Let’s Dance: Lethbridge’s Ukrainian Dance History

Canada’s rich heritage of Ukrainian dance and music are enabled to have a distinctive voice in shaping Alberta’s cultural legacy.

Lethbridge Troyanda Dance Club was initiated by a welcome letter dated September 14, 1994 from Laura Korbett. Many people in southern Alberta rallied behind her to get it going. When Korbett left town, Bev Mikalson took over instruction. Eventually Les Dutchak, a veteran Ukrainian dancer and teacher from Calgary, became dance director. He commuted to Lethbridge every Sunday from September to May for eight years. Troyanda had its first performance for a parent party performance on December 14, 1994. Troyanda’s first Vesna was May 6, 1995 at the Agnes Davidson School. It became a registered organization on November 30 1995 which gave birth to what Troyanda has become today.

The club is a parent-run, not-for-profit society, goal is to educate and increase the public's understanding and appreciation of the Ukrainian culture, traditions, and costumes by providing live Ukrainian dance performances.

The annual Malanka performance, dinner and dance is one of the highlights of the early social calendar in Lethbridge. Troyanda owns many worth of costumes representing the different regions of Ukraine, mostly handmade by club members along with some imported from the source. Troyanda members regularly perform at cultural events in the southern Alberta region, from Lethbridge’s Whoop-Up Days to Taber’s Cornfest and Fort Macleod’s Santa Claus Parade, the club performs dozens of times in a year. Club members also teach Easter Egg decorating and go door-to-door caroling for Ukrainian Christmas.

On Sat FEB 04 from 1 to 2pm the Galt Museum & Archives Ukrainian Dancing Watch a performance by the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club and join in for a dance lesson as part of the Saturdays at 1:00 Family Program. Admission fees apply. Registration not required. Admission is free to annual pass holders.

ArticleDana InksterComment