• Planned progressive program takes students from School to performing company.
  • Community atmosphere.
  • Programming for ages 3+.
  • Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) ballet training and examination program.
  • Canada’s only Ukrainian dance curriculum.
  • The popular Junior Instructor program.
  • Highest quality team of Ukrainian dance instructors outside of Ukraine.
  • Intensive Division led by Mrs. Anna Kanevets.
  • Class variety (Ukrainian, R.A.D. Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Tricks & Ukrainian Technique, Shumka Repertoire).
  • Many performing opportunities, including two performances per season at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
  • Opportunities to participate in Shumka productions.
  • Breathtaking dance choreographies.


Starting at age six (Grade 1D), the Core Program combines Shumka School’s finest offerings in the areas of dance instruction, training, choreography, performance, and value, in a positive and encouraging learning environment. The aim is to ensure the success of each individual dancer throughout his or her dance education. Class placement decisions consider many factors, including age, technique, current ability, commitment, and attitude, and have, as the primary focus, the goal of allowing each dancer to advance at his or her own pace. This approach provides a level of training appropriate for each dancer, which contributes greatly to the long-term success of the dancer. Students in the Core Program are required to enroll in the Core Ukrainian Shumka Syllabus class only. It is recommended that students also enroll in a Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) Ballet class, but this is not a requirement for the Core Program. All students in Core Ukrainian classes train utilizing Shumka’s Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance, a training program created by Mr. Douglas Rachinski with ballet compliment provided by Mrs. Tasha Orysiuk. Dancers also learn a minimum of one full-length Ukrainian dance choreography. The addition of a second choreography typically begins in Grade 5. Both parts combined (training and choreography) is the general structure of a Core Ukrainian class. Starting at age three (Pre-Beginner), dancers are taught the skills necessary to establish a solid foundation for Ukrainian dance. Everything learned in KinderDance prepares students for the Core Program beginning at age six (Grade 1D). Acceptance for new KinderDance students is determined by age: Pre-Beginner students are ages three and four, and Beginner students are age five. The syllabus for KinderDance was created for Shumka School by Mrs. Tasha Orysiuk, with revisions completed by Mrs. Tasha Orysiuk and Mr. Peter Eeles.


Beginning at approximately age eight, the Intensive Division is supplementary to the Core Program, offering significantly increased choreography, training, and performance opportunities for dancers who desire a more in-depth level of exposure to the art form. Each year, to participate in the Intensive Division, dancers must pass an annual audition. Auditions are typically held in May (Spring audition option) and August (Fall audition option). The Intensive Division is supplemental to the Core Program, meaning an Intensive Division dancer still partakes in the Core Program. Students in the Intensive Division are required to enroll in the main Intensive Division choreography class, one R.A.D. Ballet class, and another class of the dancers’ choosing. This third-class option can be another R.A.D. Ballet class, Contemporary Dance class, or Tricks & Ukrainian Technique class. In addition to these three classes, students in the Advanced 2 Intensive Division are also required to enroll in the Shumka Repertoire class.

+Placements and Registration

At the end of a dance season, each dancer receives a class placement guide sheet (shown on the right) that parents will use to register for classes in the upcoming dance season. The information on the guide sheet includes:

♦ All possible classes the named dancer can enroll in, including the results of the Intensive Division audition.

♦ Day, time, and instructors, and any special footwear requirements (such as red or black boots) noted for each class.

A parent uses the information on this guide sheet to register online for the upcoming dance season at, a registration incentive can be expected, where if families register by a certain date, they are not required to pay the per dancer registration fee. Having an idea of enrollment in each class prior to the start of the year allows SSD to better plan the dance season for families. It is important to note that the information on the class placement guide sheet (day, time, instructor, classes, footwear) is subject to changes.

The aim is to ensure the success of each individual dancer throughout his or her dance education. Placement decisions consider many factors, including age, technique, current ability, commitment, and attitude, and have, as the primary focus, the goal of allowing each dancer to advance at his or her own pace. This approach provides a level of training appropriate for each dancer, which contributes greatly to the long-term success of the dancer. Accordingly, class placements may be altered in the first two to three weeks of the dance season. The current year instructor(s) and the School Principal make these placement decisions jointly.


