I love being a part of Mladi Hrvati - a message from one of our dancers

A message from Jessica - a performer in the Intermediate group.

 

I first started with Mladi Hrvati when I was seven years old and have been dancing for seven years now. I love being a part of Mladi Hrvati because I like to learn about my Croatian culture and I love to learn new dances. I have made some great friends in my group and I love seeing them at dance practice each week. It's a great way to catch up with other friends who are the same age as me and share the same cultural background.

My teacher Antun Rehlicki is also my Godfather. Antun is always there to figure out any problems that we have and is always helping us improve our footwork so that we can get our dance moves to be smooth and spot on. And ... when we are not listening Antun makes sure we stay focused - he also keeps the parents focused if they are being too noisy and disruptive while they are watching us, that can be pretty funny sometimes. He's a great teacher and mentor. I'm extra lucky to have him in my life as my god-father as well as my dance teacher! 

My favourite dance that I have learnt so far is 'Srdim se, Dušo' which is part of the new Bunjevačko choreography that we are learning. I like this dance because I think it's interesting to learn how girls used to dance with their male dance partners in old times, and it's also a really pretty dance!

One of my most special memories is from the Annual Croatian Cultural festival, at the Hrvatski Dom in February this year. It was really great to perform in front of such a large crowd that included my family and friends.  Before a performance I usually feel really nervous just as we are about to get on stage, but when I'm up there I feel great and I know that I'll be okay because I have my friends next to me and my family in the audience supporting me. When the music starts I feel even more at ease because I know the dance and we all just have a good time together. We do a big group cheer when we're back in the room changing back into our regular clothes because we know that even if we got a step wrong here or there, we did a great job and we did it together as a team. 

I'm looking forward to moving into the Adult group one day because I will get to learn new dances and I'll be able to learn from experienced members who have been dancing for years. And, it means I'll be all grown up and maybe I can start bossing Antun around a little. 

Jessica, aged 14