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Jon Svec photo
Dancer Amanda Lucksinger works on her Ukrainian dance skills at the Desna Dance Camp.
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Desna Dance Camp provides tune-up for the season

Aug 13, 2014 06:00 am | Jon Svec

The 2014 installment of the Desna Dance Camp took place in St. Paul on August 12 and 13. The two-day event immersed 15 young dancers into the world of Ukrainian dance and culture.

According to volunteer coordinator Roseann Brousseau, the camp provides a great tune-up for what is next to come.

“It’s skill development for the upcoming dance season,” she said. “All of the students that are here have registered for this camp so that they’ll be more prepared for the upcoming dance year.”

The goals of the camp were two-fold, as half of the time was spent on dancing, and the other half was spent exploring the cultural aspects of Ukrainian heritage. Fellow volunteers Kaylee Kotowich and Leslie deMoissac joined Brousseau in order to help facilitate the two days of development.

For the dancing portion of the training, the group brought in veteran dance instructor Murray Howell. In his twelve years of experience, Howell has taught at eleven different dance schools across Alberta, and is the co-creator and facilitator of the Ukrainian Dance Instructor Conference.

“They have a really well-developed program that they do for our students,” Brousseau said.

A former student of the camp herself, Brousseau was pleased with the energy level in the studio. “It’s been going really well,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of fun making all the crafts.”

The Desna Dancers will have their registration in August, and the season kicks off sometime in September. “Most dancers dance once or twice a week, and then they perform at our perogy supper in February,” Brousseau said. “Then there’s a year-end concert in May.”

According to Brousseau, the Desna Dancers are part of a bustling dance scene that is currently thriving in the area. “The dance in St. Paul is tremendous,” she said. “There are multiple dance schools, and a lot of very talented dancers.”

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