Shumka School of Dance offers six categories of dance classes, all of which complement the overall development of the Ukrainian dancer:



Core Ukrainian classes are structured as follows:

  1. Ukrainian dance training component utilizing Shumka’s Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance;
  2. Ukrainian regional choreography component.


Since 1994, the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and Shumka Dance Syllabus Academy have placed a high priority on the development and implementation of the Shumka Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance, to ensure proper skill training for generations to come. Shumka School is proud to offer a curriculum-based Ukrainian dance program through the Shumka Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance.

The Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance is a training program created for dancers ages six and over, developed by Mr. Douglas Rachinski with ballet compliment provided by Tasha Orysiuk. Shumka’s Syllabus is intended to enhance the technical execution of Ukrainian dance; contribute to its enjoyment; and promote its continued vision for future generations of Ukrainian dancers, teachers, and enthusiasts. It is a fully researched and developed curriculum program that ensures correct advancement of dance skill and technique, and enhances the dance training process by:

  • Offering consistency in training.
  • Providing logical progression from one level to the next.
  • Standardizing the use of terminology.
  • Standardizing the style and technique of steps and exercises.

Throughout the year, dancers follow a predetermined course of study, including set exercises at the barre, from the corner, and in the centre. These exercises are set to custom-orchestrated music. They complement the learning process and contribute to the overall long-term development of the dancer. Every new exercise and skill learned is like a fresh piece in a puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, a dancer should have the technical skills to work at a high dance level. In this manner, the Syllabus ensures proper growth and critical skill development while providing students with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge.


The set exercises are the core of the Syllabus. They are a listing of exercises for each grade in an order suggested for dancer safety and class effectiveness, based on the format of a typical dance class. Although certain steps or exercises could be introduced in different order, the program design provides the student with an appropriate sequence of exercises on an appropriate annual timeline. It is the prerogative of the instructor to alter format, re-order exercises or utilize choreography apart from that offered via the video/written resource to best suit his/her needs or unique class situation. The syllabus is designed to offer as many as 26 set exercises at any one grade level. To reduce the load for a typical dancer training one to two times per week and learning choreography apart from Syllabus, set exercises have been divided into ‘Certificate’ and ‘Diploma’ variations. Certificate exercises are entry grade level exercises, and diploma exercises are progressed grade level exercises. Although there is some overlap between certificate and diploma exercises (in such case the certificate variation is either a shorter or simpler variation), this division allows the instructor additional flexibility as to the course and pace of instruction, and the student to study a given grade level for more than one year. Typically, students will participate in one diploma variation of a Grade per Tier (example, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 6D). Typically, starting dancers at the more challenging Grade 1 Diploma level has shown to be effective in setting up dancers for success. Therefore, Shumka School begins its dancers at Grade 1 Diploma, instead of Grade 1 Certificate. Below is an example visualizing the differences between the Certificate and Diploma variations, for Grade 1.

Below is an example visualizing the differences between the Certificate and Diploma variations, for Grade 1.

Below is the complete listing of set exercises for each grade in the Shumka Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance:


Independent evaluations are offered annually. Syllabus exam recommendation information is distributed to families during the first week of April (example of the syllabus exam recommendation form on the right). Reference the School Calendar of Dates for the syllabus exam fee payment due date. Typically, the completed syllabus exams are usually available mid-summer, and are distributed to families the first week of classes in September.


  1. Syllabus exams offer a structured, non-threatening third-party assessment of the dancer’s progress and ability, along with encouragement for the mastered skills. Feedback includes specific areas that might still require improvement, along with strategies to improve in these areas.
  2. Syllabus exams provide a central goal for dancers to work towards.
  3. Syllabus exams build confidence and provide dancers with a sense of achievement.
  4. Syllabus exams provide guidance for class placement.
  5. Syllabus exams provide instructors with valuable feedback about the student’s skills.


Instructors are aware of each dancer’s abilities and are therefore in the best position to advise the family if the dancer is prepared for the examination. To ensure a productive, positive exam experience, instructors recommend Core Program students they believe will be prepared to take the exam. Students in the Intensive Division are required to participate in a syllabus exam and will be automatically recommended. In March, it is the instructor of the class who determines if each Core Program dancer will participate in an examination. At the beginning of April, families will receive a form (shown above) indicating the syllabus examination recommendation. If recommended, the decision to participate for Core Program students is made by the family. Intensive Division students are required to participate in a Syllabus exam as accountability in the form of dance examinations is a typical expectation of any dance school’s professional program.


