The Jan/Feb 2014 issue of “American Dancer” magazine gives us a glimpse into what Eugene and Maria think about teaching dance, their goals, and real values. Just recently celebrating a 3 year anniversary of Brooklyn DanceSport Club is no small achievement. No matter how many spectacular dancers will be coached and guided by Eugene and Maria, they still believe “that the results and everything else comes from being happy on the dance floor”.
American Dancer Interview with Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova
Coming Full Circle
Champions Inspiring the Next Generation of Champions
by Angela Prince
Celebrating an unprecedented 20-year year dance career, Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova, from Brooklyn, will always be best-known in USA Dance circles as our 11-time undefeated United States National Amateur Latin Champions. But before retiring from competition just a few years ago, they also became multiple-times World and British Open Amateur Finalists, Professional Latin World and British Open Finalists, WDSF Grand Slam Champions and WDSF World Games Gold Medal Winners.
Like so many young dancers today, Eugene and Maria met as juniors and had ambitions of being professional dancers. They had unconditional family support, and there were coaches who made a difference in their careers. They also created at an early age a partnership and friendship that formed their foundation.
Yet, competition wasn’t the dream’s end for Eugene and Maria. One important dream remained, unfulfilled. So in 2011, they formed their studio Brooklyn DanceSport Club, in the heart of where they began. It was time to complete the circle—to teach the next generation of dancers and champions, “helping them reach their full potential,” they said.
When did you realize that you would become champions? Was it your dream or did it just evolve?
E&M: We always dreamed of making a career in dance, but never planned on being champions per se. We lived and breathed dance from the very beginning, and after winning Under 21 British Open Championship in 1998, we dedicated ourselves full time to our dream of becoming professional dancers.
What are your goals for this teaching stage of your career?
E&M: Our goal is to offer dancers something we didn’t really have as competitors. A nurturing, supportive atmosphere, that caters to their every need and helps them become the best that they can be. Our doors are open for everyone, whether it’s just for one lesson, a practice session, or a dance lifetime.
Is it easy or difficult being a role model for dancesport kids coming through your tutelage and guidance?
E&M: We don’t give that too much thought to be honest. We just do what we do, and if we happen to inspire some people in the process, that’s great.
At the end of the day, when and how do you know that you made a difference in your young dancers’ lives?
E&M: We do our best to help them find joy in their dancing, as corny as that may sound. Because we believe that the results and everything else comes from being happy on the dance floor.
How have your students fared in competitions this year?
E&M: Our pupils have had many outstanding results this past year, but those are not the only benchmarks by which we measure success. Every obstacle overcome, every special performance, every breakthrough, every step forward is a success, and we’re proud of all of them.
What is important, of real value, when teaching children to dance?
E&M: What people should remember is that teaching is a responsibility and a that bears profound consequences on people’s lives, and it should not be taken lightly.
If you would like to experience the creative and friendly atmosphere of our studio contact us today at https://www.brooklyndancesportclub.com