DEGREE: Master of Science in Visualization
BIRTHDATE: September 16th
Dallas Cowboys: Jay Novacek and Emmitt Smith
Season of the Year: Fall! I love how cozy it is that time of year, the cool weather, and the way the trees change colors.
High School Teacher: My Drill Team director, Mrs. Hazelwood. She was like my second mom in the US when we moved.
Food: Ukrainian Cuisine
Color: I love all shades of blue!
TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sweet or Salty: Salty
Workout: Yoga, Pilates, and contemporary classes.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? My grandma has always been my rock. Since I was a kid, she inspires me to continue to learn new skills and grow as a person. To never settle for anything, but instead use my dreams as a motivator to work hard and achieve something great. She is resolute, has a very big heart, and her selfless nature is something to be admired. I am very thankful for her shaping me into the person I am today.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT? I could not live without animals in my life. From the time I was a kid, animals were very special to me. I grew up with a Rottweiler, and he was my best friend. We did everything together, from playing to sleeping. The bond I feel with animals is unlike any other. They are pure of heart, and their returned love is a cherished gift.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? Something that I look back on, and it continues to weigh on me, was not being able to say goodbye to my loved ones. Living in a different country from the rest of your family is difficult when they need help. I think of the day I lost my grandfather and couldn’t be there to help my family, go to the funeral, or say goodbye. Accepting that you can’t help in a time of need is difficult. There is not a week that goes by that I do not think about that day and the pain and loss we shared.
BIGGEST MOTIVATION? To be a daughter, granddaughter, sister, etc., that makes my family proud. I have witnessed my family make many sacrifices to provide us with a better future. The thought of what they had to give up and go through to make this happen pushes me to ensure that my choices honor them and that their sacrifices were not for nothing.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS (IF SO LIST NAMES)? I have two cats; their names are Buffy and Dilly. They are my two bundles of joy!
BEACH OR MOUNTAIN VACATION? Mountain!
DESCRIBE A PERFECT DAY IN YOUR LIFE: My perfect day would be sitting by a window in a cabin in the mountains watching the snowfall. Cuddling with my cats and surrounded by family. We could read books, cook, watch movies, play games, or build a snowman outside.
HOW DO OTHERS DESCRIBE YOU? My friends and family have described me as driven, ambitious, determined, loving, and resourceful.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS? I am a professional cake decorator.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NICKNAMES? “Zee”
NAME 5 GUESTS AT YOUR DINNER PARTY: Leonardo Da Vinci, Maggie Smith, Robin Williams, Adele, and Walt Disney.
WHAT IS THE THEME SONG OF YOUR LIFE? “The Climb“ by Miley Cyrus.
WHAT IS YOUR DANCING BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE? I started my training as a rhythmic gymnast in Ukraine when I was a child. When we moved to the United States, I joined the Drill Team at my High School, serving as a member, a Jr. Lieutenant, and Captain. I continued to dance in college as part of the Dance Arts Society, where I had the pleasure of serving as a Historian, Secretary, Vice President, and President of the organization. On occasion, I would also take part in the showcases put together by the Dance Science Department. After graduating from Texas A&M, I moved to Dallas and auditioned for the Urban Performing Company. I danced with the company for a total of four years and had the honor of being a principal dancer for two of the four seasons.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO AUDITION FOR DCC? Auditioning for DCC has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long while, but I felt like I was not quite ready to take that step. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with my grandma about life and how quickly everything could change. She told me that if there is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, I shouldn’t wait for the perfect time because that time might never come. Instead, I should go for it and live without regrets or what-ifs. Life is too short to wonder what could have been. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and grab on to the things that would bring happiness to my life.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A PART OF DCC? I admire that DCC empowers women and allows us to make a difference in the community. This organization is much more than just a dance team. It is a tight-knit support system that steps up to help each other and others out. These women also motivate each other to be better and strive for continuous self-growth. Seeing so many people from different backgrounds come together and work hard to achieve a common goal is beautiful!
PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: My proudest accomplishment is not giving up when faced with life-altering challenges. There have been several situations where unpredictable circumstances took place and my entire life was impacted in a matter of minutes. Working hard through those moments, staying positive, and persevering no matter the difficulty is what I am most proud of.
IN 10 YEARS FROM NOW I WILL … Own a European-style bakery. I hope to begin working towards that goal in a not so far future. I would love to combine the creation of beautiful cakes along with a display of Ukrainian baked goods. My mom and grandma are excellent bakers, and I can see us working together to whip up some fantastic desserts!