ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 

MELANIE MORAVSKI DECHNICZ, Merited (Performing) Artist of Ukraine

SCHOOL OF DANCE AND ADDITIONAL PROGRAM TEACHERS

ALEX DECHNICZ

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.

TATIANA KISELEVA

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.

CATHRINA HARPER

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.

JEREMY PRYSLAK

Jeremy started Ukrainian dance with Taisa Dance Ensemble and was taught by Peggy Kulhawec. From there, Jeremy was introduced to the colourful and diverse world of Ukrainian dance and was hooked. He later joined Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in Geelong. With Iskra he had the opportunity to start performing at many events including festivals, weddings and competitions. Not feeling as if he was dancing enough, Jeremy eventually joined Verchovyna Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and was taught by Melanie Moravski Dechnicz, and continued with her to Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company where he now dances in the Company and teaches in the School. In 2015 Jeremy had a principal role in KAZKA, touring Australia and North America with Lehenda and considers it one of the greatest experiences that Ukrainian dance has offered him

DANIEL TKACZUK

 

CHRISTOPHER EAD - BALLET

Christopher is very passionate about performing and teaching dance. He has enjoyed both performing and teaching in many varying workplaces including the Australian Ballet, varying state organisations and local dance schools. He also has a keen interest in health and the human body and regularly participates in Yoga and Pilates classes. He has a keen interest in sport and thoroughly enjoys all theatre and performing arts. He teaches Contemporary dance, Ballet and body conditioning classes. A highlight of his teaching career has being able to participate in outreach programs to both Rural and Remote communities. A highlight of Christopher’s performance career has been staging and performing of Dance Bacchanale (Regional Chamber Ballet 2015-2016) with his Violinist wife Stephanie. He is very keen to continue performing and developing his choreographic skills, while developing future projects and sharing his passion for dance with his students.

 

 

STEPHANIE NOVAK

With a solid foundation as a Cecchetti Classical Ballerina from a very young age, Stephanie has close to 20 years of dancing experience, with the last 6 years as a teacher at Verchovyna Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.  With vast performance experience nationally, her performances include various interstate festivals, pre-match entertainment and the Commonwealth games closing ceremony. Her teaching knowledge however extends beyond the dancing scope, as she is a fully qualified Physiotherapist, DMA trained Pilates instructor and has completed ongoing training through professional dance wellbeing seminars at the Australian Ballet School.

IMOGEN AGAR

Imogen started her classical ballet training (RAD and Laurel Martyn syllabuses) at Utassy Ballet School where she learnt a variety of other styles including contemporary and character. Utassy was Imogen’s first introduction to Ukrainian dance after learning many of Madame Berezowsky’s repertoire passed down to her teachers through Kolobok. Imogen taught character, ballet and contemporary at Utassy from 2011-2015.
Imogen joined Kalinka Russian Folk Dance Company in 2011, performing at numerous events such as Maslenitsa 2013-2015 and the RTS/Kalinka 30 Year Reunion. From 2013 to 2015 Imogen danced with Yellow Wheel, Australia’s leading youth contemporary dance company. Notable performances include I Came Here To Dance Once and White Night Festival 2014-2015.
In 2014 Imogen re-discovered her passion for Ukrainian dance and joined Lehenda. She danced a principal role in KAZKA, touring Australia and North America in 2015.

SARAH COSSEY

Sarah is a qualified and experienced teacher with a strong background in classical ballet. Sarah has achieved her Grade 8 Award and Intermediate certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance, and her Intermediate certificate from Cecchetti Ballet Australia. She has studied Ukrainian Dancing under Melanie Moravski Dechnicz since 2010 and has developed a strong passion for the beauty and infectious energy that is Ukrainian dance. Sarah also taught Ukrainian Character dance at Ringwood Ballet Group, the only other commercial dance school to at the time use the Melanie Moravski-Dechnizc Ukrainian Dance method. Her students at Ringwood Ballet competed and won awards for their performances of Ukrainain Character in Southern Federation of Dance competitions and the Victorian Performing Arts Challenge. Sarah is a registered member of the Southern Federation of Dance and the Victorian Institute of Teachers.

SIMON STOREY - ACROBATICS

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. 

 

Assistant Teacher

Anastasia Hruszowski

Relief Teacher

Claire Weiss