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Athens-based nail tech Kostadina Tsihlas has always enjoyed being physically active. She sees her job as a rhythmic gymnastics teacher as another aspect of her creativity, alongside nails. “I was always physically active as a child and I participated in many kinds of activities,” says Tsihlas. “Gymnastics was the most expressive one to me.” 

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Maintaining this passion, Tsihlas majored in physical education and rhythmic gymnastics. She has been teaching for five years, to students ranging in age from three years old to 16. Teaching such a wide range of ages can be challenging. “Each age group requires a different kind of approach,” says Tsihlas. “The most challenging aspect is earning the children’s trust and encouraging them to believe that anything is possible, and they should never doubt their own strength.”

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Seeing the children achieve the performance she has trained them on is the greatest part of the job for Tsihlas.  “I feel highly rewarded when I see a smile on their faces, and it makes me very proud whenever I hear them say ‘I did it,’” she says. 

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To balance nails with gymnastics, Tsihlas teaches in the afternoon, focusing on nails during the rest of the day and on weekends. She loves the art and ability to create that both professions offer her. “They give me an opportunity to express my own creativity through my work on both fronts,” she says.

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