Today was our first full day in Kyiv. We all woke up bright and early and had a wonderful breakfast in the hotel restaurant. You could tell each dancer was so excited and anticipating the big day ahead of us. We took a bus to a dance studio in the city and were greeted outside by Mykola’s longtime friend and former schoolmate, Michael Zavarzin.
We were all in awe walking through the building knowing what was coming next. Before we knew it, we were crammed into a tiny room to do barre and warm up. After we finished we walked into the theater where we again met with Michael. We got on stage and began the workshop. Michael did not know very much (if any) English, so we were very lucky to have Mykola, Stephan and a few other dancers translate for us.
The workshop started with a Pryvit combination to Virsky’s famous music. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little teary eyed taking those first steps on the stage. Next we learned a Hopak combination, a folklore combination (often performed after planting potatoes Michael would tell us) and then a Spring dance.
The four hours went by so quickly. It felt so great being on stage living out my passion for Ukrainian dance with my second family. I am looking forward to many more workshops, to performing our dances for the Ukrainian people and to all the adventures and memories that this tour will bring!
– Stacia Dolynchuk