Shannon Gabrush

Shanon Gabrush

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.

Rushnychok’s longest-serving instructor, Shannon Gabrush. Shannon has been teaching at Rushnychok for 25 years!!! We know that is hard to believe because she looks so young, BUT it is true!

She teaches all ages of our competitive Ukrainian classes.

Shannon has spent the majority of her life immersed in Ukrainian dance.

After her graduation, she spent her summers studying at the Institute of Ukrainian Folk Dance in Lviv, Ukraine. The varied focus on ethnography, costumes, music, choreography, and ballet deepened her love of Ukrainian culture and dance. She was fortunate to study under many Masters and Professional groups while she continued to further her dance education by attending various workshops and seminars offered in Canada and Ukraine.

Shannon joined the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble (PFE) where she danced under the Artistic Direction of Serhij Koroliuk. In addition to dancing, Shannon spent many years on the PFE Board of Directors, was one of the founders in the establishment of PFE Dance Showcase, and acted as the Tour Director on her last performing Tour with PFE.

She has been active in the Ukrainian dance community in various ways, including Stage Director for Ukrainian Day in the Park and Ukrainian Dance Outreach for the UCC. In 2018 took a group of Rushnychok dancers to Ukraine.

Her teaching career began through the apprenticeship program offered at Rushnychok and by the age of fifteen, she began teaching and has taught many dance schools across Saskatchewan, been a guest choreographer for groups across Canada, teaches summer workshops and Adjudicates dance festivals. Shannon Co-founded Rodovid Academy of Ukrainian Dance which offers dance workshops, instructor learning opportunities, online dance festivals, virtual dance camps, and regional workshops. In 2020 Shannon took on the role as Artistic Director for the Tavria Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble. She is known for creating unique dances that draw out the personality and emotions of her dancers, young and old. Many of these pieces have earned Choreographic awards and top honours.

She has been with Rushnychok for far more years than we can count on our fingers. There are many ways to Sonya’s heart… good work ethic, wearing proper dance attire & footwear, a good ballet bun, and of course coffee!

Sonya Garvie

Sonya Garvie

Sonya teaches our ballet classes as well as works with our older Ukrainian classes.

Beginning her formal training at age four, Sonya began studying Ukrainian dance, ballet, tap, and jazz. Throughout her training, she has studied and completed RAD ballet Advanced II level, as well as CDTA tap and jazz. She was a company member and later a soloist during her 14 years with the Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble, getting to tour within Canada, the United States, and abroad to learn more about folk dance. She is now the répétiteur for the company.

Sonya continues to learn more about Ukrainian folk dance by working alongside the Artistic Director of Pavlychenko, Mr. Serhij Koroliuk, and attending workshops within Canada and abroad. She has traveled to Ukraine several times to study in-depth with some of Ukraine’s most renowned artists.

In 2000, Sonya’s love of dance inspired her to begin teaching extensively around Saskatchewan. She began teaching all genres of dance but now focuses on ballet and Ukrainian dance. She currently teaches at four dance clubs in Saskatchewan, as well as doing choreography and adjudicating for many others and teaching summer workshops in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

From 2010-2012, then again in 2017, she became the Ukrainian Dance Outreach Coordinator for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Saskatchewan Provincial Council, working as a liaison between the organization and the Saskatchewan Ukrainian dance community. She organized summer dance workshops for young dancers, as well as seminars for dance instructors and volunteer members.

Professionally, Sonya has a degree in Psychology and works with youth at risk in Saskatoon.

Maria Boyko

Maria Boyko

Our dancers approximately ages 9+ have a specific ballet class every Wednesday before their Ukrainian classes. These lucky ducks get 2 amazing teachers and yes Miss Maria is one of them.

Here is a little tidbit about Maria’s dance life!

My Mom said I was born a dancer, of course I was pointing my toes! I officially started dance when I was 5 years old at Saskatoon School of Dance (starting with Ballet & Ukrainian). Ballet to get the technique, Ukrainian to embrace my Ukrainian roots. And let’s be real the two go hand in hand – ballet helps with Ukrainian, Ukrainian helps with ballet!

Joined Jazz and lyrical and absolutely adored it and even did hip hop for a few years, and as a ballerina, you could imagine how that went! It was important to try new genres of dance to expand dance knowledge.

Here come some of my highlights!

-Performed in Moscow’s Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker in 2008 and 2009.

