My name is Yanna Glogov and I identify as an American born Bulgarian. My driving question for my March Madness project was, what are the personal stories of Bulgarian immigrants that keep the culture and language alive in the United States and how do they motivate younger generations of American born Bulgarians to do the same? This project connects to my life in a deeply personal way because I do Bulgarian folk dance and have attended the Hristo Botev Bulgarian School in New York City.
I interviewed Elena Stoicheva-Egan who is a parent organizer at the Bulgarian school and a leader within the parent committee. In addition, I interviewed Elissaveta Iordanova who is the founder and choreographer of Gorana Dance, a Bulgarian folk dance ensemble. She was also my dance teacher at the Bulgarian school, our group was called Gorana Dance Jr. Initially, I thought the interviews on Zoom would be difficult to do but I soon discovered what an amazing resource it was to have in these times and how incorporating new methods could be extremely helpful. From there, I compiled other videos and photographs along with the interviews to culminate in a iMovie film and a project website. By doing so, I learned a lot more about the Bulgarian school and dance, as well as the personal journeys behind these Bulgarian immigrants.