Cameron Fraser-Monroe

Cameron Fraser-Monroe

Zirka dancers triumph at festival

Ukrainian group hosts annual dinner and dance show, Viter, on Saturday, May 23

Editor’s note: the following is from the Zirka Ukrainian Dancers of the Okanagan Valley.

Viter, the Ukrainian word for wind, is the perfect expression of the fresh, lively feel Zirka Dancers are bringing to spring this year.

Freshly returned from a successful trip to the BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival in Mission, the Zirka Dancers are readying for a celebration Ukrainian style with food, dance and fun, all mixed together.  On Saturday, the Zirka Dancers return to Trinity United Church to perform in their annual dinner and dance show.

Zirka returned home from the recent dance competition in Mission with medals and four overall trophies for exceptional dancing in four styles.

“We took all our dancers this year to Mission because it is always such a positive experience for the dancers to perform with other Ukrainian groups and receive particular feedback from an experienced adjudicator,” said Amie Roussel, Zirka’s artistic director.

The junior and intermediate groups brought home silver and gold medals for their dances from the Poltava and Polissian regions of Ukraine, but for Roussel, the senior group really shone and came home bearing four overall trophies.

“They couldn’t really believe it when the club name was called,” said Roussel, “but they were so excited and proud.

“For the senior group it is likely the last year they will dance together, as they are moving on after graduation and on to other dance opportunities, so it was wonderful to have their dance connection and presentation recognized.”

The dancers brought home top overall trophies for dances from the Volyn region, the Bukovinian region and the Poltava region. As well, the seniors won the top overall Character Dance trophy for their gypsy dance that had the audience laughing and clapping as the dancers performed.

Roussel promises that Zirka’s Viter will blow fresh air into spring on Saturday as the groups showcase their award-winning dances and some new story dances the whole club has been working on.

“The dancers enjoy performing all together, the youngest to the oldest,” said Roussel. “For the youngest they are getting to dance with all the big dancers they admire and for the older dancers they are very pleased to share what they know with the younger children as they remember their early dance years.”

Viter takes place Saturday at Trinity United Church on Alexis Park Drive, and includes a silent auction, raffle and a full Ukrainian dinner. Tickets, available until Wednesday, are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, $20 for students 13 to 18, $15 for children five to 12 years and children under four are free. This event has sold out the last two years — get your tickets soon! Dinner is at 5:30 p.m. and the dancing follows the dinner. For tickets, please call Anna at 250-558-0972 or Sheila at 250-545-6050.