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Forester News

A Forester you should know: Elina Sharipova ’22

Elina Sharipova ’22 and her dance partner edged out 11 top competitors to win first place in the Couples Open Division I at the 2020 Country Dance World Championships in Nashville on January 4.

The United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) competition drew more than 6,500 entries from around the world. 

A business major, world championship dancer, and Russian native, Sharipova is a Forester you should know:

Q: How important was your UCWDC win?

A: It meant the world to me, not only because we have gained a world title and now are UCWDC Masters, which is great for our careers, but because my amazing dance partner, Jimmy Mulligan, dreamed of this opportunity for over 25 years. It was a dream come true. 

Q: How does dancing impact your academic work? 

A:  My dance partner and I travel a lot for professional dance shows, coachings, and competitions, all across the US. All of that—along with being a full-time student—is helping me prepare for my future. 

Q: What is your future goal?

A: I plan to continue to pursue competitive dancing. Dance has so many benefits, and I see every day how dance changes people’s lives. My goal after graduation is to travel the world to teach and coach people on ballroom dancing.

Q: What initially drew you to Lake Forest College?

A: I am a full-time dance instructor and manager of Arthur Murray Lincolnshire Dance Center. It was my students who originally told me about Lake Forest College. I applied because the College has the major I wanted to study and the atmosphere here is very aristocratic and historic.

Q: Any advice for new students?

A: I truly believe that you should never turn away from any opportunity that appears in front of you. Just go and do it, you never know how it will turn out. This opportunity that I thought would be just fun to do—dancing—has changed my life.

—Peter DiPietro ’20