Hard to find words..

Before our trip, I had full intentions to blog at least every few days. But now, seeing as we are coming up on our last days here, I guess it’s time to take a break from the incredible times I’ve been having and filter through some of my thoughts…

11 days ago I embarked on both my first time out of North America, and my first Cheremosh tour outside of Canada. One thing I can definately say is that it has been NOTHING that I expected!! My love for dance and Cheremosh was already strong, but over the last week and a half I began to feel so overwhelmingly grateful that I am part of this incredible group.

Of course as any trip, we’ve had our share of challenges. Mine mainly being the uneven pavement and stubbing my toes MULTIPLE times. Or getting used to the smoking everywhere, even by what seemed to be 12 year olds at the pool! There was also an unfortunate incident with Leah’s arm and a jellyfish sting, but the next day at the beach she got her revenge punching a jellyfish Erin scooped up from the shore (haha). But, our biggest obstacle we’ve faced so far are some dancers unfortunately becoming ill or injured. As difficult as it is to lose any fellow dancers in a performance, it amazes me to see other group members perform flawlessly after being thrown into a new dance and having only one run through. Moments like this just give me such a great respect for each and every person in our company.

We may have run into a few difficulties on the trip, but they don’t even come close in comparison to the amazing parts of our tour. Now this is the hard part, trying to find words and figuring out how to explain why these past days have been so incredible! Being on tour overseas with some of my best friends doing what I love to do is fantastic enough, but it’s been so much more than that. Just getting on that stage and seeing the crowds gather as soon as they hear our music or as soon as they see our colourful costumes in the lights. The moment when we do our final pose and people in the audience start screaming “BRAVO!!!” is one of the greatest feelings. Having people from Ukraine come to us with tears in their eyes because we are keeping the true Ukrainian culture alive makes me feel so unbelievably proud. There’s no better feeling in the world than truely impacting the audience through our passion on the stage.

Along with the performances, we also had our share of downtime. Among all the dinners, beach days, tanning at the pool, partying, tours, shopping, Karaoke, etc. there has been a large amount of bonding and unexpected friendships forming. We’ve both laughed and cried during random toasts people have given expressing their personal passion for our group. I am so grateful to dance among such a great group of individuals who share a common LOVE for what we do.

Thank you Mykola for guiding us the entire way and helping Cheremosh achieve everything we have on this tour. Thank-you Debbie for always ensuring we look our best and always being ready to fix a last minute costume mishap (or 3 for me in one show!) And thank-you to each and every dancer for both inspiring me, and making this experience everything it has been.

~Stephanie Sirman~