Chamblee Sophomore Dances Her Way to World Stage


Photo courtesy of Madeleine Mravkarov.

Madeleine Mravkarov dances with her partner in USA Ballroom National Championships.

Sophie Maxwell, Staff writer

Chamblee Charter High School’s very own Madeleine Mravkarov has made a name for herself as a ballroom dancer. As only a high school sophomore, she has competed all around the world and has recently qualified to be on the American National Team in the world championships.

Getting to this point was not easy; Mravkarov has worked hard as a dancer for many years, but at first, she never thought she would be doing so.

“I started ballroom dancing seven years ago [in 2012] when my coach [moved] to town and she started this company, [the Volga Dance Academy],” said Mravkarov. “I had no rhythm at all; I wasn’t a natural born dancer, but my sister convinced me to start a dance class, so I did, and I fell in love with it.”

Mravkarov wants people to understand that there is more to ballroom dancing than what is shown on TV.

“Ballroom dancing is not only a form of art but a sport. When most people think of ballroom dancing, they think of Dancing With the Stars or doing salsa on Saturday nights, but in reality, it is so much more than that,” said Mrakarov. “DanceSport is a community full of amazing athletes from all over the world that compete with their dance partners, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”

DanceSport is both the act of competitive ballroom dancing and also the organization through which the dancers compete.

An important part of ballroom dancing is the constant partner work. Although this comes with a few difficulties, Mravkarov maintains that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

“Working with a partner can be extremely difficult. Negotiating with a partner and their parents is probably the toughest part of having a dance partner,” said Mravkarov. “But having someone to work with, be friends with, and share all these memorable experiences with definitely trumps the stress that comes with working with someone else.”

Because of how dedicated she is to the sport, Mravkarov must constantly deal with being absent from her classes. Over the years, she has learned to balance school and dance.

“Whenever I take big trips, I try to get the work in advance, so I can do it in airports or on planes,” said Mravkarov. “On a daily basis, I’ve learned to do as much school work during the day as possible because everyday after school, I’m at the studio. Over the years, it’s gotten harder and harder as the workload increases, but I still manage.”

Her most recent endeavor involved flying to Orem, Utah for a competition.

“It was [the] USA dance-ballroom DanceSport National Championship,” said Mravkarov. “The best dancers in the nation went there, and I just happened to be one of them.”

Makarov placed first in both her categories: youth pre-champ and adult pre-champ. But even more impressive was what she qualified for.

“For the youth qualifications to go to the world championships, I got fourth, which means I got top six in the nation, which means I’m on the national team to go to Romania in November,” said Mravkarov.

Even though she is guaranteed a spot in world championships, it is not set in stone yet whether she will be able to attend the event.

“Although I’m finally qualified to go, we haven’t decided about [going] to worlds officially yet,” said Mravkarov.

If she does end up making the trip to Romania, Mravkarov says she has a lot to be looking forward to.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be on the floor with the amazing top-tier dancers I’ve heard of for years and aspired to be [like],” said Mravkarov. “Actually having the chance to see them in person would be a dream come true.”

Even if she does not end up going to world championships, Mravkarov says that as a dancer, she has so much thankful for.

“I’ve met so many amazing people from it, and it’s really helped me to become the person I am [today],” said Mravkarov.