Students who are close to completing a grade level but are not recommended for an exam may be given the opportunity to audit an examination. The student auditing is critiqued in the same manner, but not offered a final grade. Example of an Audit Exam Offer: Young Mr. Peter is showing good progress in his barre work; however, he needs a bit more work on musicality, centre combinations and presentation. Although he is progressing, it would not be to his benefit for Mr. Peter to participate in a graded exam this year. Instead, Mr. Peter will be offered the chance to audit the exam, where he is critiqued in the same manner, but not offered a final grade. Audit exam offers can be adjusted to an offer by the end of the year if the dancer continues to work hard.


UNIFORM:  Core Ukrainian rehearsal attire and footwear (the instructor will clarify exact footwear). Hair must be in a performance bun. No watches or jewelry. Dancers will not be able to examine unless this is followed. No make-up is required.

ARRIVAL:  Arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to the exam (arrival time is determined by the instructor of the class and is needed to rehearse the exercises prior to the exam).

PROCESS:  Each exam group consists of a maximum of four students. Dancers enter the studio with a name tag pinned to the bodysuit or shirt, in an established group, and assemble in front of the Examiner. Following the assembly, the dancers are welcomed by the Examiner and repeat back the provided greeting. For example, the Examiner says: “Good evening dancers.” The dancers reply, coordinated with Uklin (bow/curtsy): “Good evening Mrs. or Mr. Examiner.” The Examiner then has the opportunity for a small chat that typically includes words of encouragement for the dancers. The exam concludes with the Examiner asking for the dancers to re-assemble in the entry formation and thanking them for the efforts. For example, the Examiner says: “Thank you dancers, I enjoyed watching you dance today.” The students verbally reply, coupled with Uklin (bow/curtsy): “Thank you Mrs. or Mr. Examiner.” This process is reviewed prior to the exams.

ETIQUETTE:  There is absolutely no talking or sitting during an exam. Please keep eyes toward the Examiner and off the mirrors. During the exam, the Examiner will ask the dancers to practice the next exercise.



Shown below are example templates of a student syllabus examcertificates of achievement (for successful completion of a syllabus exam), and graduation diploma (for successful completion of the program):



Dancers in Core Ukrainian classes will typically learn one or two full-length choreographies (dances) per year from the following ethnic regions of Ukraine:

Boikivschyna, Bukovyna, Central Ukraine, Hutsul’shchyna, Kuban, Podillia, Pokuttia, Polissia, Southern Ukraine, Slobozhanschyna, Volyn, Zakarpattia.

The region for the class is determined by costume availability, and therefore, enrollment in the class, including number of girls and boys. The amount of choreographies learned per class is usually determined by the needs of the class. Typically, Core Ukrainian classes Grades 5 and up will learn two dances. Most Ukrainian folk dances evolved from ancient circle dances, which developed over the centuries into pair and couple dances. Today, the original circle dances are enriched by many intricate figures. Dancers tend to move in linear or geometrical patterns – circle, cross, serpent, chain, anything really – forming rounded lines. Generally, these patterns unfold in a horizontal direction, although dances of the mountain regions feature vertical leaps and lifts. Even though there are common elements shared by all regions of Ukraine, dances differ strongly from one area to the next in the choreographic methods, content, and dynamics. The costumes, music, dance steps, formations, style, themes, and story are typically different from one another, depending on the selected region. For example, the plain step, “1-2-3,” can be done in most of the listed regions, but the way it is done, the style, is different among the regions. In Central Ukraine, the 1-2-3 is very level and smooth, while in Polissia, it is very energetic and bouncy.

Map of Ukraine illustrating the different ethnic regions of Ukraine:


Starting at age three/four (Pre-Beginner), dancers are taught the skills necessary to establish a solid foundation and enjoyment for Ukrainian dance. All material learned in KinderDance prepares students for the Core Program and curriculum, which begins in Grade 1 at age six. Students will learn one full-length Ukrainian dance choreography. Students in Pre-Beginner are provided with a hat or headpiece for the Winter Concert and Year End Show performances, while Beginner students rent a full Ukrainian dance costume as per the rest of the School. These classes do not participate in dance festivals. Teachers will dance on stage with the Pre-Beginner classes for both performances. Typically, Beginner class teachers will dance on stage with the students at the Winter Concert only.


