Garry Gekhman, who started dancing at age 6, published “Little Yura Loves to Dance” on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in hopes of inspiring a younger generation to pursue their passion for dance, according to a press release.
Earlier today (Jan. 9), he debuted his book with a reading for kids at the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a non-profit preschool.
As a recipient of support from the local Rotary Club, which Gekhman is a member of, he said the children’s center seemed like the perfect location for the reading.
At various times throughout the morning, two classes of roughly 20 preschoolers gathered for storytime and a dance class taught by Gekhman and Suusar Ganbold, Tysons Ballroom’s manager. They learned the basics of dancing — including direction and poise — while interacting with their peers.
Gekhman also shared with the kids parts of a Youtube video adapted from his book.
The book’s storyline guides kids through the life of the main character Yura, the name people called Gekhman in Russia before he moved to the U.S.
Growing up, Gekhman said he struggled with his weight and felt like he didn’t fit in with his peers. Through dance, he managed to find his identity and overcome previous struggles and then decided to share his story with kids who might be dealing with the same issues.
“If you are passionate about something, you’ll achieve it,” Gekhman told Tysons Reporter. “It doesn’t matter how you look.”
Gekhman’s advice to young people: “Follow your passion, think big and start small.”
Gekhman moved to Virginia in 2007 and is now an award-winning dancer who has performed at the White House. He currently teaches Latin dance at his studio (8032 Leesburg Pike, Suite 201). Occasionally, he will also judge various competitions and help co-organize the Yuletide Ball Championships in D.C.
People interested in purchasing his book can find it online for $15.95.