-Completed Advanced II Vocational Exam in 2014

-Joined PFE in 2011

Over the years I was fortunate to have been taught by many influential teachers locally and in the ballet/jazz/etc. World. I’ve taught/assisted pretty well in all the genres, ballet, Ukrainian, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop (briefly!)

I’ve traveled to Ukraine twice, both with PFE. Once with PFE & Lastiwka touring Ukraine, and once with PFE on the Easter European Tour going to Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, and Hungary finishing in Ukraine for the International Ukrainian Dance and Culture Festival.

Ukrainian dance is a pleasure to watch and perform, combining the art of dance with authentic (some modernized too!) Ukrainian traditions. As the ribbons fly during a Hopak, or as you become energized with a Volyn dance, Ukrainian dance lets you be part of something that’s more than steps, it’s something that I’m proud to be a part of. I continue teaching so future generations can have and share the same passion I have for this performing art.

The highlight of my dance career has been dancing in Ukraine, where Ukrainian dance started!

Adam Breckner

Adam Breckner

We are so lucky to have super cool Adam Breckner because “Everybody loves Adam” and we couldn’t agree


Adam will be teaching all ages of Ukrainian classes. Our male dancers will get some separate male strengthening and trick techniques with Adam.

Adam began his dancing career at the age of 9 in small-town Saskatchewan under wonderful instruction at the Meacham Ukrainian Dance Club. He was encouraged to join SSD in Saskatoon, and then Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble, where he ended up dancing and performing with all over the world at many festivals and multiple tours.

Over the years, under the instruction of the world-renowned Serhij Koroliuk, Adam has expanded his knowledge of dance repertoire and all the intricacies of Ukrainian dance. With the teachings of the late Lusia Pavlychenko, as well as technique enhanced by Ms. Juliette Perry, Adam has continued developing his skills in character, folk, and ballet. Teaching with wonderful and skilled instructors such as Ms. Sonya Horner and Nina Koroliuk has truly encouraged his passion for Ukrainian dance and culture and the drive to pass along that knowledge and passion to future generations of dancers.

Adam has traveled multiple times to Ukraine to tour the country and study dance programs from many masters of Ukrainian dance, ballet, and choreography. These include Workshops with Virsky, Yunist, and Volyn, as well as being instructed by legends such as Rafael Malinowsky and Ivan Kuryliuk. These experiences, plus many others, have given Adam a unique perspective of Ukrainian dance in Canada and added a great deal to his skill set as a Ukrainian dance instructor and choreographer.

Our Volunteer Apprentices

Allister Malin is one of your teachers’ apprentices this dance season. Allister is fifteen, turning sixteen in December and this will be his ninth year of Ukrainian dance. He has danced with Rushnychok and Vesnianka and he hopes to dance with PFE in the future. This will be Allister’s third year as an apprentice. Helping and dancing at competitions are some things he loves about dance and hopes to help the kids have fun like that too. Allister has performed across the Canadian prairies and toured Ukraine with Rushnychok in 2018. His favorite regions are Bukovyna and Volyn because they are fast and outgoing like he is. He looks forward to working with everyone this dance season and hopes to have fun with all of you.

Caitlyn started dancing when she was 3 years old. She has spent most of her time doing Ukrainian dance as well as ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, tap, acro, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, pom, and cheer. In 2018, Caitlyn traveled with Rushnychok to Ukraine to tour the country, perform, and attend workshops with local dance groups including Virsky. This will be Caitlyn’s fourth year apprenticing at Rushnychok. She loves working with the younger dancers, getting to know them, and helping them improve in their training and technique. Caitlyn’s dance goals are to soon dance with Pavlychenko and to one day be a Ukrainian dance instructor and choreographer

Kaitlyn started Ukrainian dancing at the age of 3 and has fallen in love with dancing and the culture. She started dancing with Sonia’s School of Dance from the ages 3-6. At the age of 7 she joined Rushnychok Ukrainian Dance Group, and she has danced there ever since! Over her past 12 years of dancing she has been able to compete in countless dance competitions and festivals. She has attended many dance camps over the years, some including Rodovid & Shumka. Kaitlyn’s favourite region of Ukrainian dance would be Bukovania or Central Ukraine. One of her favourite dance memories would be all the great friendships she has made, attending dance competitions and all the hanging out and the bonding experiences with her fellow dancers. Kaitlyn has learned more about her Ukrainian heritage and loves working with younger dancers to share her love of dance. Once Kaitlyn graduates from high school she plans to go to University for Exercise & Sports Studies and hopes to continue dancing with PFE. 

