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Dancers remember Ukrainian roots

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Did you know the hall at Ukrainian Orthodox Church Of All Saints, located at 1500 Day St. in Transcona, is home to the Zavirukha Ukrainian Dance School?  

The Ukrainian word Zavirukha means "an intense snowstorm or blizzard," which (unfortunately) is not uncommon on the Canadian prairies.

Zavirukha Ukrainian Dance School, established in 1970, salutes Ukrainian culture and heritage through vibrant dances and passionate performances. The faculty, led by artistic director Jennifer Doroniuk, is excellent. Classes always have an atmosphere of fun and are meant to foster a love and appreciation of Ukrainian dance. Students are encouraged to reach their full potential in a caring and safe environment.  

Classes range from Ukrainian Creative Movement (students must be at least three years of age) all the way through to Adult Ukrainian Dance (students 18 years of age and up. Mature dancers are welcome). In between are Snezhka (snowflake) Moroz (ice) as well as Zavirukha classes (school-aged students six to 18 years of age). As a rule, students are placed in the appropriate class based on enrolment, age and ability.

Very recently (April 4 to 6), Zavirukha Ukrainian Dance School took part in the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble — 2nd Annual Manitoba Ukrainian Dance Festival, which was held at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre (180 Market Ave. E in Winnipeg’s Exchange District). Zavirukha did very well at the event, winning accolades including gold medals.

Zavirukha is now looking forward to its year-end Spring Concert, to be held on March 24 at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain (340 Provencher Blvd.). The Spring Concert will be dedicated, in part, to Ukraine.

Furthermore, Zavirukha will soon participate in the annual Folklorama festival (August 3 to 16).

Folklorama is, of course, the largest and longest running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. Zavirukha performs at the Ukraine - Kyiv Pavilion, one of the original Folklorama pavilions.

Zavirukha Ukrainian Dance School aims to inspire young dancers to honour their Ukrainian heritage and share it with the greater community.  

Be advised, early registration for the 2014-15 year will begin June 4 in person at the  Ukrainian Orthodox Church Of All Saints church hall from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After Sept. 4, online registration will be available.

For more information, visit www.zavirukha.com

Zavirukha Ukrainian Dance School may also be contacted by telephone at 204-998-8254 or email at director@zavirukha.com

Darlene Litchie is a community correspondent for Transcona.

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