Barveenok dance club to celebrate 40 years of dancing

The Barveenok Dance Club will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and in the honour of its founding members will be donating a boy's and girl's Hutzul outfit to the Sturgis Station House Museum. The club will also be donating some photographs along with information of the club's history.

The club is proud to be celebrating its 40th year of Ukrainian dance," said Heather Gawrelitza, club representative.

article continues below

The club relocated from Stenen to Sturgis and changed its name to the Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club from Stenen Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club. "One thing that still remains the same is we are proud of our heritage and honour our ancestors by keeping the tradition of Ukrainian heritage dance going in our local communities. We have dancers involved in the club from Sturgis, Preeceville, Stenen, Endeavour and Danbury," she said.

The club hosts yearly spring concerts, and participates in dance competitions and local events in the area. Mikaele Twerdoclib, a former Stenen Barveenok dance student, is the club's instructor.

Lillian Steranko was the original founding member of the Stenen Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club. Steranko submitted the club's history that was published in the club's cook book.

Ukrainian language classes were taught by Steranko and to enhance the language program other traditional Ukrainian customs were introduced that included Ukrainian dancing. It started out with small enrolment and proved very popular and led to the organization of the Stenen Ukrainian Dance School.

Formal Ukrainian dancing began in 1979 with the assistance of Lorna Brodziak, Steranko and Marianne Washburn. The dancers performed for the Stenen Christmas concert and at a Mother's Day program in the spring.

In 1980, the dance school was formed with Steranko as chairperson, Maureen Lisoway, secretary and treasurer, Sharon Secundiak as costume coordinator and Lorna Brodziak as advisor.

As the years went by the dance club performed at the Mother's Day concert but also participated in dance competitions and even sang Ukrainian songs and danced at a local talent show.

The first instructors were Kathy and Charlene Brodziak.

The first students were Nicole Anaka, Delores Shuparski, Shirley Prekaski, Jennifer Salyn, Carrie Lisoway, Tanya Steranko, Carla Lisoway, Scott Anaka, Kevin Kardynal, Dwayne Kardynal, Brielle Lisoway, Darrin Shuparski, Patrick Kardynal, Shaun Prekaski, Tammy Kardynal, Shelly Kardynal, Jocelyn Rayner, Raelyn Motilaga, Sheldon Prekaski, Bradley Semeschuk, Lorraine Sorochuk, Coralie Sorochuk, Korrina Dzaman, Peter Steranko, Bradley and Blair Secundiak, and Benji Burym.

Today, the club still performs at local senior homes, local events, competitions and at the annual spring concert where they pay tribute to the club’s founding members and Ukrainian culture.