New East Digital Archive

Meet the Latvian zumba teacher dancing her way into politics

1 June 2017

Tired of traditional election campaigns? Meet Svetlana Lonska, the Latvian zumba teacher hoping to energise the political process with some song and dance.

Hailing from Latvia’s second city, Daugavpils, Ms Lonska has released a striking music video (accompanied by an exceptionally catchy soundtrack) titled A 21st Century Election Campaign.

The unique campaign video, which has gone viral since its release in mid-May, sees Ms Lonska sunning herself on a suspiciously non-Baltic coastline before rejoining her zumba troupe in Daugavpils and venturing inside local government buildings. As much as a treat for the ears, the video functions as something of an audio-visual manifesto.

“You’re saying everyone’s stealing, and all the candidates are uncool. I’m offering you a replacement. Today I’m the candidate!” Ms Lonska sings.

According to a report by Latvian news site LSM, Svetlana performs the song in Russian because she believes it would be remiss to address Daugavpils’s majority ethnic Russian electorate in Latvian.

In May, the election clip spent time as the #1 trending YouTube video in Latvia, but will the zumba teacher secure a political win for the Latvia From the Heart party? We’ll only know whether song and dance is the way to electoral success in Latvian politics after 3 June, when Latvians will go the polls in municipal elections.