Who’s behind Ballroom Bees

Katya Virshilas
Nicole Slater meets Katya Virshilas, Strictly Come Dancing professional and founder of BallroomBees

After landing the leading role in the feature film Take The Lead, Katya Virshilas’s success has gone from strength to strength. 

She swapped her life in Vancouver for the glitz and glamour of London town. She’s forming in the hit BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing where she danced with many famous faces; including Phil Tuffnel, Gaven Henson, Dan Lobb, and Robbie Savage. “I had no idea how huge Strictly was in the UK. We even had members of the royal family come to our shows,” says Virshilas. 

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After three years touring England, Scotland, and Ireland, dancing in over 200 shows with her professional partner Pasha Kovalev, she decided it was time for a change. Along with her husband and son, Virshilas moved to Hong Kong. “I love Hong Kong so much. It is the most beautiful concrete jungle. We moved to Sai Kung four years ago. We didn’t know many people with children and our good friends were living in the area, so we decided to move close to them.”

While Virshilas was happy to enroll her son into a range of sports activities, she wanted him to enjoy a creative outlet too. “ Virshilas wanted the core foundation that Ballroom dance brings. I found everything was geared for girls, pink tutus, and Ballet. I went to a ballet class with my son and they didn’t have any props for him. He was upset and it got me thinking that we need to create a dance program that unites boys and girls.” 

She went on to start BallroomBees, a one-of-a-kind programme designed to nurture a child’s all-round development. All through the joy of dance. Suitable for both boys and girls aged from walking to 8 years old. The class focuses on developing children’s social skills and etiquette, building confidence, and fostering a deep sense of respect. “We always hear from parents how their child gained confidence in school. The kids become faster on the football pitch or become stronger and more flexible. It’s so much more than just learning to dance.” 

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“The past two years growing BallroomBees through the protests and a pandemic has been so tough. It’s very far from my previous glamorous life, but I’ve never been happier. When you have something special it will grow and we did that mostly through word of mouth from happy parents and children.” While her passion for working with children has grown, Virshilas still enjoys a salsa night on the town, “we used to go to a little place called Picada on Wyndham street which is sadly closed now. That was the place to be.”
Virshilas is extremely excited to reveal that BallroomBees has just opened its eighth location in Hong Kong, with classes available throughout the week in Clearwater Bay, Tseung Kwan O, and Sai Kung Town. Visit ballroombees.com and get your kids on the dancefloor.

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