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Ukrainian Folk Dance

Character dance is a specific subdivision of classical dance. It is the stylized representation of traditional folk or national dance, normally from a European country, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theatre. Learning character dance helps dancers gain a deeper understanding of story ballets, while boosting strength and musicality. It also will help develop the coordination required to become a versatile dancer. Here at BASV we are lucky enough to offer our amazing Ukrainian folk dancing program.

Traditional Ukrainian folk dance is one of Ukraine’s most recognized cultural exports. Known and respected worldwide, audiences are not only entertained with the energetic, often fast paced dance, but by also by elaborate, hand embroidered costume and accompanying folk music. Today, Ukrainian folk dance is mostly performed as choreographed stage performances, representations of traditional dances that have evolved in all corners of Ukraine over the centuries. We offer traditional Ukrainian folk dance for both boys and girls, a highly recommended addition to the dancer’s curriculum. Boys have an additional class of choice to work on the high impact movements, intensive foot work and jumps.

Our Ukrainian classes are high energy courses that build strength and flexibility. Dancers will learn the basics and aspects of the culture and its art form, and dancers enrolled in these classes will have the additional opportunity to perform in our productions in character dance roles.

At BASV, Ukrainian folk dance is taught by Billy Prusinowski, a co-founder of the SF Bay Area’s “Burevisnyky” Ukrainian Dance Group. Originally from Upstate New York, he grew up dancing with the Odesa Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Syracuse and later participated in Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Dance Workshops at Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center. He has also performed with groups across the state, including Syzokryli of New York City, and Rochester’s Mamai and Dunai. Billy lives in Santa Cruz and has been active in cultivating the Bay Area’s Ukrainian culture by attracting dancers to his group, Burevisnyky, and joining us at Ballet Academy of Silicon Valley.