By Artsvi Bakhchinyan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
YEREVAN/RIGA — Solvita Avakjana (Avakian) is a Riga-based professional dancer, pop singer and fitness trainer. Years ago she was a member of the popular Latvian band A-Europa, with whom she toured many countries, including a series of charity concerts for Latvian soldiers in Afghanistan. She starred in the feature film “Where the Sea Ends,” directed by Arthurs Duboks, as the main protagonist, dancer Nadia. Today she is not only a popular Latvian dancer and singer who sing in several languages, but also a successful fitness coach and loving mother.
Dear Solvita, first tell our readers about your family.
My father was Armenian and my mother was Latvian. They met in Sochi in 1969, and immediately after the wedding they left to live in Tbilisi, where first my brother Albert was born in 1971 and later me, in 1979. Since childhood I have lived in two countries – 9 months of the year in Tbilisi and 3 months in Riga. When the war began in Georgia, my parents considered leaving the country. At that time I was a teenager, so I clearly remember the curfew and bread coupons. Mom’s relatives called us to Latvia, but unfortunately my mom passed away very young, so I left Tbilisi with my father and brother Albert.
When we settled in Latvia, I was 15 years old, and after 3 years, I started working in Riga’s popular night clubs as a go-go dancer. I never attended any dance classes. Dancing was always my passion, but my dad resisted my desire to dance, so in my heart I felt myself to be a failed ballerina. But his forbidding me only increased my interest in dance, so I decided to train and study at home.