Let’s start at the beginning …
Since 1986, Ukrainian dancers from all over south east Manitoba have travelled to Anola, Manitoba to embark on a journey rich in culture, and lasting friendships… this special experience is known as the Selo Ukrainian Dancers.
Just over thirty years ago, Lorraine Boitson set out to provide her young family, and others in the community, with a Ukrainian cultural experience through the medium of dance. Little did she know that she would plant a seed that would blossom into a vibrant bouquet, bringing enjoyment to hundreds of young dancers and their families.
Lorraine approached Bonnie Shymko and Rod Picklyk about instructing the initial group of only nine dancers. Bonnie and Rod accepted the offer, and over 30 years later the dance group continues to thrive under their artistic directorship with enrolment at nearly 100 young performers.
As director of the school, Lorraine was known to many as ‘Peewee’. She filled the shoes of seamstress, treasurer, fundraiser and much more. For a few years at the beginning, the group was known as the Anola Ukrainian Dancers before the name Selo was chosen. Selo is the Ukrainian word for ‘village’, which couldn’t be more perfect for a group that had its humble beginnings in the village of Anola, Manitoba. Soon the group grew in enrolment and a Board of dedicated parents was formed to operate the dance school. Over the past 30 years the troupe has continued to flourish in popularity in the community, around the province, across the country, and around the world!
The Selo Ukrainian Dancers have cultivated a high standard within the dance school. They strive to entertain audiences with their exemplary level of Ukrainian dance technique, creative choreography, colourful costumes and amusing storylines. The Selo Ukrainian Dancers engage the audience with all their heart and soul, always endeavoring to have their crowds walk away wanting even more. Over the years, Selo’s energy and enthusiasm has endeared them to truly become one of Manitoba’s premier, homegrown multicultural talents.
In 2016, the Selo Ukrainian Dancers proudly celebrated their 30th Anniversary. The dance group thanks those that have been a part of the past … those that are part of the present … and look forward to those that will be a part of the exciting future!