard to catch up to my friends. At 19 I was feeling like I was falling behind and I was feeling missplaced and frustrated. 

 

And then I met Misha (Michael), a collage graduate who spoke English better than I and who seemed to know where he is heading. It was nice to finally be with someone with the same background, someone who spoke the same language and seemingly "got me". 

 

 

At 20 I was married and living in a tiny appartment in Beverly Hills, rented out just so that my husband's yonger brother could attend Beverly Hills Highschool. I was still going to school and getting my degree. Michael was a young business man, who was driven to success and he took that very seriousely. Soon we were moving into our first home in Manhattan Beach. Once again, stepping out of the comfort zone and starting another chapter on the other side of town. 

........

 

At the age of 16 I was presented with a decision to leave Kiev and go to America in persuit of happiness and freedom. I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded very hopeful and exciting. I was about to embark on a real adventure. In January 1979 we left everything we had and everyone we loved behind to start a new life in the US.

 

The first two years of our life in the US took place in the city of New York, where I went to my first American Highschool and studied Art and Dance. This is where I got introduced to Jazz (dance) and fell in love with movement. 

Among my most favorite memories of this time were going to take live model drawing at the Otis/Parsons School of Design, which was a true dream-come-true. I simply loved all things related to arts and gravitated to everything creative. 

 

In 1982 my life took yet another unexpected turn, as my mother fell in love with a wonderful man who resided in California and decided that we shall relocate to Los Angeles. Having just found a place to call my new home, I was not very happy about the move, but being the only daughter and having no other family around I once again had to follow. 

 

Surrounded by my new family, all incredibly talented proffesional musicians from Russia, I to my own surprise felt right at home. It was easy to fall in love with LA with its perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and layed back life style.  

I was ready to find myself and embrace a new chapter of my life, so I enrolled in the University to study Psychology. Being an immigrant, struggling financially, not speaking English fluently it was a rough process of assimilating into the new culture and new surroundings. 

 

Back in the "old country" my friends were getting married and having their first child, while I was still trying to figure out what I was going to be...so I was in a hurry to feel like I am getting someplace, achieving some life goals trying hard to catch up to my friends. At 19 I was feeling like I was falling behind and I was feeling missplaced and frustrated. 

 

And then I met Misha (Michael), a collage graduate who spoke English better than I and who seemed to know where he is heading. It was nice to finally be with someone with the same background, someone who spoke the same language and seemingly "got me". 

 

At 20 I was married and living in a tiny appartment in Beverly Hills, rented out just so that Michale's yonger brother could attend Beverly Hills Highschool. I was still going to school and getting my degree. Michael was a young business man, who was driven to success and he took that very seriousely. Soon we were moving into our first home in Manhattan Beach. Once again, stepping out of the comfort zone and starting another chapter on the other side of town. 

 

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