Instructors

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.

Shannon Gabrush

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.

Sonya Horner

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 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

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

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

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.

Welcome to Rushnychok🤩

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