Adriana Tillich (49 years old) left Romania 23 years ago and went to Germany, thinking she will stay there just a few years – to raise some money that will help her develop her own dancing school in Romania. But rarely things happen as we plan – many times, life has other plans with us, way much better. At the ice cream parlor where she was working, one day, a gentleman came to drink his coffee and read his newspaper – and time simply stopped when they first saw each other. They fell in love, got married, had two wonderful children. And Adriana kept all the time in her heart her love for dance – and one day her dream wonderfully came true. She started with Zumba, became certified instructor, went on with Kangoo jumps and then Aerower – today she is their trainer in Germany, boots distributor and has her own training studio. And there a big Romanian heart beats every day – Adriana founded Ciuleandra, an ensemble of traditional romanian dances, built with love and a lot of soul. They have representations both in Romanian communities and German towns, at different events where they are invited, and Adriana is trying every day, wherever she goes, to promote her native country – beautiful Romania that will always be a part of her heart.
23 years ago, when she first got to Germany, Adriana did not even dream how her life was going to change, completely. “I came to stay just for a short period, I didn’t want to remain in here, just to raise some money to maintain a dance school – I had one but did not have money to develop it”, she says.
She was in love with dancing ever since she was a child. When she was 18, started a dance school in Geoagiu-Bai a small romanian town, all by herself. “I had 100 children, and that was the moment when I realized that was what I wanted”, she says.
When Adriana came to Germany, her brother was already there. She started working in italian restaurants, but the beginning was not easy. “It was hard, I had to work a lot, I’ve worked as barista and life in gastronomy field was not easy”, she says, remembering how she was sleeping on some bags, on her lunch break. Then she worked into an ice cream parlor, where she was selling ice-cream and was preparing drinks.
That time, her visa expired, and it was very hard to renew it. So she had a period when she stood clandestine – with fear in her heart every moment. “It was like a black stone, I could not say I was Romanian, my knees were shaking every time I saw a policeman passing by. Only the ones who have lived like this can understand what it means. I’ve stood like this for two years”, she remembers.
Destiny. Love at first sight
But there, in the ice cream parlor, life widely smiled her one day – in the most unexpected way. There was a man who came there to drink his coffee and read his newspaper. When they first saw each other, time stopped. “When I first saw him he had a coat with an emblem and Germany’s flag, and I thought he was from the police. But I couldn’t take my eyes off him and he couldn’t take his eyes off me”, she remembers, with so much emotion in her voice.
They remained together, got married and have two wonderful children together – Adriana feels blessed and she is so grateful for everything! She keeps on telling how lucky she is, how much her husband believed in her and always supported her, no matter what.
Back to dancing. A dream came true
After getting married, she dedicated herself to family, but dance always remained in her heart. So ten years after getting to Germany, she started thinking about doing something that involved dancing – went to some dance schools, but was not satisfied. Until one day, when she attended a Zumba class. “I liked it a lot – but I’ve seen in front of me a person who had nothing to do with dancing”, she remembers.
She was sure she can do much better – and she did. She attended certified classes, and took her first Zumba license in 2012. Then went to a studio and received a very weak course, Friday night – it was a minimum of 4 women and did not gather all the time. “They heard the trainer changed and started to come, until I had no space in the classroom anymore. And I regained my self-trust – because I had lost it over the years”, she says.
It was just the beginning of a beautiful dream finally came true. She took Zumba licenses for other ages, also. Then discovered Kangoo Jumps, on a trip in Romania. “I wanted to see what it is, and I thought I would die on those boots in my first hour, I prayed God for it to end. But that day I ordered myself a pair of boots – I said I have to know it and become good in it”, she says.
And she did. After hard work, when she finally felt she was good enough, she started teaching Kangoo Jumps, also. “I was looking in the mirror and couldn’t believe my eyes that I was their instructor in Kangoo Jumps. I grew up with my classes – every time I was teaching I found mistakes to myself and I kept on learning”, she says.
Then the engineer from Kangoo Jumps, who had worked there for 20 years, built another boot – named Aerower – and she was among their first trainers in the world, in 2017. It was the year when she also opened her personal studio, now she has more Zumba licenses, for adults, children and elderly people, she is a trainer for Aerower and also distributor for their boots.
Ciuleandra. The story of dancing steps made with heart
There, in her studio, another beautiful story was born. Certainly, because she loves Romania much more than she can describe. After all these years, because of love, she always spends all her holidays in Romania – although she could go anywhere in the world. Roots remained, the tradition, spiritual inheritance – everything is there.
And that’s how Ciuleandra was born – an ensemble of traditional romanian dances, with Romanians, trained in her studio, to show the beauty and a heart of her beloved native land. She studied a lot, went to colloquium with famous Romanian choreographers and applied with her students everything she had learnt. She keeps on doing this – still going to colloquium, still learning.
Ciuleandra has today two groups – one with children and the other one with adults – and their shows bring tears of emotion in people’s eyes. They have shows both in Romanian communities and in German towns, on public events and festivals, where they represent Romania. “When I change Bavarian music with Romanian music and I see people applauding and smiling I feel I did my job”, she says. Germans are pleasantly surprised and applaud – Romanians have tears of emotion in their eyes.
Adriana took care of the costumes herself – bought traditional Romanian shirts, “ii”, sewed with her hands the other parts. “poale” and “catrinte”, made shirts and costumes for children. On everything, she proudly added Romanian flag. “Everywhere I go, I try to take flyers, in German, about Romania, with pictures and descriptions of the main tourist attractions”, she says.
There are not magic recipes for success – and it’s never easy. It’s a lot of hard work, trust and ambition – never give up your dream, although it might take a lot of time for it to come true. “Only with faith in God you can go further. I learnt that God is in each of us, a piece inside of us”, Adriana says.
Today, besides her work in her studio, she works with her husband, also, at his insolvency company – trying to help Romanians who have problems in Germany. She also works on making a traditional Romanian museum – she hopes she will do it in the Romanian cathedral that is built now in Munchen.
You can find Adriana on her Facebook Page, HERE
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at email@example.com, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.