MELANIE MORAVSKI DECHNICZ, Merited (Performing) Artist of Ukraine



Performing Ukrainian Cossack dancing since the age of 3, taught by his grandmother, Australian Ukrainian Dance pioneer Natalia Tyrawski, Alex has been teaching Ukrainian Dance for over 15 years. Alex is one of the famous Cossack Brothers of Melbourne and has performed and toured with various Australian Ukrainian Dance Companies over the years. From the Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony, AFL Footy Show, Folklorama Festival (Canada) to countless festivals, weddings and corporate shows, Alex is a great asset to the team, inspiring boys of all ages with his experience and extensive range of solos.


Trained in Vaganova Classical Ballet and National Character from a young age in Russia, Tatiana has been dancing for 30 years. She specialises in cross cultural dance including, Ukrainian. Tatiana has toured nationally and internationally with a range of Companies.


Performed with Lastivka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Taiisa Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Verchovyna Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Cathy has been dancing for 32 years and choreographing and teaching Ukrainian Dance for 15 years. She is an experienced performer having toured and performed nationally around Australia and Internationally to Thailand and Ukraine.


Peggy’s dance experience includes Classical ballet at the Geelong Ballet School with Mr. Dickerson. Highton Ballet School with Adrianne Leitch. In Melbourne she studied Jazz and Ballet at the Dance Factory with Dolce Lee. She also had many years of Classical ballet training with Miss Lyn Golding. During this time, Peggy obtained a Diploma in Movement and Dance at the Early Institute of Childhood Development.

Peggy’s Character dance experience began in Geelong with a small group of enthusiastic young Ukrainian dancers who needed her help with their artistry and choreography. After this she joined Bayda Cossacks ensemble under the artistic directorship Valentin Wasilenko. Bayda Cossacks was a semi-professional Ukrainian dance troop which gave her the opportunity to experience teachers from overseas such as Lev Golovanov, and Melbourne’s most experienced character teacher Madame Marina Berezowksy who became a permanent teacher and choreographer for Bayda Cossacks. During her time with Bayda the ensemble entertained audiences locally in Melbourne as well as in many regional festivals, and interstate shows. It also included a professional tour in the U.S.A from California to Florida.

Peggy began teaching at the Noble Park Ukrainian Language School. It was at this time she wanted to extend her knowledge in Ukrainian dance method and choreography through exposure to international professional choreographers and teachers. Peggy travelled on two occasions to Canada to attend Ukranian dance workshops under the direction of Serguei Makarow, Artistic Director of Tryzub Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. She worked extensively with Mykola kanevets, Artistic Director of Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company Edmonton. In Melbourne Peggy also attended extensive Melbourne workshops in Ukrainian dance with Sergei Zubatov, a renowned teacher and lecturer of Ukrainian Folk dance. Over many years Peggy’s affiliation with Mykola Kanevets was of great influence on her as a dancer and teacher.

It was at this time Peggy opened my own Ukrainian dance ensemble and school “Taisa” for approximately nine years. ‘Taisa’ frequently performed locally and interstate. During this time, Peggy attended Virsky Ukrainian summer school every year for five years.

Peggy’s travels to Ukraine have greatly enhanced her love for Ukrainian dance. The countryside, people and culture will always be in her heart.


Simon's background is as a dancer, training at the Royal Ballet in London and working with the Bejart Ballet company in Europe. He later studied physical theater and acrobatics with the late Johnny Hutch (A British legend in circus and acrobatics) and with Niall Grifiths sports acrobatic club and Spellbound, their elite display squad. 
Simon's accolades include training and performing in London's West End as an acrobat/dancer/singer and actor. He has featured in nearly fifty Television commercials as well as a few short films. Simon fell in love with Australia while working for the renown Australian company, Global Creatures, performing in 'How to train your Dragon' and has been here ever since. 
Simon also teachers at Limber Sports Performance,  Patrick Studios Australia and The Space Dance & Arts School.  

Katie Cook

Katie Cook was born in Sydney and began her dance training in ballet at the age of 5 before moving to Melbourne to study at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet under Christine Walsh. In 2014 she graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Dance and a qualification to teach the Ballet Conservatoire syllabus. After spending a year teaching ballet and experimenting with circus arts and contemporary dance, Katie decided to broaden her artistic interests at the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). Katie has performed in full-length ballets with the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet and contemporary works at the Victorian College of the Arts working with choreographers including Gideon Obarzanek, Lee Serle and Ayman Harper. Katie has also performed in various small arts endeavours including film productions, modelling shoots and short dance works and had her choreographic debut with her work Dual Process as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018.