Sopilka School of Ukrainian Dance

Creating Magic Through Dance



Kelsey Olijnyk started her dance career at the age of three in Radway, Alberta. She danced with several dance clubs throughout ruralAlberta including Radway, Redwater and Thorhild before joining Volya Studio at the age of 12. After spending three years with Volya Studio, Kelsey joined the Nadiya Dance Ensemble under the direction of Bohdan and Svitlana Tkaschishyn. During the 10 years she danced with Nadiya she toured Ukraine twice and had the honour of performing for government dignitaries in Kiev’s Opera House during celebrations for Ukraine’s 10th year of independence. In her quest to continue to grow as a dancer Kelsey joined the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble under the direction of Zhenia Bahri in 2009. One of Kelsey’s highlights during her time with Volya was going on tour through the Azores Islands of Portugal.

After spending 20 years as a dancer Kelsey wanted to give back and share her love of dance by teaching children and adults Ukrainian dance. For the past six years she has been teaching dance at Ukrainian dance schools throughout Edmonton and surrounding areas. She also taught a weeklong, intensive dance workshop in Cleveland Ohio for two summers.

Outside of the Ukrainian dance community Kelsey loves to try new challenges some of her accomplishments include competing in Fitness with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association in 2011 where she placed first in the Fitness Short category and received the best fitness routine award. She was also a member of the Edmonton Crush dance team and the Edmonton Energy dance team where the styles of dance she performed included video dance, hip hop, jazz and disco. Kelsey’s credentials include graduating from Victoria Performing Arts School, completing Tier 1 of the Shumka Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance, and being a certified Zumba and group fitness instructor. She has also traveled through Ukraine to take workshops taught by the most renowned Choreographers in their respective regions. Kelsey is always looking for new ways to keep the Ukrainian culture alive and interesting while developing as a dancer and instructor. She attended the 2013 Instructor Workshop  in Ukraine.

Cindy Baydala

Cindy has danced since the young age of 3, and her passion is Ukrainian Heritage, traditions, singing, and dance.  As a Sopilka Ensemble alumni, Cindy has graced stages world wide under the Sopilka banner, and has even formed the past adult group Vitrak along with her husband, and Sopilka alumni, Tim.

Cindy started teaching Ukrainian Dance in Two Hills, under the direction of George Chrunik in 1984. Continuing to teach until 2010, Cindy has instructed in Myrnam, Innisfree, Edmonton, and of course, here at Sopilka in Vegreville.   Cindy has had the opportunity to train under Serhij Koroliuk and Dolores Wacko, and continues to attend workshops and classes to improve her skills as an instructor.

Sopilka welcomed Cindy back in to the dance world in 2016 as our newest instructor.  


Paul Olijnyk BFA, MA

Guest Choreographer and Instructor

Paul’s passion and energy for Ukrainian dance began at an early age and continues to be a major part of his life. Currently a dance teacher in Alberta, as well as a performer with the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, he continues to share his love of dance with students and audiences around the world. 

Paul is a graduate of the Edmonton School of Ballet's Pre-Professional Dance Training Program and a certified teacher under the Shumka Academy’s Syllabus for Ukrainian Dance. He holds a BFA honours. degree from York University, specializing in dance, where he studied ballet, folk dance and modern dance.  In 2013 Paul completed his Master of Arts degree, specializing in Ukrainian folklore, at the University of Alberta.

Paul has travelled to Ukraine twenty times to research folklore, folk dance and attend workshops, including four summer courses at the International Summer School of Dance in the Kyiv University of Culture and Virsky Studio.  Since 2010, Paul has been involved in Ukrainian Dance World’s 

annual Ukrainian Dance Workshop Tour.  This Tour provides the opportunity for dancers and instructors throughout North America to travel to Ukraine and take workshops with dance masters, professional regional ensembles, children’s ensembles and village dance groups.

In his dance career with the Ukrainian Shumka dancers, he has performed throughout Canada and China with various productions, including Shumka’s Cinderella, Absolute Shumka and Shumka at 50.  In 2011 and 2013, he had the opportunity to be a dancer for a collaborative show titled, Clara’s Dream, which included select dancers from Virsky, Kyiv Ballet, and Shumka.

Paul teaches Ukrainian dance throughout the province of Alberta; adjudicates dance festivals throughout Western Canada; and has been a guest choreographer for dance ensembles in British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario.


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