PRE-BEGINNER (ages 3 – 4)

  1. Learn basic movements of the body.
  2. Develop a sense of musicality.
  3. Develop listening skills.
  4. Learn to work with other dancers.
  5. Develop classroom etiquette.
  6. Introduce Ukrainian cultural and language elements.
  7. Have fun!!

BEGINNER (age 5)

  1. Perfect the steps taught in Pre-Beginner.
  2. Develop a strong sense of musicality.
  3. Have a strong sense of classroom etiquette.
  4. Ability to work well with other dancers.
  5. Prepare students for the Grade 1 Syllabus.
  6. Develop Ukrainian cultural and language elements.
  7. Have fun!!



  • Lining up before class
  • Listening skills
  • Classroom rules
  • Teamwork
  • Quiet, controlled movement
  • Standing ready before an exercise
  • Backstage etiquette
  • Bow


  • Left and right
  • Body part awareness
  • Isolations
  • Ukrainian language elements
  • Musicality and rhythm
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Dynamics and directions
  • Stretching
  • Creativity
  • Formations
  • Levels
  • Performance and presentation
  • Posture


  • Plies, rises, tendus
  • Weight transfer
  • Turnout
  • Foot usage / demi pointe
  • Arm positions
  • Spotting
  • Marches
  • Skips
  • Gallops
  • Runs
  • Partner work
  • Girls and Boys Ukrainian steps
  • Ukrainian regional steps
  • 1,2,3,’s
  • Toe heel
  • Vidryvannia


The Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) is one of the world’s most influential dance education organizations. The exams set standards in classical ballet and continues to be the global leader in Continuing Professional Development for dance. Founded in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching within the UK, today the R.A.D. has a presence in 85 countries, with 36 offices and over 14,000 members worldwide. The R.A.D. counts more than 1,000 students in their teacher training programmes and more than a quarter of a million students are being examined on the syllabi. Shumka School of Dance is a registered R.A.D. ballet school, offering both training and examination opportunities. Many of the steps learned in Ukrainian dance, and in the Shumka Syllabus, originate from ballet. Like the instruments within an orchestra, Ukrainian dance and ballet are synergistic, building off one another to produce harmonious results. Ballet builds flexibility, strength, speed, agility, balance, mental focus, and endurance. Ballet teaches the body to perform and perfect challenging steps in a safe manner, resulting in fewer injuries. This instruction allows the dancer to turn with increased speed, kick using greater flexibility, and jump to new heights. Overall, ballet enhances the skill of a Ukrainian dancer. Shumka School’s Principal and the Ballet Mistress determine each dancer’s ballet grade, and whether the dancer should pursue examinations in that level.

OBJECTIVES, AIMS, LEARNING OUTCOMES, and SYLLABUS CONTENT for each level can be viewed on the R.A.D. website, and directly using the link below:

The R.A.D. EXAMINATION GUIDE can viewed be here:

Mrs. Tamsin Carreck, Shumka School of Dance’s Registered Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Mistress, began dance classes at the age of four in Doncaster, England. She began taking exams in RAD ballet, ISTD Modern Theatre, ISTD Tap, ISTD National Dance and ISTD Imperial ballet at the age of six and performed in many dance competitions including the All England Dance competition where she received medal placing’s. As a child, Tamsin had the honour of studying under ballet masters such as Ronald Emblem, Brenda Last, and national dance expert Robert Harrold. When Tamsin turned eleven she received a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Dance to train under Louise Browne. Tamsin held this scholarship until she was sixteen when she was accepted into the three-year dance pedagogy course at the Northern Ballet School, Manchester, England. There Tamsin studied ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, and national dance. At the age of seventeen Tamsin received her ISTD Associate in Imperial ballet and then moved on to receive her ISTD Associates in national dance and modern theatre. While at the Northern ballet school Tamsin also studied music in relation to the dance studio, child psychology, history of dance, choreography, Laban notation, Benesh notation and anatomy at the University of Manchester. Tamsin also holds an Advanced level dance certificate with the British Board of Education, her RAD teaching certificate and RAD written exams in anatomy and history of dance. In 2014, Tamsin obtained her Tier 1 certification with Shumka’s Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance. In 1997 Tamsin moved to Greece to teach at the Mistsi Laoudi School of Dance in Volos, one year later Tamsin moved to Canada to teach at Dancin’ Kids in Slave Lake, Alberta. Tamsin spent three years in Slave Lake where she met her husband and moved to Hinton, Alberta in 2001. Tamsin taught at the Hinton School of Dance and the Hinton Vesna Dancers for a total of twelve years. Tamsin and her family moved to the Edmonton area in 2013 where she presently teaches at Shumka School of Dance.


