HOMETOWN: Istanbul (raised in NYC)

BEST KNOWN FOR: Salsa, Burju Dance Shoes

QUICK FACTS:

  • Born in Istanbul but raised in New York City.
  • She began as a Rhythmic Gymnast and trained in Ballet and Jazz at a young age.  She then became interested in Hip-Hop and Modern and danced in various dance troops and productions over the years.
  • In college, Burju became a part of a dance troop that incorporated Latin dancing.
  • One of the original 4 founders of H.Y.M (Hacha Y Machete), a salsa dance company.
  • In 2001, she became the director along with her fiancé and dance partner, Victor. At that time, the two ran the company part time after their day jobs.
  • Began her professional journey into salsa dance in 2003.  Well known salsa/mambo dancer Juan Matos offered her a one month tour in Italy.  Has since traveled to over 75 cities all over the world teaching and performing.
  • Helped develop the “Learn Through Dance” in-school program that affords inner city elementary students the opportunity to learn dance and experience the benefits of engaging in the arts.
  • Career Highlights include being awarded “International Best Artist,” and “International Best Instructor” in 2007 at the United Kingdom Salsa Congress.
  • Burju has served as the main judge for International World Salsa Championships, performed on stage with the world’s best known Salsa bands, and has auditioned for shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Got Talent.”
  • Founder and designer of Burju Shoes.
  • Burju has held s an annual dance shoe drive that donates brand new Burju Shoes to different youth groups around the world, and has developed “Learn Through Dance,” a program that brings Latin Dance in to public schools.

Primary Source:  Whomyouknow.com

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