This article first appeared in The Beacon student newspaper on February 23, 2009
By Jen Herring
Iavor Doytchinov, one of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s newest dance professors, has impressed and inspired his students with his resume, his dance skills and his teaching.
“His teaching methods really work,” said junior Danielle DiPiero. “He is a great example of someone who has worked hard and achieved success.”
That success has included dancing in an upcoming television commercial for a major American retailer. That company is a household name, though Doytchinov is not at liberty yet to disclose it. He has other television experience as as well, which has been fun, he said, though there are other accomplishments he’s proud of.Doytchinov has his dance teacher master’s degree from the National Choreographic Dance Center in Paris, France. He is a graduate of Princess Grace Classical Dance Academy in Monte Carlo and the dance school of the National Sofia Opera house in Classical Dance, which he completed in Bulgaria.
“His experience in ballet and various dance techniques has made him into a well-rounded dancer and teacher,” said sophomore Kiya Schnor. “I hope to gain the same type of experiences in my career.”
Doytchinov recalled one audition in which there were 400 dancers auditioning in the country, but only 12 spots for the people who made it.
“I was number 12, I remember,” said Doytchinov, laughing.
Growing up in Bulgaria with a family heavily involved in the arts, he began to dance at age 10.
His father was a ballet dancer and his mother was a make-up artist at an opera house. Growing up in this environment left a lasting impression.
“[I love] the smell of wood in an opera house and the atmosphere of people talking loudly. I miss that,” Dotchinov said.
Doytchinov has taught ballet, point, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, technique, leaps and turns. Not only does he teach jazz, modern and lyrical here at PBA, but also he is the artistic director of Elite Dance Academy in Royal Palm Beach.
He said he “literally has no time,” but he plans to make major changes for the dance program on campus by adding a hip-hop class beginning next semester.
“Dance is a form of translation of what’s going on in society,” Doytchinov said.
As for his students, he hopes to instill in them ambition and creativity.
“Dancing is an amazing career. It gives you something that very few people have, being able to [perform] on stage and have a relation with the audience,” Doytchinov said. “ It’s a limited job, so [people should] be prepared. But I would never change my life for anything.”
He feels that dance is a perpetual learning experience and not something that comes overnight.
“[Dance] is a close relationship with yourself. It’s always a search to improvement,” Doytchinov said.
With his experience, many people might wonder why he is teaching and not traveling the world to perform. He has had nine surgeries due to ballet and his other two passions: gymnastics and skiing.
“Due to injuries, I had to rethink my future. The pain got to the point where it was everyday,” Doytchinov said.
Teaching modern and contemporary dance doesn’t put the same amount of strain on his body as training for a performance.
He also feels that he can better relate to the students because he has experienced so much throughout his life.
“Not only has he been a professional dancer for over a decade, but he genuinely enjoys encouraging us to do our best,” Dipiero said. “He shows no favoritism, but takes a specific interest in each of his students.”
Doytchinov is in awe of the amount of talent students have and can’t wait to expand their talent while he is here. He said all of his students work incredibly hard.
“There’s so much potential and I look forward to working with these talented people,” Doytchinov said.
He said he enjoys the Christian atmosphere on campus and said the faculty and students he works with have been wonderful to him.
“Employees are warm and welcoming. [The people here] have an understanding for society and I’m very happy to work here,” Doytchinov said.
He can’t wait to further develop the dance program and he feels he has a lot to contribute.
“I have so much to give and I’m here to transmit knowledge, experience and versatility,” Doytchinov said. “I give them a lot of advice, inspiration and preparation.”