Interview with Merlina Georgieva


The interview was conducted by Maggie.

meri photo

M.: Hello. Please introduce yourself to everyone.

M.G. My name is Merlina Tashkova-Geogieva and I teach Bulgarian folk dances to kids in preschools and to groups of non-professionals.

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

M.G.: When I was third grade my mother signed me up at the local school, where I danced folk dances for about three years, after which I did modern dance for a long time. Consequently, I was accepted at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA), where I studied different kinds of dance and dance techniques, including Bulgarian folk dances. It was there where I met Ivaylo, which pushed me even more in that direction.

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

M.G.: I love the temperament of Bulgarian folklore and the feeling, that dance gives me. It’s hard to explain, you have to experience it for yourself. Words are unnecessary in dance, because it’s the body that speaks.

M.: How did you start teaching?

M.G.: I love kids and I’ve always wanted to work with kids. Six years ago I started at one preschool and now I work at several. I feel wonderful about the fact that I can teach children to dance and watch them grow before my eyes.

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

M.G.: I remember one kid that started coming in the youngest age group, who didn't hear the music, didn't have any sense of rhythm and moved very stiffly. But with time and with growing up, that kid not only learned how to dance, but went on to give wonderful performances at our events. I'll probably never forget that child.

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

M.G.: I do have a favorite dance and it’s called “Lazarki”. Unfortunately, I’ve never performed it myself, but I get goosebumps every time I hear the music and watch dancers perform it.

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

M.G.: I think it’s nice for everyone to get into some kind of sport or art, and dance, as a whole, is a combination of both. It not only gives you a complete physical work-out, but also pleasure, and helps develop qualities, that sport does not stimulate. And Bulgarian folk dances are the closest to us Bulgarians, most of us carry them in our blood.

М.: Thank you and good luck !