Shumka hosts dance workshop for Sherwood Park seniors

A dance group of Ukrainian seniors from Edmonton hosted an interactive workshop in Sherwood Park to help other seniors get moving.

Shumka’s Silver Swans and Seniors Can Shumka dance groups, along with Shumka’s Creative Director Tasha Orysiuk, hosted a workshop for seniors living at Aster Gardens in Sherwood Park.

“Just a basic class on how to move your body, we moved our arms, we moved our legs, we held hands and did circles,” Orysiuk said.

The pandemic has hit homes for the aged in a number of ways, including isolating residents from their families for long periods of time. The senior dance group hoped to convey the joy of ballet and Shumka to the seniors at Aster Gardens.

“To come and bring joy to residents who may not have had many people during the COVID period, it’s really good to do that,” Orysiuk said.

“Oh, I love that. And I love to lift them up,” said Silver Swans dancer Zoie McIntyre.

The hour-long workshop saw residents join the dance floor and others dance and clap in their seats.

“I love to dance, and it’s a different type of dance. Ukrainian dancing is so different from what I’m used to, but it’s not hard to adapt to it,” said Marilyn Klein, resident Aster Gardens.

McIntyre says dancing is a great way for older people to keep their minds sharp as they get older.

“You think about 50 things at once. You think about tucking your belly, tightening your butt, keeping your legs straight, keeping your back straight,” McIntyre said.

Shumka’s Silver Swans is an adult ballet class for people over 55. Seniors Can Shumka is a weekly program for seniors of all mobility levels to enjoy Ukrainian music and movement for fun and fitness.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Darcy Seaton