The professional world of dance is very competitive. The Intensive Division at Shumka School offers training to dancers who aspire to have a broader experience in dance. As such, an extraordinary sense of commitment, passion and self-motivation are required to meet this program’s high standards and commitment. Dancers develop an enhanced sense of Ukrainian technique, performance, style, storytelling, ethnographic knowledge, confidence, and creativity. Each year, to participate in the Intensive Division, dancers must pass an annual audition. Auditions are typically held in May (Spring audition option) and August (Fall audition option). The Intensive Division is supplemental to the Core Program, meaning an Intensive Division dancer still partakes in the Core Program. Students in the Intensive Division are required to enroll in the main I.D. Ukrainian Choreography class, one R.A.D. Ballet class, and another class of the dancers’ choice. This third-class option can be another R.A.D. Ballet class, Contemporary Dance class, or Tricks & Ukrainian Technique class. In addition to these three classes, students in the Advanced Intensive Division are also required to enroll in the Shumka Repertoire class. Intensive Division students learn anywhere from one to five additional pieces of Ukrainian choreography during the season, which could include special choreographies such as storylines or large group dances.

Mrs. Anna Kanevets, Shumka School’s Intensive Division program head, comes from Kyiv, Ukraine, and has dedicated herself to the art of dance her entire life. In 1981, Mrs. Kanevets was accepted into the Kyiv State Institute of Culture, Faculty of Choreography, where in 1985 she graduated with Honours and received her Ballet master’s degree. Mrs. Kanevets spent eleven years in the position of dance teacher and administrator of the Faculty of Choreography, Kyiv College of Culture and was the Artistic Director of the Molodoshchy Performance Ensemble which travelled throughout Ukraine and Russia. In 1996, Mrs. Kanevets moved to Canada, and became the Artistic Director for both the Yatran Dance Academy in Edmonton, Alberta, and the Koperoush School of Ukrainian Dance in Sherwood Park, Alberta. From 2003 to 2005, Mrs. Kanevets was Repetitor for the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Edmonton, Alberta. In 2006, as Artistic Director of the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Mrs. Kanevets’ choreography was showcased in The Legend of the Rusalka in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In addition to her commitment to Ukrainian dance, she is a director of the Vaganova Dance Society in Edmonton. From 2006 to 2016, Mrs. Kanevets was the Artistic Director of the Tryzub School of Ukrainian Dance, and most recently, in 2017, moved into the position of Dance Director of the Viter Ukrainian Dancers & Folk Choir.


Contemporary dance is the exploration of the total movement potential of the body. It is a form of self-expression that seeks to express a personalized vision, often through experimentation and collaboration for the development of new, more individualized approaches to the moving body and choreographic possibilities. Contemporary dance explores contact-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristic of modern dance. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used. Contemporary dance uses body actions to communicate an image, an idea or a feeling and provides students with opportunities for creative experiences. Through movement, students learn about their bodies, the space around them, and each other. It is an important dance style for telling Ukrainian stories and offers a wide variety of movement to compliment Ukrainian dance and increase the skills of a Ukrainian dancer. Contemporary dance students will:

  • Explore movement thru music.
  • Develop physical skills.
  • Channel energy.
  • Stimulate imagination and promote creativity.
  • Learn a minimum of two contemporary-Ukrainian themed choreographies (Advanced class only).


How do the Shumka dancers learn and perfect the solos and tricks that are such trademarks of the Hopak? In these classes, students will discover their own signature tricks and solos, and how to perfect them. Students will also learn the fundamental concepts that most tricks and solos are built from. This class develops safe and proper execution of Ukrainian dance solos, separately for boys and girls, modelled around the Virsky method for training Ukrainian dance tricks. The other component focuses on drilling the important Ukrainian specific technique, including corner work, gender specific lexicon, and centre combinations.


