Kasia Brytan

Instructor/Artistic Director

I am proud to say that Ukrainian Culture has influenced nearly every part of my life. The strongest influence, of course, being Ukrainian Dance.
At the age of 2, I joined my first dance class with the Bar-V-Nok Ukrainian Dance Society in Calgary. As I grew in age and skill, I added Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, Modern, and Musical Theatre to my weekly dance commitments until High School when I narrowed it back down to my favourite – Ukrainian. Under the direction of Serguei Makarov, Trevor Shular, and my mother, Noella Ostash, I went on to compete in a variety of Ukrainian Dancing Competitions and tour to Ukraine where I had the privilege of performing for Ukrainian audiences, as well as attend several workshops through multiple regions.
I then began rehearsals with Suzirya Ukrainian Dance Theatre in Calgary before moving to Victoria for the beginning of my university degree in Theatre.
After two years in Victoria, I moved to Edmonton and finished my bachelor’s degree in fine arts – Specializing in Technical Theatre – Stage Management. With this move came one of the biggest defining moments in my Dance career: Becoming a Company Dancer in the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company. Under the Artistic Direction of Mykola Kanevets, I have learned so much about myself as a dancer, as a choreographer, and as a part of a family that will stay with me always. I also met my fiancé, Nick Podilsky, within the Company so Cheremosh has definitely shaped my life for the better.
I am proud to be an Instructor with the Fort McMurray Avrora Ukrainian Dancers, as well as a past instructor for the Cheremosh School of Dance. I have long-term substitute taught Ballet within the Cheremosh Academy and am happy to incorporate these important dance techniques into every dance class.
I am currently the School of Dance Director on the Ukrainian Cheremosh Society Board and am a General Director for the Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association.
In 2018 I was honoured to receive a Top 30 Under 30 awards from the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts. Having such a strong background in the Ukrainian community, I ultimately aspire to do my family proud. Seeing the pride in my Tato’s eyes that day (Roman Brytan), is something I will never forget.
Teaching children and adults of all ages is where I find my joy, and I am absolutely ecstatic to join the Artistic Direction team here at PUDS. This is where memories are made, and I look forward to all the beautiful ones we will create together!



Experience: 

Ukrainian Dance Instructor

Fort McMurray Avrora Ukrainian Dancers

    09/2019 - present          Fort McMurray, Alberta

* Instruct group classes for students aged 4-adult.

* Choreograph solos, duets, trios, family and group dances to be performed at malanka, the year-end concert, dance festivals and community performances. 

* Work with Vasyl Kanevets to keep consistency across the dance school. 


Ukrainian Dance Instructor

Cheremosh School of Dance

     02/2018 - present          Edmonton, Alberta

* Instruct group classes/choreograph for students aged 4-12 alongside Mike Leskow from 2018-2020

* Substitute teach a variety of classes up to age 14, including ballet technique classes while the regular instructor was on maternity leave. 

* Still currently substitute teaching when needed. 


Senior Company Member

Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company

     09/2014 - present          Edmonton, Alberta 

* Execute a variety of complex choreography under the direction of Mykola Kanevets.

* Perform in community and full 2-hour productions, both locally and internationally (most in Australia).

* Assist new dancers in strengthening technique and learning choreography.


Ukrainian Dancer

Barvinok Ukrainian Dance Society

     09/2011 - 06/2011           Calgary, Alberta

* Partook, performed and competed in regular yearly Ukrainian Dance classes from age 3 - Junior Ensemble.

* Toured to Ukraine where we performed to welcoming audiences and experienced various regional workshops.

* Instructed primarily by Trevor Shular and Serguei Makarov.


Studio Dancer

Barbara Moore Academy of Dance

     09/2003 - 06/2009          Calgary, Alberta

* Weekly dance classes in a variety of styles including: Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and Hip Hop.



Achievements:

Awarded Top 30 Under 30 award by the Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts (02/2018)



Volunteer Experience:

Recreational School Director

Ukrainian Cheremosh Society Board

     04/2021 - present          Edmonton, Alberta

* Primary communications with parents and students of the Cheremosh School of Dance regarding rehearsals, Covid updates, performance and important dates. 


Team Wear Coordinator

Ukrainian Cheremosh Society

     06/2015 - present          Edmonton, Alberta

* Design, collect orders and distribute Team Wear for all Society Dancers including School of Dance, Academy and Company wear.

* Extensive knowledge of Branding Guidelines across several different logos required, as well as garment printing knowledge.


Bingo Coordinator

Ukrainian Cheremosh Society

     09/2016 - present          Edmonton, Alberta

* Coordinate volunteers for 10 yearly bingo fundraisers from dancer families as volunteer requirements. 

