“Dancing is my life”: Ukrainian choreographer wants to train KU students

She had realized her dream of her own dancing studio. Now the “Dancing Diamonds School” in Kharkiv, the second-biggest city of Ukraine, has become a shelter for the city inhabitants fleeing from bombs and rockets. And dancing teacher Daryna Fadieieva has fled the war all the way to Germany. In Eichstätt she now plans to pass on her passion for dancing to students. At short notice, the KU has made it possible to involve the 22-year old Ukrainian as a practical lecturer in the sports department.

Sports has always played an important role in the life of Daryna Fadieieva. First, she was fascinated by swimming and acrobatics, then by cycling - she even became Ukrainian champion in the discipline. But her true passion has always been dancing. When Daryna was four, she started with ballroom dancing lessons. Meanwhile, she has specialized in “Jazz Funk” as a dance style, a mix of moves and steps from classical jazz dancing with hip-hop and funk elements. And also “High Heels Dance” - which, as the name suggests - is dancing on high-heels. At 17, Daryna began giving dancing classes for children at a school, two years later she became a choreographer at the biggest dancing school in the country, the “Ukraine All Stars Dance Center”. One year ago, Daryna finally opened her own dancing studio and has since been teaching children and teenagers. At the same time, she finished a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Translating and started a Master’s in Marketing.

Daryna at her dancing studio in Kharkiv.

Then, suddenly, the war broke out. Kharkiv is situated at a distance of only a few kilometers from the border with Russia and therefore was one of the first targets of the attacks. Even today, it is at the frontline of the Russian invasion. The city is under attack every single day. Daryna still can’t get the noise of the explosions from bombs and rockets out of her head. When there was a thunderstorm a few days ago, the images of war crept up on her. At first, she fled to a suburb with her grandparents, then she got on a train. “It took us more than two days to get to the Polish border. At night, the train went very slowly, so as not to make too much noise and attract attention. The windows were blacked out and mobile phones had to stay switched off. We were all terribly scared.”

Daryna’s mother has fled to Poland with her two younger siblings, but her father and grandparents are still in Kharkiv. After five days of flight, Daryna finally arrived in Eichstätt, where a close friend of her lives. “I want to learn to speak German as quickly as possible”, says Daryna. She has signed up for German classes that are organized by the Maltesers Eichstätt and KU students. That is how she got into contact with the University.

[Translate to Englisch:] Daryna tanzt

The University Sports Center was delighted by the idea to employ Daryna as a coach for a dance class in the university sports program and as a lecturer in a course for future teachers at Grundschule and Mittelschule. As a team, Christina Gscheidl and Daryna will teach “Gymnastics and Dance II” in the summer semester. Christina Gscheidl says: “I am sure that everyone will profit from this decision. Daryna can pursue her great passion and teach young people to dance and at the same time improve her German speaking skills. And in this way, our students can learn new dancing styles.” Daryna is looking forward to her classes: “I am so happy to be able to share my skills and my ideas with students from Eichstätt.”

Please note: In the summer semester, the dance class “Jazz Funk” with Daryna Fadieieva, accessible to all KU students, will take place on Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. In total, the KU Sports Center will offer around 60 classes in Eichstätt and Ingolstadt in the following semester. You can sign up for classes from April 24 at the website of the Sports Center at www.ku.de/unileben/hochschulsport.

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