Liza Yachmin - Dancer

Liza Yachmin
In vibrant rhythms, she grooves,
Like thunder beats, her dance skills move,
Adorned in grace, their art takes flight,
Bhangra's symphony, a mesmerizing sight.

She is Teejh and this is her story.

Liza Yachmin is a professional dancer who embraces bhangra inspired from the Indian culture. To share the knowledge she gathered over the years, Liza launched Bhangra workshops around India, embarking on a new artistic pursuit. We had a quick rendezvous with her to get a glimpse of her journey and nonetheless her insights on how she relates with TEEJH. 
Out of all the countries you travelled to as a part of your dance troupe, what led you to settle down in India? 
I think because of the culture - I find myself in it. I feel comfortable here, I feel comfortable around India, I feel comfortable around places I visit here. And, I feel peace inside me, that’s why I settled here and not any other country can give that.
What draws you to bhangra? Do you recall your first bhangra performance?

      India, punjab. I came here with my dance group, where we just learned some basic Bhangra and we were performing around. But when we were stuck in India during Covid, I realized my love for this dance style, I wanted to do this professionally. And, from that moment, I started taking bhangra more seriously while practicing. 


 Can you share a memorable childhood moment that sparked your passion for dancing? Were there any unexpected twists and turns along your journey to becoming a dancer? 

When I was a small kid, on my first day to a dance studio, I learnt about all the dances. I saw teenagers dancing and I went like “Wow! I want to be like them” and it gave me the passion to practise more.  I practised dancing at home, I practised at my school, then I came to the dance studio and practised there. I worked really hard at school for selections of the dance college. I did a lot of practice - I practised everyday but at first, I didn't get selected. They called my parents and said “No, she didn't get in and you need to find some other college.” But on the next day they said “We’re calling you to our college to study with us” and I was so happy. If I wouldn’t get that second call, I don't think that I would be a dancer today. If I didn't attend the dance college, I would be probably be some other kind of professional. I also like cooking some sweets so I thought I would probably be cooking some sweets, some cakes but I guess that selection acted like a blessing and I am here just because of that.

You've performed What’s the motivation behind starting off a bhangra workshop?

After a couple of years of doing bhangra, gaining some expertise now - I want to share this with other people - my style of bhangra. Hence, propped the idea of dance workshops. So, my first bhangra workshop was in Ludhiana, where I lived. When I did that workshop, I felt – “Yes, that’s what I want”. Now that I have gained some expertise, I want to share more and in future I want to organize more and more bhangra workshops sharing my style.

Was settling down all the way from Ukraine to India challenging? 

No, it was not difficult - I put trust in all situations, every moment which happened, even if it were difficult situations or happy situations. I just believe that I learned something from there and it's making me - myself - like what I am today. All situations are just like a blessing I can say. And all the people whom I meet, all people who’ve left my life bestow a learning and are just giving something new to my life.

What’s one thing about Indian culture that you love?

The most what I love most about Indian culture is that people here are not in hurry, they're at peace, they’re living in the moment, they’re living today and that’s what I loved about India. I don't need to run after behind my life because in our country we’re running after our lives. Just like working, working, working, working, and no holidays, nothing. But here I learned that we need to live in the moment right now and right here.

What does your future hold for you?  

I hope for more travels, more followers on Instagram and Youtube and more dance, more dance workshops because these days it's very difficult to organize workshops given the competition we have here. There are a lot of good dancers around India as to how Indians like dancing and how they have an ardent passion towards it. So, I hope I will have the opportunity to organize more bhangra workshops and meet more people on my journey!

How do you relate to Teejh?

I believe it’s the jewellery - because I am an artist, I’m a dancer. For me, to do a performance it's always a full dress up, for example - punjabi suit, jewellery and shoes. Even back in my country where I was a dance student - they always taught us that an artist should always be dressed up. Then only can you see a whole picture of the dance and the culture you're trying to show, be it, Indian dance, Ukrainian dance, some other country’s dance form. It’s the kind of culture which we are showing to other people through all these little details. That’s why I am drawn to Teejh for encapsulating and presenting the essence of Indian culture.

What advice would you give to aspiring dancers?

I wanna say to dancers from all over the world that we all need to work hard it’s kind of a support. If you're not doing your practice today, another person is doing it and he is growing faster than you. Don't miss it  - you need to be on time. Like you don't need to miss your practice, you need to do hard work to be on the next level. That is also why I put in a lot of hardwork. I practised bhangra everyday. I didn’t miss any of the days when I practised. That's why I am here.  So if you want to be a successful dancer you need to practise everyday and work hard to be at some good level. So, good luck to everyone!

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