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Russian gymnast describes her love for Shanghai

By XING YI in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-07 15:40

"If I have to conclude my feelings for Shanghai in only one word, I would say it's love. Shanghai is my love," Russian Krupikova Oksana said in an interview for "Shanghai Through Our Eyes", a video series featuring foreign expats and their impressions of the city.

Oksana is a professional rhythmic gymnast who founded the Bodylab Dance Center in Shanghai in 2016. She current has three outlets in the city.

Although Oksana has been living in Shanghai for more than a decade, her China story dates back even earlier to her childhood.

"My grandfather joined the communist party when he was young, and he told me a lot of good things about China — the Chinese people are very hardworking, and the country has been developing very well," says Oksana.

"He passed his love for China to me when I was a child."

Oksana recalled when she finally came to China, she found the country was exactly the way that her grandfather described.

"Shanghai develops very fast, and includes different cultures, which makes it an international city," she says. "People are very friendly, and I feel very comfortable living here."

Dancing has always been Oksana's passion, and this was what drove her to set up Bodylab, which teaches various course on dancing and fitness, including gymnastics, yoga, and hip hop.

Last year, the COVID-19 outbreak was a difficult time for Oksana's dance center as students could not attend classes.

"The local government offered help at that time, and granted us some rent exemption," she says. "The authority controlled the outbreak rather quick so that we were able to get back to normal."

The leadership of the Communist Party of China has played a vital role in the country's fight against the COVID-19, said Oksana.

"Some employees in her dance center are Party members. They are very responsible, passionate and devoted to work," she says.

Oksana likes strolling along the Huangpu River after work, and the beautiful night view of the river often reminds her of the Russian song Moscow Nights.

"The lyrics aptly describe the night view of the Huangpu River, which embodies the enchanting and inviting nature of Shanghai," she says.

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