Kristina Frykas (Washchyshyn) is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Teacher Training Program and holds her Licentiate teaching designation with the Cecchetti Society of Canada and Cecchetti International Classical Ballet. She is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and Pilates. She has been artistic staff at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the Recreational School and Professional School’s Teacher Training Program for twenty years. Kristina is a former board member of Dance Manitoba and was Manitoba Representative to the Cecchetti Society of Canada.
Within the Ukrainian community, Kristina is the School Director of Sopilka Ukrainian Dance School. Under her direction the school has been recognized by the Manitoba Ukrainian Dance Festival as the top school in the province for three consecutive years. She has received multiple awards for her choreography and was the recipient of the 2019-2020 Instructor of the Year Award presented by Ukrainian Dance World.
Kristina was Artistic Director of Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble over a period of seven years. Troyanda is a group of passionate, charismatic and talented young adults. Under her direction, the ensemble acquired many new pieces of choreography, created the Manitoba Ukrainian Dance Festival, embarked on a multi-country European tour, appeared in the International Ukrainian Dance and Culture Festival in Ukraine and performed “Trepak” in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
Kristina's past experiences include instruction at the UNF School of Dance, Rossdale School of Dance, and Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Toronto, plus she was the Ballet Mistress and Technical Director for Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. She is an alumna of Verba Ukrainian Dance Company and Arkan Dance Company of Toronto.
To further her studies as a director, choreographer, dancer and dance educator, Kristina has travelled to Ukraine several times. She has also attended Ukrainian dance workshops in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Kristina has had the pleasure of adjudicating several festivals across Canada.
Carina Romagnoli began dancing at Rozmai School of Ukrainian Dance at a young age, later becoming a member of Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Ensemble where she continues to dance and serves as Chairperson of the Board. Carina has been fortunate to lean from many esteemed dance professionals, including, Mrs. Kristina Frykas, Mr. Paul Doroniuk, Mr. Vincent Rees, Mr. Serhij Koroliuk and others who have had an influence on her passion for Ukrainian culture and dance. She has toured and performed internationally, most recently to Ukraine in 2017. Carina is a mom, teacher and advocate for childhood literacy. She is thrilled to be returning to the Sopilka family, and hopes to inspire her students to work hard, be proud of their roots, and fully embrace their culture.
Megan Hnatiuk began Ukrainian dancing at the UNF School of Dance at the age of 5 before moving over to Sopilka Ukrainian Dance School where she has been for the last 12 years. During the past 4 years Megan has had the opportunity to share her love of dance with others through assistant teaching at Sopilka and she is excited to continue to be part of such a wonderful team. Now she is teaching her own classes in the style of Jazz and Ukrainian dance. Megan also trained at the Shelly Shearer School of Dance for the past 8 years as a competitive dancer in the Invitational and Pre-Pro programs in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Lyrical/Contemporary, and Pointe. She has received many dance awards including highest solo mark for her age category four years in a row at the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Competition, as well as other dance awards and scholarships from attending conventions. Megan’s love of dance has made her appreciate the physical and metal benefits of training in multiple disciplines and that every person has a unique role in group dances. She enjoys participating in performances and making new friendships along the way. Currently, Megan is in her second year at the University of Winnipeg in the Faculty of Education with a goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.
Ben Chapman is excited to be returning to Sopilka, instructing the Kozaky and Opryshky classes. Ben has been Ukrainian dancing at Sopilka since the age of six and also spent seven years studying ballet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (mainly with Kristina as an instructor!) where he participated in many Company productions as a member of the Recreational Division. Ben is in Grade 12 at the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. Outside of dancing, he enjoys parkour, drawing, reading and cycling.
Alyssa Wiebe has been dancing with Sopilka Ukrainian Dance School for 11 years. She was involved with Sopilka's artistic team as an Assistant Teacher for three years prior to becoming an instructor last year. She is very excited to be teaching the Level 4 class and the Junior/Intermediate second class on Mondays. She has also taken classes in Jazz and Ballet. She is currently enrolled in her second year of the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg, pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher.
Each year, invited Sopilka students volunteer their time to assist our teachers in class.
Our Assistants for 2021-2022 season are (left to right):
Various times during the year, Sopilka will invite guest instructors into a class or hold workshops to help the student hone their skills and love for Ukrainian dance.
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