Balancing Studies, Passions, and Entrepreneurship

Karina Bromberg keeps a busy schedule and a positive attitude


Kirsten Wiltshire (she/her) // Crew Writer
Jasmine Linton (she/her) // Illustrator


“There’s being humble. And then there’s knowing your worth,” said Karina Bromberg, a 21-year-old dancer, undergrad student, part-time producer, choreographer and performer of Rishon, an immersive dance show. “Me being able to shine is letting other people shine too, because then we shine bigger together,” she added.  

Bromberg was born and raised in Karmiel, a city of about 46 thousand people in northern Israel, known for the Karmiel Dance Festival. Dance is a crucial part of the city. Bromberg and her family came to Canada when she was 14 years old, landing in the lower mainland for grade 10. The discomfort of a new place, people and routine made her hungry for something bigger. She took summer courses, skipped a grade, graduated high school and started her undergrad at SFU having just turned 17. 

To juggle all her responsibilities, Bromberg remains both meticulously organized and positive. Not many would be able to handle her schedule as both a full-time business student and dancer, all the while keeping a part-time job, but Bromberg’s secret is simply planning. “I even schedule when I eat and when I sleep sometimes” explained Bromberg. “I plan ahead. And I try my best to stick to the schedule.” 

Bromberg thrives in a world of vibrant variety. Intersecting passion, creativity, drive and education to fulfill the hunger for something bigger than herself. With that comes a struggle to find a place among purpose. “I’m too much of a dancer for university,” Bromberg goes on to explain the inverse, that she’s too much of a university student studying accounting for the dance world. As someone caught between two worlds she has always had to create her own path, “I needed to find my own balance. My schedule didn’t look like [others] around me.” 

Bromberg comes from a family of competitive athletes, her father and grandmother both trained as gymnasts. Her grandma brought her to an acquaintance’s aerobic dance studio at age seven, her first day she was taught how to do a cartwheel. The movement sparked in her a connection, “I’ll never forget that,” beamed Bromberg. 

She trained her way to winning the championships in Israel, but the training took its toll, and by age 11 she had sustained several injuries. Her father urged her to find something else, leading her to try out the dance classes also held at her gym. She enrolled in hip hop—loving the music and the atmosphere helped push her through the rocky transition in style of movement. In 2015 her team won Hip Hop International Israel. 

When she arrived in Canada, dance was on the backburner as she adjusted to a new life and a new language. “I did not know where to go dance, didn’t know the language, had no idea where I was,” explained Bromberg. After some time she found a studio and took a summer intensive course. Re-integrating dance back into her life forced her to consider the role she wanted it to take. She found her focus on the artistic side of things and dedicated her time and energy to all things dance. “I [would go] everywhere, every studio and take a class. Every showcase that happened I would go see what that group was about… I was really exposing myself to a lot,” Bromberg said.

Over COVID Bromberg discovered Motus Dance Company, an LA-based dance studio started by prominent dance figure Diana Matos, whose ethos is based on connection and community. Bromberg danced on Zoom in her garage four days a week with Motus for three years. The training instilled in Bromberg an elevated relationship with dance. “I built a whole different set of resilience and discipline.” 

Bromberg had the idea for Rishon, meaning “first” in Hebrew, two years before she brought it to life in 2023. Rishon is an immersive dance show that aims to connect with all five senses by having the audience and the dancers intermingle, allowing for the proximity of touch and smell. Bromberg first developed the show in 2021 but realized she wasn’t quite ready to present it as she had hoped and tabled it for a few years. “It’s always going to be a risk. I was waiting for some sort of validation,” Bromberg reflected. “Until I gave myself ‘[the] OK’, I didn’t do it.” The first show in June 2023 was a multi-modal performance featuring local dancers, designers and artists, choreographed and produced by Bromberg. It ended up being a sold-out success. Rishon brought people together.

With Rishon.2 (on Jan. 27, 2024), Bromberg featured a new cast, a new set and more artists. The pressure of following up a success can be immense. Bromberg, ever the disciplined artist, however, approached it with an assured maturity. “It’s just inevitable that the product I give now is different. For the better for the worse, I don’t know, it’s up to the viewer.” Her approach to these shows has been to create creative opportunities for herself, her community and other young people within the arts. Rishon is a reflection of the new generation of the dance industry Matos had hoped for; deeply focused on connection and expression. Rishon weaves together different stories, experiences and perspectives to light up the senses.

“I realized what Rishon has built for me — it’s a sense of home. I built a home and I invited people in. I told them; do your thing.” Bromberg is determined to continue expanding that sense of home in her art, welcoming others in and creating space for fellow artists to step into their power and shine. 

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