|Date:||4- Kärgüyük, Bars jıl 1986|
4th September 1986
|Place:||Margılan, Üzbekistan Province|
Torğaı ("Sparrow") is the stage name of celebrated dancer Yıldız Beriktaş Baı-qızı.
Torğaı is an ethnic Üzbek from Margılan in the Ferğana valley, the second of Beriktaş Böken-ulı Baı's six daughters. Her stage name comes from a childhood nickname bestowed by her family; she was the smallest of her family despite having four sisters younger than she.
Like many Üzbeks, especially young girls, she took up dancing very young and was given lessons in traditional Üzbek dance forms. Also like many Üzbeks, she fell in love with the art of the dance. Encouraged by her parents, she became quite an accomplished dancer even as a child, winning a regional dance competition at the age of 9, and again at ages 12, 14 and 17. At age 14, she also went on to come second in the national competition. Her childhood accomplishments paved the way for her acceptance to the prestigious Üzbek Dance Academy in Qoqand.
In a culture like that of the Üzbeks in which everyone dances, it takes a performer of rare skill and artistry to make it as a professional, but the rewards for those that do are commensurately great. Turkestan bestows adulation, fame and wealth on its most successful dancers, who can become as much household names as popular musicians and film stars. Torğaı is one of these household names, four-time winner of the gold crown of overall dance champion in the annual Silk Road International Festival and twice winner of the silver crown of second place.
Dance concerts featuring Torğaı as the headliner are guaranteed sell-out crowd affairs; young people especially come from far and wide to see her perform.