The Kryla Ukrainian Dancers have started a brand new tradition during the annual Malanka event on January 14 to honor a past member.
The last dance before the Last March was a tribute to Miriam who was a Kryla dancer for around 12 years of her life.
Linda Boser, president of Kryla says Miriam started dancing when she was four years old and went for about 12 years.
“She passed away this October past. The community has really come together as a whole to support the family and do many great things. I wanted us to do something in her honor.”
Boser says she sent out a text message to all the former dancers whether they danced with Miriam or not.
“It was a Hopak, which is a high-energy kind of dance and we wanted it to be where anyone who could come did.”
The dancers practiced the dance for three hours on December 29th and then went over it a few times later down the line.
“It was very moving. All of them in one way or another have been touched, influenced, or in contact with Miriam through our club so it was a great way for us to honor her memory.”
After the final rehearsal, Linda decided this would become an annual tradition where the dance group would invite previous members to join and dance in her honor after every performance. Boser says watching everyone come together has just been great.
“Our dance community is a very strong and solid community. We have been together for 45 years and it was wonderful to see a dancer who hasn’t danced for 17 years put on his boots and do his thing. What we all learned from this is that we may not dance for many years but the technique, foundation, and most of all the family that we created at Kryla will always remain strong.”
Boser says there were around 25 dancers on stage at once. The next time the dance will be performed will be during the Kryla Ukrainian Dancers’ spring show.