by AMY LEHRER | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

Overcoming Shyness

Elena Eroshkin loves playing the piano and dancing. For the past eleven years, she has taken piano lessons and has enjoyed classical music. She even earned the Advanced Piano Level Certificate of Merit from the Music Teacher Association of California this past year. Watching a ballroom dancing recording inspired her to take ballroom dancing. Elena reminisced, “[The couple] appeared to be from another era – frozen in a timeless dance – as they floated above the floor.” Over the last four years she has placed second in eight ballroom dance competitions and even earned the fourth title in the Pro-Am division of the Embassy Ballroom World Championships this past year. One of her most memorable dance experiences occurred while she danced the tango in a final competition round. Nervous that the judge would subtract points and her own shyness limiting her, she became inspired when a friend yelled, “Go Elena!” She recalled, “I distinctly remember something inside me changed. When I opened my eyes, I became the dance.” Performing the tango pushed her to become limitless.


Elena has excelled in another area as well. A Girl Scout since Kindergarten, Elena loves helping people. Elena shared, “I am very shy and quiet at school and at home, but when it comes to community service, I am always the loudest one in the crowd.” This past year Elena received the Gold Award for the SignWriting app she and her team developed. SignWriting is an alphabet with visual symbols representing the movements and hand shapes of any sign language in the world. Elena was able to travel to Osnabruck, Germany to a school for the deaf to present her app to students who use SignWriting every day. She became aware of how much her app made a difference and was inspired by students finding beauty in small things.

“The sky is not the limit; it is only the beginning of what can be achieved.”

In the future Elena hopes to become a surgeon. Currently, her favorite subject in school is research methods, a class that conducts scientific research to learn fundamental concepts of research design and procedures. “I enjoy this subject because it challenges me to learn more and to think outside the box,” explained Elena.

Elena plans to pursue a career and preserve time to practice her music and dancing. She advised, “The sky is not the limit; it is only the beginning of what can be achieved.”


Name: Elena Eroshkin (18)
School: Canyon Crest Academy
Grade: Senior
Parents: Galina and Alexey Eroshkin
Favorite Places in 92130: The Torrey Pines tennis courts and the Carmel Valley Recreation Center