Instructor Spotlight – Julia Zuckernick

instructor spotlight - Julia - dance teacher

April 4, 2024

Meet Julia, Our Featured Instructor based in Toronto

Welcome to this month’s Instructor Spotlight, where we shine a light on the exceptional individuals who make our programs so memorable. This time, we’re thrilled to feature Julia, a beacon of creativity, movement, and joy for children of all ages. Julia has been a part of the Playocity family for two years, specializing in Dance, Yoga, and Creative Movement programs. Her passion for nurturing growth and confidence in children through playful learning aligns perfectly with Playocity’s core mission: to educate and empower children through the arts.

Julia’s journey in the performing arts began at a young age, twirling to any tune she heard, and has since blossomed into a fulfilling career. Her dream of dancing professionally evolved into a desire to inspire and teach, much like the mentors who once inspired her. Julia’s commitment to spreading positivity and empowering children through the arts is evident in every class she teaches. Whether it’s exploring the African Safari in the Animal Kingdom program or igniting a passion for dance and movement, Julia’s vibrant spirit and dedication to her craft make every lesson a magical experience.

Julia’s advice to children struggling in school to embrace their uniqueness as a superpower is a testament to her supportive and inclusive teaching philosophy.

As we delve into a Q&A with Julia, you’ll discover more about the heart and soul she brings to Playocity and the transformative impact of her work. Join us as we celebrate a truly remarkable instructor whose warmth, creativity, and enthusiasm inspire everyone around her.

1. What parts of our mission do you connect with?

One of Playocity’s core values that I connect with is that children have the fundamental need to play, and I think the same applies to grown-ups too! As one of the instructors at Playocity, I love engaging with children while simultaneously inspiring them through creativity and movement. Playocity’s mission is to educate and empower children through creativity and social interactions, and I have seen first-hand just how impactful these skills are. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching students flourish and gain confidence in ways that I credit to Playocity’s goals. The detailed and well-thought-out lesson planning allows children to walk away with knowledge and tools they can apply to everyday life, and that’s my favourite part about Playocity’s mission.

2. What do you like most about working with Playocity?

The collaborative, warm, and enthusiastic environment is what I like the most about working with Playocity. Not only is the team super talented, but Alena, Alanna, and Krystina go above and beyond to ensure that each of their instructors feels comfortable and supports our individual needs!

3. If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I had to pick only one meal to eat for eternity, it would be Macaroni & Cheese! (Extra cheesy please!)

4. What did you want to be when growing up?

As a child, I dreamt of becoming a ballerina or a professional dancer. As I got a bit older, I realized that dance was still a huge part of my dreams though I also wanted to help people and spread positivity. I looked up to the dance instructors who inspired me and hoped to do something similar one day, which is why I am super grateful to be a part of the Playocity team!

5. What is your favourite thing to do in your free time?

During my free time, I love indulging in a good book or watching a movie. Depending on my mood, I may read a suspenseful thriller or mystery, or I will be laughing out loud at some of my favourite actors like Steve Carrel and Will Ferrell in a light-hearted comedy.

6. Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be going to the African Safari and seeing all the beautiful animals that my students and I explore in our Amazing Animal Adventures program!

7. How did you get into performing arts?

As a baby, I would wiggle and dance around whenever I heard music and as soon as I was old enough, my parents signed me up for dance class. This would soon lead me down the road of competitive dance, teaching, and performing arts schools, and my parents supported me every step of the way.

In elementary school, I was accepted into the arts program at Baythorn Public School and then was part of the Dance program throughout high school at Westmount Collegiate Institute. There are several teachers and peers that I will never forget, and I am grateful for having the arts as a positive outlet during such transformative years.

8. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling in school?

As someone who struggled to fit in as a kid, I know that bullies can be mean and have the power to make you feel small. Don’t give up! If someone calls you weird, say thank you! One day you will see that your “weirdness” or uniqueness is a superpower and that being different is WAY ‘cooler’ than being like everybody else.

9. If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

Music that I enjoy dancing to, a notebook, and plenty of instant Mac & Cheese!

10. What is your favourite time of the year and why?

While I love experiencing the changes of seasons, my favourite time of the year is summer! During these warm months, my family and I spend time up north relaxing on Georgian Bay and continue to create many lasting memories. Some of my favourite activities to do in the summer are swimming in the lake, paddleboarding, hiking, exploring nature, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire, and camping underneath the stars!

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