A dance video by a group of girls from Novosibirsk, the biggest city in Siberia, has garnered 29 million views on YouTube, prompting an American choreography guru to fly over and check out the young Russian dancers’ twerking skills.
Young women dreaming of summer sun and fun in the middle of Siberian freezing winter is the simple storyline of the music video which earned Novosibirsk’s Fraules dance center their huge online popularity. (Fraules means strawberries in Greek.)
“I think that partially our videos help to break this 'cold' stereotype about Siberia,” Yelena Yatkina, 23, founder of the Fraules dance center told The Siberian Times news website.
“And I love telling people how great life is in Siberia,” she told the website. “I love saying I am from Novosibirsk, not from Moscow.”
The latest manifestation of the girls’ popularity has been a recent visit to the center by American dancer Danielle Polanco, a choreographer for Beyonce, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.
“It is extremely cool here, you've done really well,” Polanco said. “It is much better here than in Moscow. And also the people, they are warmer and friendlier.”
Yatkina says the secret of their success is trying to travel as much as possible, and to take part in as many competitions across the world as they can.
The Siberian dance center regularly posts new videos, showing the progress the students make in twerking, the most popular dance style taught there.
“People are taken by the energy, rhythm, and beauty of the movements,” the ST quotes Yatkina as saying. “For some it is the best possible way to keep in shape, because it is not easy to train your body even for an hour. If you enter our classes in winter, you'll feel it's like being in sauna with all the mirror steamed up and all of us covered in sweat.”