Ukrainian Dance Academy
Ukrainian Dance Academy
The program -The Ukrainian Dance Academy is a great way for children to experience Ukrainian culture, learn the history of the Ukrainian dance, build flexibility for other sports, leadership opportunities, and builds life-long friendships. It is comprised of classical ballet, character balle, and Ukrainian dance techniques.
Our instructional team of Debbie Kachmar Potter, Tasha Orysiuk and Zhenia Bahri challenge our students to be the best they can be. Their collaborative knowledge has created a fantastic program for the students of St. Martin.
Performances - Learning the steps and choreography is one of the skills of dancing, the other skill is performing. To develop this skill, our academy gives our students ample amount of opportunities to showcase their learnings. They perform at three categories of events: school, community and special events.
School - Students show their parents and family members what they have learned in their parent observation classes. Twice a year, family members can observe a full class and see what their children are learning. Also, our dance academy compliments school events by performing such as Ukrainian Night, Open House, Christmas Concert, Year End Concerts etc.
Special Events - To give our dance students the opportunity to perform in front of larger crowds, special events are looked for. These performances have included Ukrainian Village, Ukrainian Bilingual 45th Anniversary, Oil Kings, Festival of Trees, and Celebration of the Arts.
Field Trips - Students participate in out of school and in school field trips. These fieldtrips give our students opportunities to learn more from other professionals in the dance world. Edmonton has a rich community of Ukrainian Dance Ensembles and artistic directors. Students tour the studios, learn new steps, and add to their dance repertoire knowledge. Students also attend matinees of various touring Ukrainian Dance Ensembles to learn what years of dedication and practice can look like. These opportunities become the touchpoints for our students to become inspired and aspire to.
Debbie Kachmar Potter
In 1982, Debbie started teaching part time for the Two Hills Ukrainian Dancers, eventually leading to a full-time position in 1985. She has been teaching for 36 years and have taught over 15 groups in Alberta and many workshops around the world. She has many highlights over the years, but perhaps the biggest highlight was when she had the opportunity to teach a professional group in Hong Kong. She has attended many workshops from well-known instructors from Ukraine and Canada. She also attended classes in Lviv, Ukraine, which was a valuable learning experience. She studied Character Dance and Ballet from professional teachers from throughout the world.
She truly enjoys teaching students from 3 years old to adults. She is best known for her storylines, which she incorporates into her concerts. She danced with many professional groups like Cheremosh and Volya. She was also Assistant Artistic Director for Vohon Ukrainian Dance Ensemble for 13 years. She has had the opportunity to travel throughout the world with her dance involvement, places like; Australia, Scotland, Germany, Thailand, China, United States and all throughout Canada.
Tasha Orysiuk is a highly respected and accomplished dance educator, adjudicator and choreographer in Canada, having trained extensively in various disciplines under internationally renowned artists in Canada, the United States, England, and Ukraine during her dance career. Over the years, Tasha achieved her Advanced Dance Certificates in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and national dancing, in addition to holding numerous other teaching credentials which make her a highly sought-after instructor, examiner and adjudicator.
Tasha is recognized for her work in the development and notation of the Shumka Dance Syllabus Academy’s syllabi and complementary Classical Ballet Instructors Manual. Tasha has also created her own Ukrainian dance syllabi for pre-beginners and beginners. Throughout her career, Tasha has adjudicated at numerous festivals and competitions across Western Canada, while also receiving several choreographic accolades for her work as an educator.
He began dancing at the age of three and graduated with honors from the Professional Dance and Dance Education program at Chernivtsi College of Cultural Arts. Immediately after receiving his diploma, Zhenia embarked on a 12-year professional career with the Bukovyna State Song and Dance Ensemble, performing internationally as an ensemble member, principal dancer, and primary soloist. Born and raised in Ukraine, Zhenia became entranced by his native country’s artistic traditions at a young age.
He immigrated to Canada in 1993, where he quickly became an established and highly respected teacher, adjudicator, and choreographer.
The unique repertoire he has created is solidly based in the Ukrainian folk tradition and the highest standards of technical excellence, while also reflecting the evolution that has made the art form a sensation with audiences around the world.
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