People are my main inspiration when it comes to Dancing. I feel inspired the most when I have the opportunity to exchange with other dancers during so-called “cyphers” – when people gather in a circle and dance one after another. It’s a sort of conversation.
My name is Sam Cherkasov. I was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine. I’m a Software Developer (Frontend) and Hip-Hop freestyle dancer. I spent most of my life in the city where I was born, but in July 2018, I moved to Barcelona, Spain after receiving a job offer.
When I was graduating from school, the IT realm was considered well-paid and prestigious in Ukraine. As I used to spend a lot of time in front of my computer, I decided to go for a Computer Science degree.
Outside of my job, I love dancing. I started dancing when I was 15 after watching a dance movie called You Got Served. After some time practicing on my own, I went to a dance school to learn Hip-Hop and Popping freestyle. So in May 2019, I will be 12 years dancing!
I taught Popping and Hip-Hop for about 5 years in Kharkiv; then I limited myself only to Hip-Hop, which I continued to teach up until moving to Spain. As of my life in Barcelona, I currently don’t teach (mostly because of my poor Spanish) but have instead been improving my own level.
Apart from teaching dance moves, I also instructed students on how to develop body control and other physical properties. I also organize the aforementioned cyphers. When I was in Ukraine, I used to bring experienced dancers to give workshops for my students and also organized local competitions.
It always brings me joy to see the progress of my students. Furthermore, students tend to ask questions you may not have answers to, so I’m learning at the same time. What I love the most about dancing is the feeling of being a creator, just like painters, musicians, and others. This kind of freedom is priceless.
In the future, my main goal is to develop my unique style and then to share as much as I can – everything I know about freestyle (below is a video of one of my Judge showcases).
My experiences with dancing have been beneficial to my technological career. I find both Dancing and Programming creative. In both activities, there’s no single correct way to do something; there are always various options. I boosted my soft skills during my dance teaching career because, apart from teaching dance, there are plenty of other social activities with students. I’ve learned how to be responsible, understanding, how to resolve conflicts, and many more.
Looking back at my experiences, I would say that the most important lesson I’ve learned is that there’s no right and wrong in freestyle dance. Anything can be brought into freestyle if you practice enough. My advice to anyone interested in being a dance teacher is to teach as you would have wanted to be taught.
There is always more than tech, and it is necessary nowadays to share the creative passions of technologists. We need to break the prejudices about programmers such as being introverted, nerdy, or have a boring life based solely on computers. All of those aren’t true.