Students in the Advanced Intensive 2 Division Ukrainian Shumka Dancers Repertoire class have the unique opportunity to learn and perform original choreographic works from the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers’ current and past repertoire. Senior dancing members in the company teach this class. Learning Ukrainian Shumka Dancers’ repertoire is a unique and challenging opportunity and benefit only offered at Shumka School of Dance. Learning Shumka choreography prior to auditioning for the company provides the student with a chance to start ahead of the learning curve. It also specifically and effectively trains the Shumka-style, since dancers are learning Shumka choreography. For these reasons, this class is a program requirement for students in the Advanced 2 Intensive Division. The dances learned by Shumka School students since the start of the class in 2013 include:

Classic Hopak, 50th Hopak, Tambourine Dance, Zakarpattia, Kohannia, Borotba, Requiem, Povzunets’, Shawl Dance, Dubotanets’, Carol of the Bells, Children’s Dance / Mouse

+Spring Ballet

Spring ballet offers students the opportunity to continue ballet training after the regularly scheduled dance year has ended. Classes typically begin the week after the Year End Show and run to the end of June. The schedule is released at the beginning of April and does its best to maintain a similar schedule to the regular season. Registration is through the main office.

Classes are non-syllabus and will include some stretching and conditioning. All Spring Ballet classes are taught by Shumka School’s Ballet Mistress, Mrs. Tamsin Carreck and are subject to enrollment.

+Summer Camp

Shumka Summer Dance Camps is an internationally attended program offering different styles of camps to suit every taste, age, and ability. The program strives to ensure that all campers are inspired to pursue the art of Ukrainian dance and become passionate about Ukrainian culture while making friends and having fun. Every camp has a Ukrainian spin on it! Shumka Summer Dance Camps also gives dancers opportunities to continue training through the summer months, in the context of a summer camp environment. Dancers can choose from a one-week day camp experience at the Shumka Dance Centre, or an overnight adventure at the beautiful Camp Oselia, Lake Wabamun. Programs are offered for ages 3-18, and online registration begins in late February / early March.


SSDC offers two types of day camp programs, half-day and full day. The half-day programming is for ages five and under. These youngest “Shumka Dancers in training” will begin the journey of Ukrainian dance, as they are introduced to the culture, folklore and dance that go along with the rich Ukrainian heritage. All activities have a strong Ukrainian cultural focus, and campers will perform a concert at the end of the week, including a full-length regional dance choreography and Ukrainian art show. The full-day programming includes three hours of high-quality Ukrainian dance training and choreography paired with three hours of indoor and outdoor field trip adventures, per day for five days. Past adventures have included laser tag, go-karting, rock climbing, swimming, trampoline park, jungle gym, ice skating, spray park, gymnastics, and much more!


Experience five hours (Junior, ages 10-13) or six hours (Senior, ages 14+) per day of high-calibre Ukrainian dance training and regional choreography from Canada’s finest teachers and choreographers. Enjoy Ukrainian-themed activities including team challenges, water sports, swimming, camp fires, beach day, polar dips, and the famous Kolomeyka night with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. Delicious food, great fun, memories and friendships to last a lifetime. Junior and Senior camps run simultaneously.

+Junior Instructor

The Junior Instructor Program offers Shumka School students and Shumka company members ages 15 and older opportunities to teach classes under the supervision, training, and mentoring of qualified and experienced lead instructors.