Kaleigh began dancing with Rushnychok at the age of 5 after she had watched her mom perform with an adult group, and immediately fell in love with Ukrainian Dance. Her admiration for Ukrainian culture and dance grows more every year as each new season begins. Almost 11 years later and she hasn’t stopped pointing her toes!!!

Over the years, Kaleigh has been learning from some of the best instructors in Saskatoon: Shannon Gabrush, Sonya Horner, Maria Boykin, Adam Foldien and previously Jason White. Their dedication and hard work makes Kaleigh push herself to be the best dancer she can be and to keep striving to continue learning and improving!! They have inspired her to help with dancers who were once young and inexperienced just like her. She wants the fulfillment of passing on what she has learned. Hoping that others can develop and fall in love with Ukrainian dance and the culture like she has.

Her dance experience has not only been gained through regular weekly classes. She has also put in the time to learn extra dances aside from her group dances. She has attended dance camps offered by Rodovid and workshops by Shumka, Including extra technique classes offered by Rushnychok that she has also taken. These, along with the many hours of extra practice on her own time, has helped Kaleigh be the dancer she is today.

Kaleigh has been an apprentice for 3 years and helps out during competitions, dance festivals, and extra dance practices. As she continues to assist and grow as a dancer herself, she hopes to teach others just how amazing being a Ukrainian Dancer is!!!

Natalia has been a dancer since the age of two when she joined Sitters School of Ballet in 2009. Natalia found and joined Ukrainian dancing with Rushnychok in 2013 and has competed and grown as a dancer ever since in multiple aspects of dance. 

Natalia is a committed dancer and has attended multiple extra dance classes such as turning and extra dance class, as well as camps such as Rodovid and Shumka. 

Under the instruction of amazing teachers such as Shannon Gabrush, Sonya Garvie, Maria Boyko, Adam Breckner, and more. Dance has always been a memorable and fantastic experience. 

She hopes to grow even more in the future and to keep apprenticing. Natalia has hopes to graduate with Rushnychok, bridge and become full cast in a group such as PFE. 

Nina started her dance career in Dalmeny at the age of four with ballet and jazz dancing. She moved to Saskatoon and started Ukrainian dancing when she was six with Rushnychok under the instruction of Shannon Gabrush, Sonya Horner, and Maria Boyko. She started competing the year she joined, and has been ever since, at multiple competitions and locations. She has had many amazing opportunities throughout her dance career, like being able to attend many dance camps with Rodovid, and Shumka. In 2018 she traveled to Ukraine with Rushnychok to perform all over the country and do many workshops with various ensembles, including Virsky! She has been traveling with her group to compete and perform at Canada’s National Ukrainian festival since 2017, and will continue to in the future. She hopes to join PFE after she graduates and make many more memories with them and her dance family!

Rae began her dancing career at the age of 3. She explored ballet, tap and jazz for a couple years before making the switch to Ukrainian dance at the age of 5. 

Rushnychok has been Rae’s home for the last 10 years.

Rae’s favourite region is Bukovyna for its syncopation and quick pace. She loves to perform and compete. Rae has received numerous awards and accolades throughout the years but her favourite part of dance is still performing in front of a cheering crowd (and the perogies of course!). 

In the future Rae is looking forward to performing with Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble!

Rowyn started her dancing career at the age of 3 under the instruction of Shannon and Sonya at Rushnychok Ukrainian Dance. 11 years later she is still continuing her career with RUFDAI. Throughout her years of dancing she has taken classes in Ukrainian and ballet.  She has attended many dance camps and workshops over the years including Rodovid and Shumka. Her future plans for Ukrainian dancing are to potentially join PFE and continue instructing Ukrainian Dance. Rowyn’s favourite dance memory is spending time with her group at dance competitions and competing in Dauphin over the summer of 2022. 

Tiana began Ukrainian dancing when she was 4 years old. She has been dancing with Rushnychok Ukrainian Folk Dance Association ever since she could remember and will be going into her 13th year dancing this season! Tiana has competed in countless competitions with Rushnychok. As well as danced at many performance opportunities and dancer workshops. A highlight of Tiana’s this summer was attending Rodovid Academy of Ukrainian Dance! Growing up she has gained lots of experience with little ones with her mom running an at home daycare. She also gained more experience this past dance season apprenticing! Tiana views this as an excellent opportunity for her to further her dancing career while helping others grow as dancers and develop a love for Ukrainian dance. She cannot wait to get back to apprenticing at the studio, adding more experience to her goal of one day becoming a Ukrainian dance teacher!

Ready to Dance With Us?

Registration coming soon.