Yuliya Zagoruychenko is a ten-time undefeated latino dance champion and reigning latino world champion with her partner/husband Riccardo Cocchi. Originally from Russia, she began dancing in a Russian folklore ensemble at the age of four. As a child, she enjoyed watching and copying dancers on television, so her mother agreed to take her to dance lessons, where she practiced folk dancing for three years. She then moved on to ballroom dancing.
At the age of 11, Zagoruychenko began to teach children how to earn money, which she then gave to her parents. At the age of 12, she earned her first major title in Russia, becoming the Russian junior champion. For financial reasons, she could not afford to dance ballroom and Latin American dances, so at the age of 16 she decided to take up Latin American dancing. At the age of 21, she decided to move to America and partnered with Maxim Kozhevnikov. Together they became the US Pro Champions. In the autumn of 2007 she started dancing with Riccardo Cocchi.
Zagoruichenko and Kokki won their first World Latin American Dance Championship in 2010 and claimed their eighth title in 2017. They rank first in the world in the professional Latin American program. They recently won their 5th consecutive US National Professional Latin Champion title at the US Open Dance Competition. In October 2019, they announced their retirement and their last international competition was the World Professional Latin in Miami.
Julia draws inspiration from several other forms of dance besides Latin American and even from music. Some of her inspirations are dancers Syd Charisse, Fred Astaire, Diana Vishneva, Gaynor Fairweather and Donnie Burns. She is also inspired by musicians José Feliciano, Tina Turner, Bocelli, Christina Aguilera and dance groups Pilobolus and Alvin Ailey.