Windsor Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School and Ensemble was established in 1987 under the direction of Taras and Debbie Rohatyn. A few short years later, the School had the fortune of encompassing dancers from both Ukrainian Churches and all Ukrainian organizations in the Greater Windsor Area. Barvinok truly became a universal Ukrainian dance school in Windsor.
In 1997, with the school's growing numbers, Barvinok underwent a major organizational expansion. The Dance school and Ensemble was incorporated under the auspices of a Parents' Board of Directors.

Windsor Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School and Ensemble has entertained the community for over 20 years and now consists of over 80 dancers who range between 5 and 22 years of age. Many of the dancers have not seen the country of their parents or grandparents, because they are 2nd through 4th generation Canadians. However, Barvinok has had the fortune of welcoming new immigrants from Ukraine, whose children now celebrate their heritage in their new found home through dance. Although most of the dancers are of Ukrainian heritage, a handful of others have no Ukrainian background at all, just a simple love and interest for Ukrainian Dance.

The Windsor Barvinok Ukrainian Dance School and Ensemble has performed at the Bloor Street West Ukrainian Festival in Toronto, Barrie Ukrainian Festival, London Ukrainian Festival, Sunflower Festival in Warren Michigan, Festivals in Pennsylvania, Oshawa Spring Festival, and Chatham Ethnic Festival and at numerous festivals and occasions around Windsor and EssexCounty.

In 2008, The Windsor Barvinok turned a new page. As Guelph, London, and Chatham's dance groups started to shutdown, Windsor Barvinok was left as the lone dance group in the South-Western Ontario region. Barvinok hired their new Artistic Director in September of 2008 and revamed their repetoire. The dance group would go on to learn six new dances in two years. In 2010, the dance group reorganized their class structure to include 3 dance groups. The work being put into the group started to pay off, and in September of 2011, the dance group will be bringing Windsor its first Ukrainian festival for over 10 years. The festival will be celebrating the heritage of Ukrainian Canadians and remebering those great years of the Ukrainian festivals that are still well known in our city. To culminate this sweeping change, the dance group officially changed its logo in 2011.


 

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTORS

Photo Years Name Bio Where are they now?
1987-2001 Taras Rohatyn Taras, along side his wife "pania Debie created the group in 1987. During his time, Taras created and taught many dances that were favourites for years to come. "Fingres together, stomaches in, chins up, and...smile!" Taras is currently working in Oshawa and stops by to see Barvinok perform while they are in the area.
2002-2008 Larisa Makuch Larisa Came to Barvinok from Saskatchuwan. She studied Ukrainian, Pole, Ballet, and Jazz dance for many years before making her big move. Larisa brought a solid foundation of ballet to Barvinok. Larisa is currently dancing for Desna. She is also their promotions director.
2008-present

Matthew Wachna

One of Taras' students, Matt has studied Ukrainian dance for over 15 years with 4 different companies. He has also studied latin, jazz, and contemporary styles. He has brough to Barvinok an infusion of dance styles to the traditional folk dancing. Matt is working hard, alongside the board, to bring back to Windsor the great festivals it once was known for.

Dance Instructors

Photo Years Name Groups taught
1987-1999 Debbie Rohatyn  
1994-1998 Anne Yaworsky  
  1997-1999 Eugene  
2001-2003 Jennfier Kehoe  
2001-2003 Mike Jaworwiski  
  2001-2004 AJ Wachna  
  2003-2009 Alysha Dzudz  
2009-2010 Christine Buksa  
  2001-2010 Luda Knyazeva  
2001-2008 Stephan Lilly  
  2005-present Brad Labonte  
  2008-present Josh Labonte  
2010-present Victoria Buksa  
2008-present Amanda Chajkowski  
2008-present Daniel Kindiak