Bulgarian Language Teacher
Bulgarian language instructor Vanya Zankina holds two Masters’ degrees in Civil engineering from a Bulgarian University and in Industrial Management from a German University. She has completed post-grade study in Information Management at the State Department of Science & Technology, Moscow, Russia. Her language skills enabled her to teach foreigner languages to children and adults back in Bulgaria.
In the USA, she worked for the National Network of Digital Schools. She developed the online curricula in German language for all levels for several US Cyber schools, including the Pennsylvania Cyber School.
Mrs. Zankina has been teaching Bulgarian language to adults as well as to children at the Bulgarian school “Otets Paissii” since 2011. She developed several curricula in Bulgarian language and adapted those to the various ages and skill levels of children of Bulgarian origin born in the United States.
Of great benefit to the students is the subject of “Rodinoznanie”, which introduces the students to their country of origin and its cultural and national heritage. This program aims at formation of a sense of identity in the social context of ethnic diversity, as well as a tolerant attitude. The content of the curriculum is an integrated unit consisted of couple of particular subjects as Bulgarian geography, Bulgarian history, Bulgarian culture, and Bulgarian traditions, customs, and holydays.
Mrs. Zankina is very committed and dedicated to her work for preserving and promoting Bulgarian cultural heritage and Bulgarian language.
Aleksandar (Sasho) Zankin
Dance Instructor and Choreographer
Our Bulgarian folk dance instructor, Aleksandar (Sasho) Zankin, has been teaching Bulgarian folk dances since 1974. He holds Master’s degree in Bulgarian Folk Choreography and is a professionally qualified Choreographer-Pedagogue. He was the artistic director of many folk dance groups and ensembles in Bulgaria and a teacher in Bulgarian folk dance at the public school with intensive study of Bulgarian dance folklore “Christo Fotinov” in Sofia. He has taught Bulgarian folk dances at many workshops in the USA, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been awarded several prestigious awards by the Bulgarian state for his teaching and choreographic work. With his groups and ensembles he also won national and international awards.
Since 2006, Mr. Zankin has been teaching character dances at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, as well as at ballet schools in Greensburg, Wexford, and Coraopolis. Mr. Zankin founded the folk dance group “Danka” for Bulgarian authentic folklore dances and the children folk dance group “Shareni chorapi” at the BMNECC. Both groups take part in local events and in Bulgarian Folk Festivals in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Since 2014, Mr. Zankin has been teaching Bulgarian folk dances to all school levels at the Bulgarian Language School “Otets Paissii”. He also choreographs and stages dances for these groups.
Sasho Zankin is the founder and director of the annual Bulgarian Folk Festival “Na megdana” in Pittsburgh convening local, national and international groups from the United States and Canada. Mr. Zankin’s boundless energy and enthusiasm coupled with his professionalism makes him a great champion for preserving and promoting the Bulgarian folklore abroad.
Denise & Nick Nedev