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Dance was Alina’s life-saving therapy

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

If you were in Kyiv before the war and were thinking about where to spend your Friday evening, you probably thought about going to the 'Variety Royale' show.

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This is a well-known music and dance show, which is very much loved by Kyiv residents and tourists. In this variety show, you would definitely pay attention to a bright dancer with long blonde hair.

Then you would see her again on stage with famous Ukrainian show business stars. In the evening, if you turned on the TV you'd see the blonde dancer again in talent shows and dance shows. Alina Maslak is 29-years-old from Kyiv, who has been living in Killarney for six months. She performed at the Independence Day of Ukraine at the ANAM Cultural Centre, and at the dance classes she held in Killarney.

Alina cannot live without dance, this is the whole meaning of her life. In Kyiv she trained a lot to achieve high results, took part in many shows and taught hip hop and heel dancing. Since the beginning of the war, the young dancer moved to a friend's house where they hid from shelling. 18 people lived in one house; they were cut off from the world and could only watch the rockets flying over the field, and shuddered from the explosions. Friends hid in the basement which served as a bomb shelter. Alina and her friends did not have enough water, only basic food, and the house was not heated or the lights turned on. People were scared and depressed. Alina saved her friends by holding yoga classes. She believed that relaxing the body and brain is very necessary to maintain psycho-emotional health. Alina herself continued to dance. This was her life-saving therapy. Imagine the sounds of explosions, an old house, and a dancer dancing in complete darkness.

MOVING TO KILLARNEY

After a month of living under shelling, Alina decided to leave. Together with her sister, they arrived in Dublin.

"There are many opportunities for my professional development as a dancer and dance teacher," thought Alina. But no housing was found in Dublin and the sisters were sent to Killarney. Despite the fact that hip hop or pop dance are not common here, Alina decided to develop this direction on her own.

"If fate brought me here, then it makes sense. If I can't develop here professionally as a dancer, then I will develop as a teacher or look for new professions," Alina said to herself.

She has since conducted several classes. Local women who attended her classes enjoyed hip hop and dancing on heels. If Alina manages to find a dance class, she will continue teaching dance in Killarney.

Alina also conducts yoga classes online. This is how she wants to support Ukrainians who do not have access to sports or dancing. But often she continues to dance for herself. Now, instead of a dance class, she has either a corridor or a children's room. Alina lives in a hotel with her sister and now her mother - who was transferred to Ireland in July. Before that, she lived in the small town of Slavutych.

When Alina heard about the preparation of the concert for the Independence Day of Ukraine, she wanted to perform a dance number with her students from Killarney. But time was short. Then Alina performed a solo number in which she told her story.

"Dance for me is not just movements," she says. "This is my way of conveying emotions, telling the world a story. Each of the numbers contains meanings that everyone can understand."

Today you can meet Alina at Kerry College in Tralee where she enrolled to study as a personal trainer and nutritionist. Mastering new skills, acting effectively under any circumstances, not complaining about life and never giving up - these are Alina's basic settings. She continues to move forward with them.

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Two Mile School “Says Yes to Japanese”

The pupils and staff of Two Mile Community National School were delighted to welcome Mr Norio Maruyama,  the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland on Tuesday. The Ambassador was at the school […]

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The pupils and staff of Two Mile Community National School were delighted to welcome Mr Norio Maruyama,  the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland on Tuesday.

The Ambassador was at the school to promote the teaching of the Japanese language and culture through the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ programme.

“The pupils in Two Mile were very interested to listen to stories about Japan and to learn about the links between our two countries,” said school principal Catherine Barry.
“As a multi-denominational school, we are very open to different languages and cultures and we look forward to working with the Japanese embassy from next September.”
Two Mile Community National School is the only multi-denominational school in the Killarney school district.

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 Photographer Anastasiia goes Out and About for Killarney Advertiser.

The Killarney Advertiser is pleased to announce that Anastasiia Garbera has joined the team. Anastasiia is a photographer from Ukraine. She has been living in Killarney for nearly two years […]

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The Killarney Advertiser is pleased to announce that Anastasiia Garbera has joined the team.

Anastasiia is a photographer from Ukraine. She has been living in Killarney for nearly two years and is trying to establish a freelance photography business.
“I love my job. I’ve been shooting for 11 years. I adore photography and connect my life with it. The best thing for me is to show girls and families, brides how beautiful they are. I think it’s my main mission.No need to be a model. We are all beautiful and special. You just need to build more self-confidence. And be sure, I will help you with it.”
Keep an eye out for Anastasiia as she goes Out and About for The Killarney Advertiser.
If you are organising an event and need a photographer email info@killarneyadvertiser.ie for more details.

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