Vermilion Ukrainian Dance Festival
The Vermilion Ukrainian Cultural Association (VUCA) hosted approximately 500 dancers April 21-23, during the Vermilion Ukrainian Dance Festival.
The festival has been running for 25 years since 1998 (excluding COVID). Dancers from 18 schools attended including clubs from the surrounding area, Edmonton and Prince George.
“This is the year’s culmination of their skills. Everyone gets to showcase their talents,” said festivals chair and VUCA vice president, Stephanie Pawluk. “We have so many community volunteers and would like to thank them all including current and past members, as well as people that love the culture (who are all a part of the VUCA family).”
Caitlin Clyke and Sydney Chanasyk from Myrnam Ukrainian Dance Club did a tambourine duet originating in the central region. This is their 6th year performing a duet together.
Clyke has Scottish ancestry but got into Ukrainian dance after her brothers started and she opted to continue on.
“Since I started at three years old, it was one of the only activities I could do. I enjoy learning the new dance steps, the competition, and meeting new people at camps. Coming from a small community it helps to grow your experience,” said Clyke.
“To me, you get to see the culture and experience being social by getting out there and seeing how much fun it is. Dance provides physical activity; it’s good to stay active and helps to stretch and strengthen your body,” said Chanasyk. I do have a very strong Ukrainian background and love the bright colours and costumes. It’s a nice way to experience my heritage and a nice way to meet new people and have so much fun.”