  1. While under the supervision and mentorship of the lead instructor(s) in the class, junior instructors will provide students with dance training and will have knowledge and/or be willing to acquire the knowledge of the material covered in the grade(s) being taught.
  2. Preparing the dance studio environment according to the needs of SSD and the lead instructor(s), which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Ensuring the barres and props are ready for use prior to the start of class, as per the direction of the lead instructor(s) in the class(es).
    • Sterilizing the barres before each new class.
    • For Pre-Beginner and Beginner classes, placing out student spot placements, gathering props, or hanging visual aids, as required by the lead instructor(s).
    • Stopping and starting the music as required.
    • Dry mopping the studio floor. 
    • At the Sherwood Park location, setting up the mirrors, barres, AV cart, pulling the gym curtain divider, and marking the centre with tape.
    • When demonstrating exercises or dance steps, ensuring it is always 100% full-out with correct technique and timing.
  3. Taking younger students to the washroom and water fountain (Pre-Beginner, Beginner).
  4. Working with students one-on-one when individual attention might be required.
  5. Learning about choreographic processes.
  6. Ensuring studio cleanliness and tidiness prior to the start of the class as well as at the end of the class. This includes picking up clothing, rollers, water bottles, garbage, and any other miscellaneous items.
  7. The junior instructors in Core Ukrainian classes (Grades 1 – 9) are required to stop and start the music for the students’ syllabus examinations.
  8. The junior instructors in Pre-Beginner and Beginner classes are required to dance on stage with the students at the Winter Concert and/or the Year End Show in costume.
  9. Staging props or spot placements for the dance. Junior instructors should face the audience when placing props or spot placements on the stage, making it as graceful and swift as possible.


  1. Attending the Tier 1 Shumka Dance Syllabus Academy (S.D.S.A.) workshop. Concepts such as time management, class planning/organization, S.D.S.A. introduction/orientation, the teaching of lexicon according to the age of the student, choreographic processes, analogies, and appropriate communication with students and parents, will be covered in the workshop, and will also be developed and practiced in class with the lead instructor throughout the junior instructor program. If the junior instructor has previously attended a Syllabus Workshop and would like to do so again before scheduling a certification examination, the junior instructor receives $125 off the cost per workshop.
  2. Following the junior instructor uniform as outlined below:
    • GIRLS: Pink tights, black bodysuit, black shorts or skirt, black Elastabootie, Paris teaching shoe, or boots.
    • BOYS: White T-shirt tucked in, black pants, black Elastabootie shoe or boots.
  3. Demonstrating business casual dress wear (reference business casual section of this handbook) and overall etiquette of Shumka School of Dance, when representing SSD at any performance, festival, or School event.
  4. Caring for, and respecting the dance facilities, studio equipment, costumes, props and any rented or Shumka-owned materials.
  5. The junior instructor will attend all applicable commitments outlined in the School Calendar of Dates.
  6. Addressing all instructors using Miss, Ms., Mrs., or Mr. in front of students, parents, guests, and other instructors (this applies to lead instructors, other junior instructors in the class, and the Principal, during all classes and other teaching-related commitments).
  7. All junior instructors registered as a student at Shumka School of Dance, regardless of age, number of years taught, experience, or syllabus certification, are not permitted to use the Instructors’ Lounge. Having a safe and reliable place for teachers to discuss matters that might involve Shumka School classes and students is the main purpose of an Instructors’ Lounge. This can be compared to a “staff room” at a regular school. Assistants, those who have achieved Tier 1 Syllabus Certification and are not SSD students, are permitted to use the Instructors’ Lounge.
  8. To perform all duties to the best of the junior instructor’s ability. To adhere to organization rules and procedures, including recordkeeping requirements and confidentially of the organization and client information (“client information” means all information found on a Shumka School class list). To act as a member of the team responsible for accomplishing the vision and mission of Shumka School of Dance.
  9. It is recommended that the junior instructor join the lead instructor and the students at all performances and festivals to learn about instructor backstage and festival processes.
  10. Signing a contractual Agreement of the aforementioned duties and policy information, at the start of the term.


YEAR 1: The junior instructor is a volunteer.

YEAR 2: The junior instructor is offered a starting wage of $15.00/hour. This will typically begin immediately following the SSD Winter Concert.

YEAR 3: It is recommended that the junior instructor enroll in the Tier 1 Shumka Syllabus Workshop, examine, and become a certified Tier 1 instructor with the Shumka Dance Syllabus Academy. Becoming certified includes a change of the “Junior Instructor” title to “Assistant” as well as a wage increase. The minimum age to examine is 16.

+Leader-in-Training (L.I.T.)

The Summer Camp Leader-in-Training program provides opportunities for youth ages 14 and older to gain valuable on the job training experience, applicable to all areas of life. The program cultivates leadership skills, teamwork, self-reflection, kindness, creativity, and the ability to work hard for a common cause. The goal is ensuring that every camper comes away with a greater understanding of Ukrainian culture and a passion for the art of Ukrainian dance.


