Stephanie Kozun began dance with Boyan School of Dance in 1978 under the direction of Tavria’s founder Marie Nychka. The early years were spent performing much as we do now at local performances in seniors homes and annual recitals. Her passion for dance was fostered by Marie herself and in 1988 she successfully auditioned and began her career with Tavria Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble. Over the years she was fortunate enough to join the Ensemble for many performances locally, provincially, nationally and internationally making her way to Ukraine in 1996, 2000 and her final tour in 2006. Although performance has been her passion for the greater part of her life she also taught dance from an early age with Tavria as well as in Weyburn, Wadena, Ituna and some guest choreography in Yorkton.
Stephanie currently teaches with Tavria raising her own two children in the very same dance organization she was raised in.
“This Tavria family has been a blessing both to myself and my family for forty years. Ukrainian culture, tradition, music and dance are such an important part of my life and I remain dedicated to the cultivation of true folk dance. I am forever so proud of my history with this organization and continue to work tirelessly toward its success”.
Ivanna Knoll is a born and raised Tavria alumni. She began dancing with the Tavria School of Ukrainian dance at the age of 5 and retired after the ensemble’s most recent tour to Brazil in 2015. Dancing with Tavria’s ensemble presented her the opportunity to tour Ukraine in 2006 and 2011, Brazil in 2011 and perform in Razom 2, a joint collaboration with Yevshan, Tryzub and Rusalka. She has been instructing with the Tavria School of Ukrainian Dance for the past 10 years. Throughout the past 10 years she has had the fortune to instruct the beginner level, junior level, intermediate level and Tavrianka 1 and 2. This year she is instructing Junior 1 and co-instructing Beginner 2, Intermediate 1 and 2 with Stephanie Kozun.
Tennille Kowalchuk has been dancing with Tavria for 18 years and has been a part of the ensemble for the last 7. Ukrainian dancing has been a hobby she has grown to love, creating many opportunities over the years to travel and building close relationships. In 2015, she was presented the opportunity to showcase her culture and talent in Brazil. This summer, the ensemble is travelling to Ukraine!
Tennille is currently a student at the University of Regina studying Environmental Systems Engineering. She has been instructing with Tavria for the last 2 years, and is currently teaching Sadochuk Red and Beginner 2. She hopes to express to her students that dance is more than just a learning experience, but that it can offer many cherished friendships and memories.
Gillian Delgaty is 19 years old and is currently a Business student at the University of Regina looking to major in Marketing. She has been dancing for 6 years and instructing/assisting for 2 years. She is a current member of the ensemble. She grew up watching her brother dance and saw how much he enjoyed it and how close it brought him to his fellow dancers which made her try it, and of course, fall in love with it! She loves instructing and bringing that joy of dance to kids. Tavria has brought so many wonderful opportunities into her life and she is very grateful to be a part of both the Tavria instructors and the dancer family.