* Create bingo schedule from 150 families' available and preferences.



Education: 

Bachelor of Fine Arts Specializing in Technical Theatre - Stage Management.

University of Alberta

     09/2021 - 06/ 2015          Edmonton, Alberta

Skills:

* Project Management

* Costume/Lighting/Scenic Design

* Acting/Directing

* Complex Scheduling

* Opera and Dance Notation

* Playwrighting
















Artistic Directors

Kayla Devaux

Instructor/Artistic Director

I am not one who can say that I have been dancing since I could move my feet, but I can say that it took only one class for me to discover my new and long standing passion with Ukrainian Dance. My journey began at the age of ten when we moved to Peace River, it continued in Grande Prairie and it now fulfills my life as my full time career around the province. 

I am always searching for new inspirations and ways to continue my professional development. I have been very fortunate to have studied dance in Ukraine four times, each experience being very different from the others. In 2007, I attended the Virsky Summer Camp in Kiev, the following year my dance club travelled with Cobblestone Freeway participating in a variety of workshops, and in 2011 and 2015 I joined Cobblestone Freeway for the Ukrainian Dance Workshop Tours. I have participated in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's teacher training summer program, as well as numerous instructor workshops throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan each summer, Within these experiences, I have studied in depth, Hutzel, Bukovynia, Pokuttia, Podillia, Poltava, Volyn, Hopak tricks and Boiko. I can hardly wait for my next adventure to Ukraine. 

I strive to be a positive role model for all of my dancers as I feel very blessed to be able to share what I love with others. I believe that dance is a great tool for life and I want to provide that fun and inspiring space for my dancers that I had growing up. I have taught and currently teach dancers of all ages and find rewards with each age level. 

To be a part of the continuity of our culture and heritage, I am currently in my fourth year as a Director on the board of Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association. I aspire to maintain an active role in our Ukrainian community throughout Alberta and I hope to be known across Canada one day. 

I am very excited to join the Parkland Ukrainian Dancers Society and look forward to many new beginnings. 



Professional Development:

The International Summer Dance School of Ukrainian Dance at Virsky, Kyiv, Ukraine - June 2007


Ukraine Tour and Workshops Cobblestone Freeway Tours - July 2008


Ukrainian Dance Instructors Conference - August 2009


Ukrainian Dance Instructors Workshop in Ukraine Cobblestone Freeway Bukovynian, Hutsulchyna/Hutzel, Pokuttia - June 2011


Shumka Syllabus Tier 1 Workshop - November 2010


Ballet Barre & Contemporary Grant MacEwan University - September 2011- April 2012


Ukrainian Dance Instructors Workshop in Ukraine Cobblestone Freeway Bukovynian, Boiko, Podillian - June 2015


Ukrainian Dance Instructors Conference Studied Gypsy and Pokuttia - August 2015


Royal Winnipeg Ballet Teacher Training Program - July 2017


Instructor Workshop Saskatoon, Sask Lead by Lana Niland & Andryi Studied Poltava & Hopak - August 2017


Ukrainian Dance Instructors Conference lead by Anna Kanavets & Tasha Orysiuk Studied Pedagogy & Bukovynian - August 2018


Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association Instructors Conference lead by Yaroslav Smirnoff Studied Volyn - November 2019


Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association Instructor Workshop Virtual Series 

- How to teach pre-beginners/preschoolers

-How to run a successful dance school 

-How to make stretching fun for boys and girls

-Mental health and dance

March & April 2021



Work Experience:

Troyanda Ukrainian Culture and Heritage Society

     09/2010 - 06/2012          Grande Prairie, Alberta

* Assistant Instructor to Vincent Rees & Paul Olijnyk


Troyanda Ukrainian Culture and Heritage Society

Grande Prairie, Alberta

     09/2010 - 06/2012           Grande Prairie, Alberta

* Instructor & Choreographer


Vselka Dancers 

Lamont, Alberta

      09/2012 - 05/2014           Lamont, Alberta

* Instructor & Choreographer


Two Hills Ukrainian Dance Club

     09/2012 - 05/2017          

* Instructor & Choreographer


Innisfree Ukrainian Dance Club

     09/2014 - 04/2018         

* Instructor & Choreographer


Glendon Shevehenko Ukrainian Dance Club

     09/2017 - 04/2019

* Instructor & Choreographer


Peace River Muzyka Dance Club

     09/2017 - 05/2021

Instructor, Choreographer & Artistic Director


Red Deer Kvitka Ukrainian Dance Club

     09/2014 - Present

* Instructor, Choreographer & Artistic Director