Konstantin “Kotse” Marinov is from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. From the age of 5 he performed with the Children’s and Youth Ensemble “Zagorche.” Kotse was born into a dancing family: he and his father, mother, and sister all have 100 percent dancing in their blood! His father is a choreographer, and is a long-time soloist of the Military Ensemble in Sofia; and his mother dances with the Zagore ensemble. In 1987, Konstantin entered the State Choreographic School, now the National School of Dance Arts in Sofia, graduating with a diploma as artist/ballet dancer and teacher of dance arts. After he graduated and completed his military service, he danced as a soloist with Zagore and the “Sunny Beach” Ensemble, and was assistant choreographer with the Zornitsa Ensemble, and he toured with both Sunny Beach and Zagore in Europe, Canada, and the US.
In 2000 he emigrated to the US and settled in the Chicagoland area, where he established several Bulgarian folklore clubs (Constantine’s Folk Clubs), in the spirit of Bulgarian “reading rooms (chitalishta),” local culture centers that have the aim to preserve and nurture Bulgarian folk dance and folklore in a dynamic way. Konstantin organizes annual festivals in Chicago, which feature multiple Bulgarian folk ensembles and cultural groups under the umbrella and name of his “Vereya” dance ensemble. Kotse also founded 101 Bagpipes Chicago, the Kracra Cookery Group; and has produced many other concerts and festivals in North America and Europe.