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Celebrating spring, Ukrainian style

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Dave Sulz
Photo courtesy of the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club Members of the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club perform. The club will stage its annual Vesna show May 8 at the Enmax Centre.

We’re always happy to see the arrival of spring, but this year, following a brutal February, the season was surely especially welcome for southern Albertans.
Members of the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club are ready to help mark the occasion by staging their annual year-end show, Vesna, to celebrate spring Ukrainian style (“vesna” means “spring” in Ukrainian).
The show, a colourful and lively showcase of dances, costumes and music from various regions of Ukraine, will take place May 8 at the Enmax Centre. The Troyanda troupe will be joined by special guest performers the Filipino Salto Group and Lethbridge Lankans, displaying dances from the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the Ticket Centre (phone 403-329-7328) or online at http://www.enmaxcentre.ca.
The Filipino Salto Group was a crowd favourite two years ago, and is among a number of local communities to have teamed with Troyanda in the past for its Vesna show. Others include Colombian, African, Mexican and First Nations groups.
By teaming up with members of Lethbridge’s ethnic community to show and share various cultures through dance, Troyanda works to bring together members of the community to help facilitate awareness and understanding through a fun atmosphere of arts and culture.
The Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club, in its 24th year of operation, is a not-for-profit organization with members who volunteer their time to preserving and promoting the artful heritage of Ukrainian dance in southern Alberta. The club features more than 40 members ranging in age from three to “timeless.”
Besides putting on its major shows such as Vesna and Malanka, the Ukrainian New Year’s celebration in January, club members also share their love of Ukrainian culture with numerous Grade 3 classes across southern Alberta. This year these soldout shows, also taking place May 8 at the Enmax, will have more than 1,400 students attending from more than 24 schools from across the region.
Troyanda also performs at numerous community events and seniors homes throughout southern Alberta.
Anyone interested in giving Ukrainian dance a try might be comforted to know that they do not need to be Ukrainian to enjoy Ukrainian dance. Dancers in the club range from those born in Ukraine to those who have very little or no Ukrainian heritage at all.
Ukrainian dance is usually very energetic and simply just fun to do. Because of that, there are always new dancers joining the club. In particular, there has been an increase in dancers in the adult class in the past couple of years, ranging from those who are renewing the love of Ukrainian dance they had when they were younger, some who are doing it for fitness and recreation, and others who were just looking for something new and fun to try.
The Troyanda club features accomplished instructors Dean Mackedenski, Anastasia Sereda and Ashley Hogue, all of whom are passionate about sharing their love of Ukrainian dance. Their choreography and instruction has led to many of the club’s dancers winning awards and gold medals across the province in dance festivals and competitions.
For information about the club, email Troyanda@hotmail.ca or visit the website at http://www.troyandalethbridge.com.

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