My name is Julia Oystrick and I am 14 years old. I started dancing when I was 3 years old, and started dancing competitively when I was 5. My parents said that they knew from the start that I would become a dancer, because from a very young age I would dance around the house all day performing shows for anyone who would watch. That’s all I wanted to do. I started my competitive dance career at Project Dance, which unfortunately closed in 2021. I now dance at Happiness is Dancing and am on the senior competitive team. I’ve met a lot of new dance friends over this past year and I’m very fortunate to have several of my Project Dance friends with me at Happiness is Dancing. I’m also grateful that I can keep doing what I love most. One of the reasons I love dancing so much is the feeling I get when I’m on stage. It's a feeling I look forward to every year, and what I missed the most during the Covid-19 lockdowns. The stage is the one place where I feel like I can truly be myself.
One of my greatest dance accomplishments was competing with World Performers Canada at the Dance World Cup in Portugal when I was 11 years old. I felt honored to have been selected to represent Canada in several genres of dance and as a junior jazz soloist. In 2019, I spent the year traveling back and forth to Toronto and spent most of my time rehearsing and learning dances to compete against countries from all over the world. It was an amazing experience and it was incredible to watch and meet dancers from so many different countries. Another one of my accomplishments was winning the One Shot National Title when I was 8 years old in Atlanta, Georgia. I won this title again when they held the competition virtually in 2020. These experiences were very surreal for me and they are moments that I will never forget. In 2020, I also auditioned and was invited to the National Ballet of Canada's summer program, but unfortunately I was not able to attend due to the pandemic. I’ve also been very fortunate to receive numerous regional titles and scholarships. I'm very grateful for all these experiences!
I have several dance goals for my future. One of them includes becoming more comfortable with different styles of dance and becoming a more well-rounded dancer. For example, when I transitioned to Happiness is Dancing, I had to take extra tap classes to develop my tap dancing. I’ve come a long way but I have a lot more to learn. Also, turning has also been one of my biggest challenges. I’m looking forward to developing my turns this year, which will help me feel more confident in my ability on stage. Another goal is to be more confident in myself in general! I’m grateful for the opportunity to be an ambassador for Dance by aKaiserPhoto because it’s not only fun but it is pushing me out of my comfort zone. I tend to be shy both in person and on social media. This experience is making me more comfortable with putting myself out there and sharing my love for dance with others. Lastly, I really want to challenge myself and to not be afraid of making mistakes. I sometimes forget that it’s okay to make mistakes, so I shy away from things that are challenging for me. This year I want to face those things head on, accept them for what they are, and see how far I come.