DESNA is honoured to work under the artistic direction of Yuri and Luba Grekov, graduates of the Virsky National Academy of Dance in Kyiv, Ukraine. In addition to having a comprehensive knowledge of Ukrainian dance, Yuri and Luba are professionally trained in international dances such as Spanish, Gypsy, Greek, Moldavian, Georgian and Mexican. The Grekovs performed with Moscow’s GODENKO Dance Company, Kyiv’s VIRSKY National Dance Company, Ukraine’s “HOPAK” Ensemble and have toured across Europe and North America. Upon first moving to Canada, Yuri and Luba became the artistic directors of RUSALKA Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Meanwhile, they simultaneously directed the VESNIANKA Dance Ensemble at the Thunder Bay Ukrainian institute Prosvita from 1994 to 2007. In 2003 their mutual desire to unite Ukrainian dance communities throughout the world has lead to the creation of the International Summer School of Ukrainian Dance in Kyiv, Ukraine. Yuri and Luba teach the Virsky style of Ukrainian dance. It encompasses in-depth ethnological knowledge and conveys the spirit and richness of Ukrainian dance. Since 1999, they have been the essential source of artistic and creative vision for the DESNA Ukrainian Dance Company of Toronto.
Before joining Desna, Sofia used to dance with Hawaiian Pacific Magic, in the summer of 2016, Sofia attended Desna’s dance camp and that following September had decided to join the school. Having gone to the Bloor West Ukrainian festivals every year since when she was little, Sofia was always mesmerized by the beautiful costumes as well as the music performed on the main stage, but she had never imagined that she would be dancing on that very stage in a couple years. Sofia has had the opportunity to perform in different parts of Ukraine, Dauphin Manitoba, the Toronto Ukrainian Festival, Ottawa Ukrainina festival, and many more.
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Adriana was heavily involved with the small, but active Ukrainian community. Her involvement included Ukrainian School, Ukrainian dancing, and Ukrainian Scouts. Since Adriana attended her first Ukrainian dance lesson in a small studio at the age of 3, her passion for Ukrainian dance and ballet has only grown stronger as she has continued to dance in Canada. Though Adriana is young, she has performed in Ukraine, Australia, Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Rochester, Florida, Dauphin Manitoba, and various cities in Ontario. This includes Hopak in the Park (Melbourne), Toronto Ukrainian Festival, Ukrainian Village Fest, and Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival. She has been at the DESNA School of Ukrainian Dance since 2012 and loves to teach young children how to dance. Not only is she sharing the passion that she has for Ukrainian dance but also passing on what she has learned to the children she is teaching. Adriana is also currently completing her degree in Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University and is the President of the Ryerson Ukrainian Students Club. She is also an active member in the Desna Ukrainian Dance Company of Toronto, is on the Board of Directors as the Promotional Director, and was the School Administrator for DESNA School of Ukrainian Dance for the 2018-19 dance year.