Over twenty dancers from across the UK have flown the flag for the CYM and Ukraine as part of an international dance festival.

Oseredok CYM Manchesters ‘Podilya Dance Ensemble’ were participants at the North Pieria International Dance Festival in Greece. They were the only group from the UK.

Twenty three dancers aged between 17 and 34 were accompanied by a dozen support staff for the five day festival in the North of the country between August 23 and 28.

The group performed twice -once in Makrygialos, North Pieria and once in Kolindros, Pieria – leaving audiences, and fellow performers, in raptures. They performed alongside groups from Poland, Canada, India, France, Romania and Greece.

Podilya’s members are all members of CYM GB and were proud to promote their native Ukrainian heritage and culture. The group have also previously completed successful tours to Italy and Ukraine.

The group’s director, Linda Szlachetko, said: “While in Greece, despite the heat, the dancers were practicing every morning in preparation for their performances.

“Following the rehearsals, the dancers were able to head straight to the pool as a well deserved treat.

“Each evening commenced with a parade of all the different dance groups, including Poland, India, Romania, France, Canada and Greece.

“Although the dancers performed on both a concrete surface and a metal stage, they executed each dance beautifully and the audience were in awe of them.

“Every member of the group thoroughly enjoyed the trip and are looking forward to the next adventure.”

Halyna Rewko, 23, from Oseredok Ashton, a dancer, said: ““Our recent trip to Greece gave us the honour of representing Manchester, as well as all Ukrainians in the UK, simply through doing what we love.

“The trip saw us perform our dances to brilliant crowds, as well as meeting other dance groups from across the globe – of course, the beachside location and sunshine wasn’t too bad either!

“We love spending time together – we’re like a family. We created some unforgettable and hilarious memories in Greece this summer!

“We can’t wait to see where our love of Ukrainian dance takes us next.”

– Podilya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble has been in existence in its present guise since 1996
– Podilya Dance Ensemble are affiliated to the Ukrainian Youth Association in Great Britain
– The Podilya School of Dance provides dancers as young as 3 years of age with a strong grounding in the fundamentals of Ukrainian dance.
– www.facebook.com/podilyadance