The Peace River Muzyka dancers have entertained audiences with their color and rhythm, since the club’s conception in 1976.
The Dancers, who range in ages of 4 – 18, practice once a week from the beginning of September through to the following May, when the season ends in a final concert. During the dance season, the dancers also perform at numerous community events and travel to compete in out of town Ukrainian Dance Festivals.
To promote a cultural experience for our dancers and their families, the club hosts a Ukrainian New Year’s (Malanka) or Spring (Vesna) celebration. The essence of Ukrainian culture is experienced through food, music, and dance.
Our senior dancers have also had the opportunity to travel to the Ukraine and attend dance workshops and to learn first hand, about the culture.
The Muzyka Story
In 1975 a few ladies decided to start Ukrainian dancing. Vikki Hrynyk, Ann Baranoski, Mary Goy and Dellena Freeland. Many others helped.
They searched for a Ukrainian dance instructor and came up with Brenda Muzyka from Edmonton. She would arrive on the bus every Saturday morning at 5:00am. The ladies took turns picking her up and she would go back at 4:00pm on the bus to Edmonton. What a great young lady she was. Brenda would bring the material for the costumes. The costumes were first cut out on newspaper then stitched onto the cloth then sewn. There was a lot of cross stitching (embroidery) to do.
The Ukrainian Committee of Peace River was incorporated January 8th, 1976. Today it is still run by hard working parent volunteers who give a lot of their time to keep the club going and the kids dancing. The current instructor still comes from Edmonton.
Congratulations to Mary Goy for winning the prestigious 2014 Hetman Award. This award acknowledges significant volunteer achievements of outstanding Ukrainian Albertans.
Kayla Devaux (Holowatiuk)
Kayla is very excited to begin a new journey with the Peace River Muzyka Dancers! This is where she began dancing when she was ten years old and fell in love with Ukrainian Dance. She is ready to share her passion with more students across Alberta!
When Kayla moved to Edmonton, she continued dancing with the Vohon Ensemble and then the Dunai Ensemble. Although these experiences were both short lived due to conflicting schedules with instructing, she loved every minute and encourages her students to continue dancing with an ensemble.
Over the years Kayla has studied dance in Ukraine four times training in the regions of Bukovynian, Hutsulchyna, Podillia, Pokuttia, and Boiko. In 2007 she attended the Virsky Summer Camp, in 2008 she travelled with the Troyanda dancers throughout Ukraine and she has participated in the Instructors Workshop with Cobblestone Freeway in 2011 and 2015. She has also attended the Ukrainian Dance Instructors Conference in Alberta and she participated in Barre and Contemporary classes at Grant MacEwan. This summer Kayla is attending a Ballet Teacher Training Program in Winnipeg and a Ukrainian Instructors Workshop in Saskatoon. She believes that continuing her education and experience in dance is extremely important for her career and growth as an instructor as well as her students.
Kayla is also a director on the board of the Alberta Ukrainian Dance Association. She enjoys being apart of a committee that is designated to preserving our culture and dance within Canada.
Travelling is one of Kayla’s favourite things to do. She has travelled to the great Las Vegas, Germany, Mexico, Cuba, Hawaii, Victoria and to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays play! She hopes to travel throughout Europe and Canada’s east coast one day soon.
Kayla looks forward to a new dance season with new ventures and hopes her passion inspires all of her students to do their best and find the fun in Ukrainian dance!