As I am writing this, I am in a seat thousands of feet in the air somewhere over Greenland, traveling home from another successful Cheremosh endeavor. Our 33-hour day is the last leg of the journey for most of us. However, we did say goodbye to a few dancers in Sofia, who will be making their own way home via a couple more countries.
I believe we have all learned a lot from each other and from the experiences on this tour. One thing in particular is that no matter the circumstances, Cheremosh always strives to perform at the highest level possible. We dance for the audience as well as for ourselves. The greatest moment for me was standing on stage after our closing ceremony performance and receiving the highest honor of the competition. Although we were not from Europe, we were able to show how well we have been able preserve the Ukrainian dance culture in Canada, and the appreciation we received in Bulgaria and back home was wonderful.
Meeting new contacts, such as the organizer of a world folk competition, was wonderful as they gave us their congratulations on our caliber of dance. We also received an invitation to another competition being held next month but unfortunately we had to decline. Although it is hard for some to believe, we are not professional dancers and need to get back to our lives in Edmonton…. as much as everyone would much rather stay in Europe to travel and dance!
As we, the dancers, are heading home, our artistic director continues to think big and is already visualizing Cheremosh’s next international event. In the meantime, the dancing never stops. The travellers will be meeting up again next week in the studio, along with fellow company members who were not able to make the trip, to continue preparing for our next performance on Sunday, August 7 at the Ukrainian Village as part of the 120th Anniversay of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada.
Thank you to everyone involved (from Brooke and Erin for sharing their laptops and cameras for blog usage, to Mykola, Debbie, and Andrea for their leadership, to the behind the scenes work by Stephan, Jason G., and Nina, to all the dancers and blog contributors). It is what has made this trip and this blog so successful!