Zhembrovskyy: 'ballet, dance and fitness school in Amsterdam'

Vrije Tijd Amsterdam is happy to announce we have interviewed Alexander Zhembrovskyy about his ballet, dance and fitness school.

Could you introduce Zhembrovskyy?

Zhembrovskyy is the ballet, dance and fitness school for those who are looking for a unique place of quality, taste and professionalism. For those who are results driven and who want to experience high quality workouts, dance and ballet classes.”

Can you tell us something about your career as a ballet dancer?

“I have graduated from the Kiev National Ballet school, which is one of the top professional ballet institutions in the world. After graduating, I danced as a soloist in various companies and theaters around Europe. I changed 5 theaters and countries until I found my place in Amsterdam, at the Dutch National Ballet, where I have been working as a soloist for 10 years.”

What makes ballet and music special for you?

“Ballet and music are my favorite forms of art. Both are independent, yet they are deeply interconnected. I think that dancers are ships in the ocean of music. I love music as much as I love dance, and I respect musicians a lot, because I know what it takes to be a professional musician. One of my brothers is a violinist, and I also have a lot of musicians amongst my friends. I find a lot of similarities between us. Dancers are actually playing music with their own bodies, but this kind of music you watch instead of listen.”

Where is Zhembrovksyy located?

“I am proud to say that we created two beautiful studios in the very nice neighborhoods of Amsterdam – Oud West and De Pijp. Amsterdam is definitely my favorite city, and I am very happy that I can bring something to this city and create something for its people. One of our studios is located in Oud West (Eerste Helmersstraat 102 1/2), not far from the famous Vondelpark, and the other one – our very new studio, which has just opened its doors, is located in De Pijp (Van Woustraat 149). I want both our studios to reflect the highest quality of services, classes and teachers. That’s why both studios, and especially the brand new Pijp studio, are high-end stylish locations with luxurious, yet cozy, look and feel. I would like our students to enjoy their experience with us from the very first moment they open the doors of the studio.”

Could you introduce the teachers?

“I am very proud of our teachers and respect them a lot! All of our teachers are coming from a professional ballet or dance background. Some of them are still active dancers and some are no longer performing, but sharing their knowledge by teaching. All of them are the top professionals with great knowledge and experience.

I am pretty selective when it comes to choosing the teachers, as at the end of the day, large part of success of my school depends on them. I constantly get new applications from potential teachers, but only few can fulfill the Zhembrovskyy school high standard. Not every dancer is able to teach, as teaching requires many other skills, additional to dancing. It is especially difficult to find someone who could teach both dance and fitness type of classes. Right now we have an amazing team of professionals and I am confident that there is no better team in town!”

Do you have students of all ages?

“Our students are definitely of all ages. We work with kids (private and semi-private lessons only), as well as with adult students. I would say that most of our students are between mid 20s and 40s. In general, I don’t believe in age as a number. Almost anything is possible in almost any age – it all depends on a mindset of a particular individual and, of course, on how well he or she is taking care of their well being in terms of health, fitness, nutrition, mental state etc. Nowadays we are fortunate enough to control our aging – of course, to a certain extent.”

Which classes can you participate in?

“We offer a variety of classes: Ballet, Fitness, Stretching, Pilates, Modern dance. We offer Ballet classes for adults on three different levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. How cool is that to be taught by the dancers of – let’s say – Dutch National Ballet or other companies! We also offer Modern dance classes for beginners and intermediate level students.

Additionally, we have a lot of fitness type classes such as Stretching, Floor Barre and Pilates. Our signature class is ZhemFit. This class is my creation, which I came up with based on my experience and knowledge as a professional ballet dancer. I used the knowledge gained through the years of my career to create a very effective class for a full body workout, which could be well suited for almost anyone. In this class we use no equipment at all, and work only with our own body. This class will effectively develop strengths, coordination, flexibility, mobility and general awareness and understanding of our bodies. This class also develops a good posture, lean muscles, increases stamina and helps to lose body fat.

ZhemFit is already known by many people in Amsterdam as one of the toughest and most effective class around. There are three levels of this class: ZhemFit Light, ZhemFit and ZhemFit+. We also offer ZhemFit Floor, which is a great class for the core muscles and is combined of all possible exercises on the mat.”

Do you organize performances?

“Usually we organize annual performances of the Zhembrovskyy school, for the friends and families of our students. This is a great way for our students to feel how it is to be a professional performing artist with all the preparations, rehearsals, costumes, make-up and nerves right before the show starts. And for their friends and family it’s great way to see what their loved ones are passionate about in action.”

Do you support young talents?

“Throughout eight years that my school exists, we have prepared many students for the auditions to the professional dance schools such as Amsterdam Ballet Academy, Den Haag Royal Conservatoire, Royal Ballet School (London), Vaganova Ballet Academy (St. Petersburg) etc. And many of those students are still taking classes with us or simply asking our advice on different occasions. We are always happy to support young talents, direct and guide them on a difficult path towards their dream to become beautiful professional dancers.”

Do you have something to add?

“Right now we’re facing very challenging and difficult times, where many people and businesses are suffering. My school is one of those businesses which is going through a very hard period. We had to be closed for four months due to a Corona lockdown, and it was just few days after we opened our new location at Pijp.

But at the same time, new opportunities come along the way for those who are willing and dare to see them. During this difficult period, I felt and still feel enormous support of my students, teachers, friends and family, and I will always be grateful for that. This support gives me strength to go on and confidence that we will go through it and get out of it even stronger.

It is very important for all of us to stay positive, believe in ourselves and not to give up on our dreams.”

Interview by:

Zhembrovskyy: 'ballet, dance and fitness school in Amsterdam'

Rik Verkaik

VTA Culture