Interview with Ivaylo Georgiev


The interview was conducted by Maggie.

group photo

M.: Hello. Please introduce yourself to everyone.

I.G.: My name is Ivaylo Georgiev and I’m the head of and instructor at “V Shopluka” School for Bulgarian folk dances.

M.: When and how did you get interested in Bulgarian folk dances?

I.G.: Actually, my entire family are dancers and they were the ones, who fired up my passion. I started dancing with my father when I was still in kindergarten. The first groups I ever performed with were “Svetlina” ensemble, headed by Zahari Andreev, and “Rosna kitka” children’s group, and later I got a degree from the National School of Dance Art (NUTI) and became part of the “Filip Kutev” national ensemble.

M.: What do you like in Bulgarian folk dances and what do they give you?

I.G.: I’ve grown up in village squares and fairs, and I remember vividly amazing master dancers who, even if they might not have been the biggest professionals, would always carry a great energy. I was brought up with the Bulgarian folk music and it’s always given me an amazing emotional charge. I started playing the tupan when I was six years old and I’m doing my best finding time to practice and keep up my skill level.

M.: How did you start teaching?

I.G.: After I graduated from NUTI and was accepted in “Filip Kutev” ensemble, I was invited to lead a children’s group at a school. In the process of working there I discovered I had a good approach with the kids and I was really enthusiastic about trying new things with them and making them think. Subsequently, our work field expanded with groups in different schools and preschools, as well as groups in the older ages.

M.: Could you share some interesting episode connected to teaching?

I.G.: Several times I got the opportunity, together with Iliana, to conduct a seminar with some Japanese people. They are unbelievable perfectionists and some of them, who've been dancing Bulgarian folk dances for years, often can be more skilled even than some of the professionals in the field in Bulgaria. Working with them will remain an unforgettable experience!

M.: Do you have a favorite dance? What is it and why?

I.G.: I’ve grown up in the Shopski region and, inevitably, some of the shopski dances give me goosebumps. Some kopanitza, chetvorni and Graov folk dances are also from my favorites, but I also like some of the severnyashki and vlashki dances a lot, as well as the Macedonian style.

M.: What advise would you give to someone, who's considering starting dancing Bulgarian folk dances?

I.G.: The most important thing is to have the motivation, the rest is our job. We’ve had people, who weren't able to differentiate between one jump and another in the beginning, but there hasn't been a single person, who we haven't been able to teach how to dance.

М.: Thank you and good luck!