♦ Assisting with activity programming.
♦ Create bonds with campers.
♦ Assist with activity programming.
♦ Assist with the supervision of campers.
♦ Assist with planning and preparing camp activities.
♦ Assist with facility cleanliness.
♦ Taking photographs.
♦ Silly awards.
♦ Ensure professionalism, standards, respect, and integrity are always upheld.
♦ Keep a daily log of recommendations and feedback.
♦ Participating in daily staff meetings.


♦ Writing out silly awards.
♦ Signing the completion certificates and silly awards.
♦ Organizing camp T-shirts.
♦ Preparing camp books with camp group photo.
♦ Reviewing games and songs.
♦ Evaluation form statistics.
♦ Camp USB’s.
♦ Maintain organization of staff room and bins.
♦ Registration area (sign-in/sign-out). Somebody sitting by the clipboards, another standing by the door ensuring campers are signed out.


♦ Writing out silly awards.
♦ Signing the completion certificates and silly awards.
♦ Organizing camp t-shirts.
♦ Preparing camp books with camp group photo.
♦ Reviewing games and songs.
♦ Evaluation form statistics.
♦ Camp USB’s.
♦ Maintain organization of staff room and bins.
♦ Craft preparation.
♦ Activity preparation and setup.
♦ Monitoring and refilling the water coolers.
♦ Helping in the kitchen (typically one meal per day).
♦ Planning and preparing afternoon and evening activities.
♦ Mealtime and zabava playlist making.
♦ Mealtime trivia preparation.
♦ Chore accountability and supervision.
♦ Prank monitoring.


Candidates must be 14 and over.
Willingness to learn and take initiative.
Possessing a general knowledge of Ukrainian culture is an asset.
Having some experience working with children or teens.
Willingness to work/learn to work, as part of a team.
No experience needed for day camps; some previous experience for overnight camps is an asset.




Shumka Dance Centre: Edmonton, AB [10515 111 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 3E8]

Camp Oselia, Wabamun Lake, AB [Range Road 53, Highway 16]


Letter of recommendation (at the request of the LIT), free training, and on-the-job training and experience that you cannot receive anywhere else!

+Studia Shumka

Join us in making history… Be the first generation Studia Shumka!

As Shumka School of Dance looks ahead to its 30th Anniversary season in 2018/19, Shumka and Shumka School are pleased to announce the establishment of Studia Shumka. Based on the Studia Virsky model, this junior performing ensemble acts as a bridging program between the School and the professional Shumka company.

Being a dancer in Studia does not guarantee acceptance into Shumka. However, Studia has been created for those who are not ready or of-age to dance with Shumka, and who wish to continue to develop their dance training and performance experience. There are many unique opportunities provided by Studia Shumka.

Dancers will:

  • Continue a minimum ten hours aof high-level technical training (Ukrainian/Character/Ballet/ Contemporary) on a weekly basis.
  • Continue R.A.D. ballet training and examinations as desired.
  • Participate in monthly Shumka company rehearsals.
  • Be utilized in Shumka performances that present a suitable fit or as required by Shumka.
  • Learn original Studia repertoire during ensemble rehearsals.
  • Perform publicly and participate in outreach programs as part of the Shumka family.
  • Be showcased in the annual SSD Winter and Spring concerts.


Entry into Studia is by audition. SSD students must graduate Shumka School Grade 9 before auditioning for Studia Shumka. Past SSD graduates are welcome to audition. Non-SSD dancers who attend a Shumka audition may be encouraged to join Studia Shumka on the recommendation of Shumka’s Artistic Team.


Tuesdays: 7:30 – 10:30 PM

Wednesdays: 4:30 – 7:00 PM

Saturdays: 10:00 – 5:30 PM (currently still reviewing this Saturday timeframe)


Costs for dancer training will be $1500 per year. This is a substantial reduction from regular SSD training costs and in line with other junior performing ensembles. Fundraising, performances and donations will be sought to cover the additional expenses of running Studia.


Costumes will be rented by Studia dancers. There is no rental cost for costumes.


Out of town / touring opportunities will be pursued for Studia in the future. The ensemble will require at least one year to establish repertoire. Costs associated with such opportunities will be covered by the dancers and/or fundraising initiatives.