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the Shumka dancers on the big stage

I was delighted that my children were lucky enough to be attending the yearly matinee at the Jubilee featuring the amazing Shumka dancers.

Every year at the Jubilee one can see  Shumka Special Matinee Performance for Schools, at a minimal cost to schools so that most can afford this as a field trip.

Lucky for me, there are also a few tickets available to the general public and Mr K’s teacher arranged for a few for us parents who were more than excited to go.

If you haven’t experienced Shumka, you must. As an Edmontonian, it’s your civic duty, as well. This amazing dance troupe is world renowned and belongs to us.

I am more proud of Shumka than I am of the Oilers. They have been called “a national treasure” but I do believe we can claim them as a treasure of Edmonton.

We are lucky enough to have a quality dance troupe worthy of larger, more metropolitan cities, right here in Edmonchuk.

Did you know that there is also a Shumka school of dance, where the performers also teach children, right here in Edmonton as well?

Shumka dancers performing their dance number

The wonderful matinee c onsisted of the following dances and presentations:

– Tradition in Motion

Tradition in Motion is a rich, high-energy series of dances, highlighting different regions of Ukraine including Bukovyna, Zakarpattia, Pokuttia, Hutsulshchyna, and Central Ukraine.

– Pathways to Hopak

Pathways to Hopak explores the emotional twists and turns of life. We all seek to understand life’s universal cycle of birth, youthful playfulness, the search for love, and ultimately, the opportunity to begin the cycle again.

– Vechornytsi

Everyone loves a party! Vechornytsi presents the audience with a dazzling mix of traditional and contemporary dance numbers that will have your toes tapping and your hands clapping. Entertainment with a punch!

– The show wraps up with Shumka’s Classic Hopak!


Students will be treated to a numb

er of behind-the-scenes demonstrations including a set change, backdrops flying in and out, and a brief description of the imagery and folklore of what the students will see.

There will also be a special DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SHUMKA DANCER video presentation.

Presentation of the Shumka dancers

If you haven’t seen Shumka perform their Hopak, you haven’t seen dancing.

Absolutely amazing, breathtaking, wonderful feats of dance and aerodynamics all rolled into one traditional Ukrainian dance. Usually the male dancers perform solo presentations of jumps, flips and other technically difficult moves within the large dance surrounding them.

Has. To. Be. Seen.

And those Oilers could sure learn some athletic prowess and ability from these men!

Two male cast of Shumka dancers

After the show the cast assembles outside in the lobby to sign autographs and talk to the kids.

I must admit I saw more than one adult asking for autographs.

My daughter wouldn’t let me. Sigh. She’s no fun.

What was really funny was my son and his classmates instantaneously deciding their teacher was autograph worthy.

Mrs. A.  is a former Shumka dancer herself, which the kids already knew, but all of a sudden after seeing the dancers on the stage, all famous-like, the kids were begging her for her autograph at the end of the day.

Which being such a good sport, she signed on pieces of paper for them.

It didn’t matter that I had told my son repeatedly how lucky he was to have a dance teacher who had been with Shumka, teaching him Ukranian dance for school dance class and then holding dance intramurals twice a week at lunch.

He had to see them on the stage, so professional and awe-inspiring to understand how lucky he is to have such a great teacher this year and how lucky the school is to have the artistic talent they do, not just her, but all the teachers.

And yes, he was totally one of those kids asking for her autograph.

Now however, I am hearing it about Shumka summer dance camps…which has yet to be determined if they are going since I just signed them up for a city run one for a week.

I am not sure when Shumka next performs, but if you keep an eye out you can catch them at special events here in Edmonton once in a while, or at the Jubilee.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Rhonda Blundell says

    It was a great show however I didn’t realize Mrs. A is a former Shumka dancer….learn something new every day!

    • Karlynn says

      Yip, I don’t think our kids will realize till they are older just how amazingly lucky they are to have such a great school and fantastic teachers of all talents!

      Takes the pain-in-the-butt sting out of fundraising, slightly 😉

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